“Sublimation”

“Go, hang these just-washed sheets out on the line.
Though last night’s snowdrifts rise above your knees,
The creek out back is silent, frozen solid,
And underneath the morning’s brilliant blue
The lazy, bitter breeze will burn your cheek,
The sun shines bright, so ere the evening falls
These cloths, though sopping now, will be as dry
As Sinai’s sandy, scorching wilderness.”

In the same way, if God will smile on me
With the bright sunshine of his countenance,
Though I feel sin and failures weigh me down
Like leaden chains, or thick and soaking wool,
They’ll lift from me, and pass away like dew,
As light as down, and all shall work his praise.

March by Isaac Levitan
The opening phrases of this poem came to me last month when I suddenly found myself thinking about sublimation by which water and ice pass away on sunny days even in winter’s bitter cold, and also about the spiritual, psychological, or alchemical sense of the term. And I found the alternate voice I found for the first lines interesting, and was minded to continue. I finished the poem earlier this week.

As always, I earnestly welcome your comments, questions, critique, or other feedback about this or any other part of my work. If you’d like to read more of my poetry, you can read my archive (also organized in more manageable installments), follow this blog for (now only occasional) new poetry (among other things), or get my book, which contains over sixty of my best poems, each paired with a public-domain illustration or drawing. You may also share this poem with others, subject to my sharing policy.

Shine Cycle Character Profile: Waker

This is the latest of an intermittent series of profiles of characters who will appear in the Shine Cycle.

Waker – Great-mage. She is universally acknowledged as the best Power in the field of sleep and waking and at Master-level in nearly every other. Since her first year in the Empire, when her aptitude came to light, she has immersed herself in searching for new applications of her existing workings (already orders of magnitude better than her competition) or for new workings using existing techniques. Continue reading

Shine Cycle Character Profile: Windstorm of the Rivers Kingdom

Windstorm – Princess of the Rivers Kingdom and great-mage. The most potent weather-mage currently known, thought to be capable of standing against even a Vayna or a dragon in that field. She has developed and cast weather-workings of climactic scale at least twice, and has unwound powerful hurricanes three times. Continue reading

“Storm”

God sits enthroned over the storm and flood;
In crash of lightning and in howling wind
His glory and his power are displayed.
But we here, sheltered underneath his hand
From danger in the tempest or in calm,
Must now give thanks: His mercy still extends
To those who still defiantly rebel
As well as those who bear his name and kneel.

This was prompted by recent events here: we had a long line of storms, including a few that produced tornadoes, go slowly across the state a couple of weeks or so ago. But the one place in our local area where a tornado touched down and did damage, there were no deaths or even injuries. For the beginning of the poem I draw, of course, from Psalm 29.

As always, I earnestly welcome your comments, suggestions, questions, critique, or other feedback about this or any other part of my work. (In other words, if you liked this poem, or you didn’t like it, or it made you think of something, or … please leave a comment to let me know.) If you liked this, you can also read other poems I’ve written here on my blog (starting with yesterday’s archive installment, since the the full archive is by now, at well over a hundred poems, somewhat daunting); I’d especially like to know which poems you think are my best.

This poem is also archived on my wiki. If you like it, you are also encouraged to share it with others, subject to my sharing policy.

“Winter Wind”

It is a bitter wind that blows this day;
I feel it—ay! in mine extremities!
I hear it howling down our quiet streets;
I see the treetops rail against the sky,
And with them wonder when the spring will come.

The first two lines of this came to me several years ago, and have been bouncing around in my head off and on ever since. I wrote the rest a few weeks ago on a cold, blustery day.

I always welcome your comments, critique, suggestions (perhaps of a real title for this poem?), or any other feedback on this poem or any other part of my work. (In other words, if you like it, if you don’t like it, if something “works”, if something “doesn’t work”, if it makes you think of something or someone, etc., please comment and say so!) If you like this, you can follow this blog, which includes one of my poems every Friday; you can also read other poems I’ve written here on this blog (or if that list is too intimidating, I’m posting more manageable subsets each week, such as yesterday’s installment, so you can just start with those). I’d particularly like to know which poems you think are my best.

This poem is also mirrored on my wiki. If you like it, you are also encouraged to share it with others, subject to my sharing policy.

“Reunion”

Each Friday I post one of my poems.

Were I alone, this heat would be my death,
Or so it seems—but with such friends as these,
I more than merely live: I thrive, I laugh,
I smile with such delight as I’ve not known
Since last we parted ways, too long ago.
Where would I rather be, but here and now,
Despite the heat, with these beloved friends?

I wrote this poem a few weeks ago, when I had gathered with a group of friends for a reunion. A most delightful time, despite oppressive heat (and an imperious cat). I actually wrote a version of this down, then mislaid the pad on which I wrote it before I could type it, so I had to reconstruct it from memory.

In any case, as always, I earnestly welcome your comments, suggestions, questions, critique, or other feedback about this or any other part of my work. You can also read other poems I’ve written here on my blog; in particular, I’d like to know which poems you think are my best.

This poem is also posted on my wiki.