Discover more from Shelter Writers
January is an Adjective
Don’t you think? A feeling, an experience, every year it is more than a word. Dark winter days are made more beautiful by the sound of rain, soft snow, and lessons learned. Yet, it’s a long month to get through nonetheless. With so much bad news it can feel like moving backwards rather than forwards. I am grateful for many things -and also - acknowledging where we are. Here are a couple of my recent poems that give a little voice to this.
Open Hands I hear the clock ticking when I stir the risotto staring down at each white grain of rice like these dreary January days we absorb the broth as it's poured over us having no choice but to accept our fate I try to teach this to the kids that so much is out of our control that open hands is the best way to live but honestly I flail and fight the same as them wanting to scream why and how and what in the actual hell is going on here instead I hold them and we nestle in to old routines like dinner prayers and bed time tuck-ins finding comfort in dependable rhythms even when the sun sets at 4:30pm I am reminded that every day is reaching toward spring adding two minutes more of daylight* -ARD Underneath My Maybes This was the year of smile-less faces emotions hidden under mosaics of masks I have learned how to read the wings of eyes to detect joy in a stranger I have taught my arms to stay at their sides rather than reach out to shake a hand and quieted the instinct to lean in for a closer sniff of the fuzz on a newborn babies head this was also the year I found my perfect candle scent and began a collection to burn while I wrote so next to pen strokes and clicking keys is a wooden wick whistling, crackling, alive this year I grew to love my yoga class online and heard the words of my instructor: "I don't think your core is flab like you said I think you have disconnected it from the rest of your body" I looked down at my middle and saw a pool of murmuring passions tamed beneath words like tired and sad and torn by words like maybe she's right, I realized so I tried out the sockets between my eyes, for example, and underneath my toes and pressed a finger into my belly button and wouldn't you know, I was warm with life humming and ready like the electricity behind the bedroom walls where I sleep so I said thank you, yes I'd like to plug in now to the energy here underneath my mask -ARD
*Fun tidbit of information: Technically in Portland, OR we gain 1 minute and 35 seconds of daylight today. Tomorrow we will gain 1 minute 39 seconds and by the end of the month it will be over 2 minutes per day.
Pictured: sunset over Rockaway Beach, Oregon in November