Monday, January 6, 2014

Juniper night

Outside the small window,
the juniper where I first 
saw bluebird, so shy I
frightened him away a year
appearing at the back door.

The tree now winter-cloaked,
ermine collared, the afternoon 
darks to evening, wanes
to diamond night, hoary moon
half bitten, ragged edge
like the ice-blue berry.

Wind ferocious and quiet,
but the half-moonball does not
rock out of sight, its
brilliant light turns diffident 
edge into blue night.

Wind that bends
the fingers of earth,
blues them into moonblight,
points my hair at the light,
closes its eyes, softly
lifts and puts our rest to flight.


  1. Lyrical and lovely, Ruth.

    Warm wishes for a wonderful New Year.

    1. Maureen, thank you. As long as it's warm inside, I love winter. Many were without power for a week over Christmas, but thankfully this time we kept ours. It's no fun in cold like this. Happy warm new year to you as well.

  2. Great imagery in this poem, Ruth, and I cannot help but think that Margaret should be reading this poem as she walks out the back door at this very moment to feed the horses in the polar vortex of this very frigid night.

    1. Thank you, George. And that image of Margaret going out the back door to feed the horses is also lovely, though I don't imagine it's fun in this polar vortex. Your temp right now is not that much higher than ours! But at least yours is going up to 30° today, that's good. Our university was closed yesterday and is closed again today until noon for weather.

  3. Speaking of the wind, Ruth, I wonder if you and Nancy love it as much as Susan and I do? But then, Susan and I are Gemini, an air sign. The Universe knew I belonged in Dutchland, where the wind is germane to every day. I'd love to see it point your hair at the light. :)

    1. Boots, I'm surprised you don't know that Nancy loves it as much! So many times I have seen her sitting on the dock at the cottage, wrapped in a blanket, in wind and storm. I love it, too, but I think you three are the sylphs of mythological proportions. :) I may be a fire sign, but I adore the wind. By the way, here is a wonderful site with all sorts of lore about wind fairies. Who knew?

    2. Well, it doesn't surprise me about Nancy, but I didn't know, no. And the link is fabulous, which I have now earmarked. I already have it in my mind to write a V&V post on WIND, and this will be a delightful reference. Thank you! :)

  4. Speaking of wind, did you know that in French the Christmas song Jingle Bell is “Vive le Vent” ?

    Here is the refrain (singing the Gingle Bell etc melody…) it’s written to rhyme - does not sound good translated…

    Vive le vent, vive le vent
    Vive le vent d’hiver
    Qui s’en va sifflant, soufflant
    Dans les grands sapins verts
    Oh ! Vive le temps, vive le temps
    Vive le temps d’hiver
    Boule de neige et jour de l’an
    Et bonne année grand-mère

    And translation

    Viva the wind, viva the wind
    Viva the winter wind
    That goes whistling, blowing
    Through the large green pines
    Oh! Viva the time, viva the time
    Viva winter time
    Snowball and New Year's Day and
    Happy New Year Grandmother

    1. Vagabonde, delightful! A winter song just for this grand-mère. :)

  5. This is a lovely poem and I enjoyed it very much. I like the way it becomes more and more assonantal as it evolves into something more and more lyrical and trance-like.

    1. Thank you, Robert. "Trance-like" was just what I felt out under the moon and in the wind leading to this poem.

  6. This poem is quiet, meditative, and like wind tousling ones hair—playful— all in one. It's just delicious. I feel like I'm flying by the end.

    1. Jade, how lovely for you to say these things. I just read a line in Proust: the wind—blowing into my heart — and I recognized it from my experience!

  7. Wind. Takes me back 48 hours. Loud. Hoping.

    1. Wayne, wind has many personae. I love meeting them (mostly).

  8. I agree with Robert: the last stanza is trance-like (love "blues them into moonblight"). Makes me feel calm, and warm, and not wind-tossed at all--just the opposite of the action of the poem...

    1. Thank you, DS, it was a delicious, mesmerizing experience in the wind, and I'm glad you felt something of it from these lines. <3


All responses are welcome.