Posts tagged: Twelve Moons

Sleep Walking

By , December 31, 2011

If you have been reading Mary Oliver’s Twelve Moons as a lunar calendar with me through 2011, it’s time for the last poem of the year. In keeping with the circular nature of life and the passing of years, we now end with the poem with which we began: Snakes in Winter.

Despite the snake theme, which is mostly lost on this Alaska-bred boy, this seems to be a fitting poem to finish the project. My life, too, seems like a “flickering broth six months below simmer” as 2011 draws to a close, and we wait for 2012 to dawn. As active as we must continue to be to survive here, there is a somnambulent feel to all of our activities in the late and harshest part of our winter, which is about to begin. We hibernate on some level, even as we continue to move forward. In our observance of the holiday, we still have one more week of Christmas to celebrate before ending it on Twelfth Night, so we continue for a bit longer in the dreamtime of the season before returning to the every day. Spring, when it comes, will be an awakening.

So, I ask myself, what’s next? Do I find some new calendrical devotion for the coming year? Do I explore some new poet, or author, or do I retool Twelve Moons to the lunar schedule of the coming year? And, whatever I decide, will I share it here, or keep it to myself?

Time, as always, will tell. Happy New Year!

A Poem for Christmas Eve

By , December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve has come. Tonight is the new moon; if you’re reading Mary Oliver’s Twelve Moons as a lunar calendar with me this year, tonight’s poem is called, appropriately enough, Christmas Poem.

Zeiger family homestead Christmas

Zeiger family homestead Christmas decorations (Photo: Mark Zeiger).

I laughed when I read this one, because I had misunderstood Cold Moon—Hannah’s Children earlier this month. This poem is about the Christmas Eve legend I originally thought that poem referred to.

I assume that since I read Twelve Moons when I first got it, I must have remembered a poem on this topic without realizing it, and assigned that meaning to the wrong poem.

And, as I inferred in discussing that other poem, children do, in fact, test the Christmas Eve legend! At least, Mary Oliver did. And what a lovely story it becomes—not one of disillusionment or betrayal, but of comfort, and, in some small measure, perhaps—joy.

And that, kind reader, is what I wish for you and yours tonight on Christmas Eve, tomorrow on Christmas day, and always: Comfort and Joy.

Merry Christmas!

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