December 2010 Archives

#21 winter solstice 2010

So here it the shortest day of the year.
now I can start to look forward to a slightly longer bit of light each day!
Enjoy the full moon and if your on the east coast the lunar eclipse.


#20 winter solstice 2010

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I try to vary my evening dog walks to see different views and check in on different animals. Occasionally I wander over to see Betsy's miniature donkeys because their expressive ears always give me a chuckle.


#19 winter solstice 2010

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19 Bird shadow.jpg

Words have loyalties
to so much
we don't control.
Each word we write
rights itself
according to poles
we cant see; think of
magnetic compulsion
or an equal stringency.
Its hard for us
to imagine how small
a part we play in
holding up the tall
spires we believe
our minds erect.
Then north shifts,
buildings shear,
and we suspect.

By Kay Ryan

winter solstice #18 2010

On the evening dog walk the moon was obscured by a gentle haze. The sunset colors reflected and spread as if to say the gears are shifting to lighter days.


Winter Fear
by Kay Ryan

Is it just winter
or is this worse.
Is this the year 

when outer damp

obscures a deeper curse

that spring can't fix, 

when gears that

turn the earth

won't shift the view,

when clouds won't lift

though all the skies

go blue.

#17 winter solstice 2010

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17 landscape horizon.jpgSlant
Can or can't you feel
a dominant handedness
behind the randomness
of loss? Does a skew
insinuate into the
visual plane; do
the avenues begin to
strain for the diagonal?
Maybe there is always
this lean, this slight
slant. Maybe always
a little pressure
on the same rein,
a bias cut to everything.
a certain cant
it's better not to name.

By Kay Ryan (The Best of It)

#16 winter solstice 2010

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We had a light coating of snow today that reminded me of how ash settles on the pieces of the wood kiln. On my evening dog walk the horse in the neighboring field stood at the crest of the hill back lit by a steel gray sky. The moon has grown so it resembles last night's leaf plate and the light is beautifully reflected on the fresh coat of snow.


If the moon happened once,

it wouldn't matter much,

would it?

One evening's ticket

punched with a

round or a crescent.

You could like it
or not like it,

as you chose.

It couldn't alter

every time it rose;

it couldn't do those

things with scarves

it does.

By Kay Ryan

#15 winter solstice 2010

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#14 winter solstice 2010

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14 stripes.jpg

living with stripes

In tigers zebras,
and other striped creatures,
any casual posture
plays one set of lines
against another:
herringbones and arrows
appear and disappear;
chevrons widen and narrow.
miniature themes and counter points
occur flexing and extending
of the smaller joints.
how can they stand to drink,
when lapping further complicates
the way water duplicates their lines?
knowing how their heads will zigzag out,
I wonder if the dread to start sometimes.

by Kay Ryan

#12 winter solstice 2010

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12 full shadow.jpg

#11 winter solstice 2010

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11 cycladic shadow .jpg

#10 winter solstice 2010

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The gallery is getting full of all of my favorite pieces form the recent firing. I need a backward miracle, to hold attention on a single vessel.

10 shaply shadow.jpg

Backward Miracle

Every once in a while

we need a

backward miracle

that will strip language,

make it hold for

a minute: just the

vessel with the

wine in it --

a sacramental

refusal to multiply,
reclaiming the

single loaf

and the single

fish thereby.

By Kay Ryan

#9 winter solstice 2010

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Last march I gave some cups to a poet in Tennessee. She wrote a thank you note that said the cups were like drinking out of hands- sinewy and delicate.

09 hand shadow.jpg
We are all cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.

Ray Bradbury

#8 winter solstice 2010

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08 imagined flower.jpg

But how dark
is darkest?
Does it get
jet -- or tar --
black; does it
glint and increase
in hardness
or turn viscous?
Are there stages
of darkness
and chips
to match against
its increments,
holding them
up to our blindness,
estimating when
we'll have the
night behind us?

~ Kay Ryan, born 1945, American poet

#7 winter solstice 2010

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Today was one of those days when the natural world was crisp with connections from the dog walk at first light to the new moon after sunset. I live for the full moon but I always think of my brother Steve who loves the new moon because to him it is the symbol of hope.

07 moon vase.jpg

by Kay Ryan

What's the use
of something
as unstable
and diffuse as hope --
the almost-twin
of making-do,
the isotope
of going on:
what isn't in
the envelope
just before
it isn't
the always tabled
righting of the present

#6 winter solstice 2010

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06 circle shadow.jpg

#5 winter solstice 2010

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On a night like tonight when the wind is cold and the dark descends  quickly it really feels like December contains magnets that pull all the warmth from the day.

05 torso shadow.jpg
Bait Goat
by Kay Ryan

There is a
distance where
magnets pull,
we feel, having
held them  
back. Likewise
there is a
distance where
words attract.
Set one out
like a bait goat  
and wait and  
seven others
will approach.
But watch out:
roving packs can
pull your word
away. You  
find your stake  
yanked and some  
rough bunch
to thank.

#4 winter solstice 2010

04- bottle shadow.jpg

#3 winter solstice 2010

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As I venture out on the limbs of another solstice series I am struck by the banks of time that have passed and the parcels of images that hold the future.

03-flower shadow.jpgNothing Ventured   by Kay Ryan

Nothing exists as a block
and cannot be parceled up.
So if nothing's ventured
it's not just talk;
it's the big wager.
Don't you wonder
how people think
the banks of space
and time don't matter?
How they'll drain
the big tanks down to
slime and salamanders
and want thanks?

#2 winter solstice 2010

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02-anterior aspect shadow.jpgHowever carved up
or pared down we get,
we keep on making
the best of it as though
it doesn't matter that
our acre's down to
a square foot. As
though our garden
could be one bean
and we'd rejoice if
it flourishes, as
though one bean
could nourish us.

"The best of it"
Kay Ryan

#1 winter solstice 2010

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This is the first of the 2010 winter solstice series. The first image in a series leading up to the winter solstice and the shortest day of the year on December 21.

01-tibia shadow.jpg