Sunday, December 25, 2011

Winter Passages--Poems by Mitzi Linn

Door in a wall in Santa Fe NM. From a card.

Winter Passages


Fog wraps the earth at winter solstice. The
Darkness wants to settle in for a long visit.
Like a former lover’s return, the
Fear of his moving in & taking over
hides in my accomodating smile.
Voicing welcome, but thinking,
‘O God, not him again!’

Darkness sports rain gear in western Oregon.
He puts forth gruff but good-hearted intentions.
Shouts and rattles the windows,
Stomps his muddy feet through the kitchen,
reminding me that those dark firs outside are his children.
They transform his rain into light green tips on thick branches.

They know me. They’re the very children I deserted last year
for sunshine, palm trees and bougainvilla.

Light boxes, candles for the Blessed Virgin,
strings of Christmas lights gracing houses on dark streets,
Nothing really puts my fear to rest.

Darkness has returned. He whispers, “sleep more”.
I wear more clothes, drink hot teas and enter, yes,
the waiting time. Should I go passive or flee?

He’s like that old lover, the mysterious one who
promised to reveal himself someday, but never
stuck around to. Or, when confronted,
masked his identity behind a surprise storm of angry feelings.

I know him and I know me.
Summer lies deeply imbeded in my being.
I see its light, feel its warmth and
know I might fly somewhere to a warm beach tommorrow.
I feel the dry warmth of Oaxaca at mid-day.
It settled deeply into my bone marrow’s memory.

With that strength I can look at the face
of this Darkness, not flee, nor go passive.
His visit will pass soon enough.
We make jokes while I hold the light inside myself.

copyright Mitzi Linn 1998

Wolf Creek

Remember Siskiyou Mountain winters?
Years without electric lights press my mind.
The blaze of kerosene lamps barely lifted
the darkness seeping through cabin windows.
Dwarfed by Douglas firs, hidden on the forest’s edge,
that tiny cabin cradled me through three winters.

Night arrived by late afternoon on Winter Solstice.
We gathered more than once to chant and sing,
to evoke the Goddess and jump her bonfire.
We saw ourselves in mythic terms,
Made ourselves conscious Goddesses,
years before books explained just why we should.

Those ancient, living mountains infolded us in natural rhythms.
We followed the seasons and the eight points of light.
Winter Solstice, Candlemas, Spring Equinox,
Belthane, Summer Solstice,Lamas, Autumn Equinox, Hallowmas,
Winter Solstice.......again......

We rotated the year’s wheel at the Winter Solstice ceremony.
Joining hands, we moved circle inside circle,
facing each other as we chanted.

“The Wheel is turning, the Wheel is turning......
what shall we give up tonight?”

We shouted out from the circle dance that
we’d give up winter and darkness,
cabin fever and anger, poverty, sadness, sexism,
genocide and the Vietnam War.........

Circling the lodge in almost total darkness,
Silence finally called us to sit,
Feeling warmth from the woodstove’s fire,
we lit each white candle to make blessings,
We made wishes for all beings’ healing,
For wisdom and growth, for new lovers,
and fixed trucks, for spring’s speedy return.
And for peace on our earth.

copyright Mitzi Linn 1998