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Winter Solstice Poetry Event [poem: Winter II]

December 1, 2011

It’s been a busy few weeks in my corner of the poetry world—and promises to be so this month as well.

Locals, mark your calendars for December 22. The Cottage Inn will be featuring my poems in a winter solstice poetry reading starting at 6 p.m. I’ll be reading from Inspiration Speaks, the recently released collaboration between poets and artists from around the world, as well as some of my older and new work. It’s the first featured reading I’ve done in years, and who knows when the next one will be, so you don’t want to miss this! For more information, see the event listing at FlatheadEvents.net or the invite on Facebook. And please invite other family and friends; I’d love to pack the place.

Nonlocals, don’t feel neglected. In addition to my trio of poems in Inspiration Speaks, this past month has seen my poems featured in other venues. The Bar None Group published “Half a Pint of Beer” on its fabulous website that shares the work of writers and artists. And Bluebell Books, which promotes the work of writers published on blogs and in print, interviewed me about both Inspiration Speaks and my chapbook, Tracks.

Since the December 22 reading will be a winter solstice event, I’m planning to perform “Winter”; I put a version of this poem on my blog last winter, but I’ve since revised it. I hope you’ll agree version II improves on the original version.

Winter II

Where I move softly in summer,
the motion of water over rock
masking my steady footfalls,
I now break through silence.
Boots press to fallen leaves
etched with a sparkling frost,
intricate filigree,
that shatters with each step.
The crackle carries in
winter’s chilly stillness
across the hard, frozen
surface of the water
that stretches as though endless.

But beneath the ice,
the river still flows.
Slowly shifting patterns,
hollows and bubbles,
press against the shell,
making the river
hold its breath
until it can slip through
the cracks that threaten to form
and push this winter
into memory.

This river reminds me of you
in its wintertime contradiction:
at once quiet and wild.
So eager and willing,
yet patient and careful,
you will handle my heart—
the one so recently
fused together again—
with such gentle passion.
You see how easily
its filigreed surface,
like the river’s edge,
can be crushed by a careless boot.

—Julie Laing

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15 Comments leave one →
  1. January 3, 2012 6:51 pm

    happy new year.

    loved your contribution in 2011, keep it up.

    let us know if you take the perfect poet award, smiles.
    your poetry is unique, touching, elegant, and inspiring…

    🙂

    Like

  2. December 17, 2011 3:25 am

    Truly beautiful touching post.. and the last line, so apt.. so apt!! I emapthise, I connect.. and a sigh escapes me.. 😦
    I am here at ~ http://puplumages.wordpress.com/2011/12/17/con-ditions-apply-for-the-conman/

    Like

  3. December 8, 2011 4:05 am

    This is so beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing with us.

    Like

  4. Emma permalink
    December 3, 2011 1:17 pm

    Julie, this is a lovely piece. I love the way you’ve reflected on the natural world and then woven the winter into the speaker’s emotional state. Love this line in particular- ‘at once quiet and wild’…something about this…

    Enjoyed reading.

    Like

    • December 4, 2011 9:52 pm

      Thanks, Emma! I recently had this piece rejected by a journal, which had me a bit bummed, but after a bit of wallowing I decided it really was their loss!

      Like

  5. December 3, 2011 12:18 pm

    a nice read, reminds me of the composition “a river flows in you”….
    truly enjoyed reading this wonderful writing…..thanks for sharing.

    Like

  6. December 2, 2011 11:14 am

    great take on river and how it impacts senses and life.

    Happy Rally.

    Like

  7. December 2, 2011 9:28 am

    river spirits, wow.

    love the descriptions, well done.

    🙂

    Like

  8. December 2, 2011 7:33 am

    Hello Julie, what a wonderfull piece of poetry. Happy Rally!

    Like

    • December 3, 2011 10:12 am

      Thanks! And after reading your rally entry, I’m longing for the full moon, too!

      Like

  9. December 2, 2011 2:43 am

    Enjoyed the read 🙂

    Like

  10. December 1, 2011 6:45 pm

    GORGEOUS!!!!!!!!!! I adore your way with words. I love how you ease the reader into the scene and allow it to take over, slowly submerging me into the reality within your words. Sighhhhhh…. ♥

    Kellie

    Like

  11. December 1, 2011 6:45 pm

    A very nice piece! Good luck with the event and your publication!
    http://charleslmashburn.wordpress.com/2011/11/30/the-beast-2/

    Like

  12. December 1, 2011 5:04 pm

    such a pretty piece!!! Congrats on the upcoming event!!! I am sure you will do well!
    Happy Rally!: http://promisingpoetsparkinglot.blogspot.com/

    Like

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