SAY WHAT YOU WILL ABOUT THE WINTER GLOOM
Say what you will about the winter gloom!
Each year the turn towards light’s a celebration.
And so it is with life: the darkest doom
Succeeds in summoning its own salvation.
Open, then, your heart to what may come,
Nor should you fear the advent of the night.
Selves are far more than their selfish sum,
Graced within with everlasting light.
Revels move indoors as darkness falls
Early, lit by laughter, songs, and love.
Even as the cold wind wailing calls,
The lilt of life and longing stronger proves.
In this season of good will and cheer,
Night and frost undo the dying year.
Gifts pour in; the joyful music plays —
Signs of hope and slowly lengthening days.
MAYBE MERRY CHRISTMAS ISN’T MERRY
Maybe Merry Christmas isn’t merry.
Everything can’t work out every year.
Reveling on holidays is very
Rough on those a little short of cheer.
Yet life goes on, and what was once consuming
Comes slowly to dissolve in humdrum days.
Hope returns, its rightful place resuming.
Rivers run their long and winding ways.
Instead of pain, one comes to revelation.
So does one not bury the remains,
Trading raw estrangement for relation,
Melding losses into harder gains.
As you are less than merry, with good reason,
So may you still find solace in the season.
THE ROLL BOOKS OF THE STARS
The roll books of the stars are kept
In files atom-size,
Yet just one glimpse of you or me
Would fill up all the skies.
I am a mystery to me
As you must be to you.
How could we hope to understand
The mystery of two?
So we will feel what we must feel
And find some word to fit,
Even though we look inside
And see that isn’t it;
And I will think of you no matter
What I’m thinking of,
Even though I know it’s much
Too soon to call it love.
SO SHALL ALL THIS PILLOW TALK
So shall all this pillow talk
End in gifts and preparations,
As all other topics balk,
Suddenly on quarter rations.
Old memories now come a-haunting,
New revived by repetition,
Summoned by a wistful wanting,
Given one’s unwilled condition.
Render, then, the season’s song,
Embracing both the work and play
Equally, as both belong
To cherishing the holiday.
In love and weary duty go,
Needing tokens to bestow,
Graced with many loved ones who
Shall soon bestow their gifts on you.
HOLIDAYS ARE LIKE WELL-TENDED GARDENS
Holidays are like well-tended gardens:
Apart from Nature’s garland for the Earth.
Precious days come often in the wild.
Priest-trees meditate in silent love.
Yet we must be digging in our gardens,
Hallowing with our hands the flesh of Earth,
Or weeding out the remnants of the wild,
Leaving the lush blossoms of our love.
In love we sweat to cultivate our gardens,
Decking out the glories of the Earth.
All days are holy–designate or wild,
Yet some we make more memorable through love.
So may our gardens bless this wild Earth!
ONE YEAR AGO YOU DIED, AND STILL WE MOURN
One year ago you died, and still we mourn,
Nor will our mourning end till it be night,
Even as time turns our tears to light
Years hence, when this may be more easily borne.
Each moment of your passion and delight,
As clear as sunshine, bountiful and bright,
Remains our fortune now that you are gone.
HOURS MEAN NO MORE OR LESS THAN YEARS
Hours mean no more or less than years.
A moment is a point with no dimension.
People count to undermine their fears,
Persuaded numbers lead to comprehension.
Yet time is an illusion of our motion,
No realer than the rising of the sun.
Each line we draw rests on a restless ocean,
Way, way beyond the scope of more than One.
Years do not begin and never end
Except for purposes of calibration.
A need to share our yearnings, friend to friend,
Requires just one point of celebration.
Nicholas Gordon is a poet and the webmaster of the popular poetry site, Poems for Free at http://www.poemsforfree.com. He holds a Ph.D. in English and American Literature from Stanford University. For most of his working life, he taught English at New Jersey City University, in Jersey City, NJ.