BY JAN HAAG
The darkest day of the year
out with no more light than any other.
From now on it's all up
Lighter and lighter,
going toward the sky.
mountains because they're there.
Should they have better things to
You, Devayani, never realized before yesterday
that your mother
spent her first
day on this old planet
on the darkest day of the
What does that mean?
A winter Goddess?
There's no where
to go but up?
From darkness into light.
From death to
-- and back again?
Was darkness much different in
Perhaps it was -- with oil and kerosene.
I never asked her
if she was electrified at birth.
But she made it through this world
The new year begins today, grabs for the
drinks of the dawn, urges the buds
already sheathed, already
The buds, it seems, never go to sleep.
Do you ever sleep,
Particularly now, when you seem to wake into
think through the night.
Is that sleep? Is the night the day?
dead come to sit with you at times,
quite friendly, on your low soft
hard on old
kneeling knees. They never
complain. Perhaps that's
what makes them
shadows of the night
though they sit on into sunlight,
weak winter shafts of pale
and tell you about the
coming of the dawn.
"But it's here you cry!" O Devayani,
disturb, do not correct the dead.
Get up now, in the darkest night of
bow to the dawn, bow to the light,
bow to the sun if she should come to visit,
welcome electricity and
You painted your tables yesterday, now use them.
beginning to find it odd, now, the words
you've never spelled.
Language you've used
for six decades and never put on paper.
of all the language lacking,
all the words not writ, in the
before the light, and all the words after.
Can you bring me a handful of words right now --
and drink them?
Or tell me what they
They spelled things differently in the Civil War,
the words. Now each thing is digitalized,
perfection reigns, you can't
compute without perfect accuracy.
Will evolution listen? Will dawn
A single dot becomes
The solstice has been doing it for five
hundred million years?
Another fact you don't know.
knows -- those people who calculate such things
have no doubt produced
a number to tell you how many solstices
have come round year after
shining on the heat and dust, the snow caps,
Will it ease your heart if the sun doesn't rise this
If dark doesn't come tonight?
Copyright © 2000 Jan Haag
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Jan Haag may be reached via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Cattle Have Diamond Bones
From The Jocasta Poems #16, Death
I Am Innuit
Palimpsest I, Sphere
The Woman Who Had No Necklaces
BY JAN HAAG