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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

'Twas the (Off-Grid) Night Before Solstice

‘Twas the night before solstice, as long as can be.

Temperature falling, from 13 to 3.

Generator felt eager---“Please plug me in”---

certain the ‘morrow be cloudy, again!


The cord-wood were nestled, all snug in the box,

with visions of lit match, their energy unlocked.

‘Twas my sweetie and I with spirits to mend.

We’d lain long hours.  “Would this night ever end?”


When through the east window I spied such a gleaming,

I sprang from the bed.  “Perhaps I was dreaming.”

Out of the bedroom, through hallway so dark.

I stumbled to south windows, hoping for stars.


And yes!  There they hung, same as summer eve.

The lion.  The virgin.  Even the farmer, Bootes.

When what to my east-roaming eyes should appear,

but a rim of purple-pink. “Could a real dawn be near?”


When a thin beam of yellow put clouds on the run,

I knew in a moment it must be the sun!

Brighter than new snow, his great ball now forming,

I swear that he shouted, announcing his morning.


Come tritium.  Come deuterium.   From deep in my core,

smash now together and unleash your storm.

Rise to my surface, a million years and one.

Then dash away!  Dash away!  Dash away photon!


As dry grass that before the prairie fire does quiver.

My arms sprouted goose bumps and my shoulders did shiver.

When onto the ridge-top his gold paint he brushed

all the creation fell frozen and hushed.


And then, through the window, I felt on my cheek,

the touch of his brush.  “Ho my!” I did peep.

With his bundle of joy flung from afar,

he looked like an angel, the most generous star.


His light how it cheered me, as I turned my head.

And there stood my sweetie, just climbed from her bed.

I reached for her hand, but the sun found it first.

Then her eyes shone like sunbeams and her laughter did burst.


“It’s the sun!” she did shout.  “How could this be?

On the shortest of days?  Through the coldest of breeze?”

Then we stood hand-in-hand as this low yellow ball

---the life force of our home---began doing it all.


Generator fell silent.  He wouldn’t be needed.

Because panels of solar grew giddy and gleeful.

As photons from smashings a million years old,

sent electrons from our yard and into our phones.


Then up from the cellar we heard such a whirring.

“What could it mean?”  The pump must be stirring.

Hot water!  How glorious.  From the rising sun’s power.

By noontime we’ll surely be caressed by a shower.


Then he wrapped us in warmth, as his long-angled beams,

came streaming through windows and under the eaves.

The cord-wood stayed nestled; no reason to strike,

a match to the tinder, we’d have heat until night.


Speaking no more, he magnified his work,

raising our spirits, on this winter-side of earth. 

Laying his warm finger, on the old ice of our hearts,

he leaned into the west, preparing to depart.


At last he slipped beneath the rim, where both day and dream abide.

Behold! he tossed what paint remained, upon the canvas sky.

Until he sets at last on us, we’ll recall his parting words.

“Night is but a shadow, the shadow of the earth.”

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