Winter’s Voice

Winter speaks in many voices
the languages of stars, of birds
of wind and rain
and the small dark hollows under trees

she writes her prayers with clouds
she spells the names of dark nights
with the rare bare branches
of this evergreen land
a vegetal alphabet
on her tongue

thunder her drum
lightning her torch
she curses her way across the sky

Winter speaks in many voices

~

today she is sleeping
and all I hear is her slow rhythm
breathing in, breathing out

the canopies of trees swell gently
heads pressing softly together
and Winter rests
cradled in their arms
her cool lips brush
across the tips of leaves

~

today she is weeping
all day her tears have fallen
who does she cry for
what love is lost
how can I hold her
when she slips away
her song riding on the wings of birds

~

today she smiles
and sighs
the day is bright
the sun low, and reaching
deep between branches
Winter whispers to the leaves
naming each one
child, beloved

~

she weeps
tears freeze
her eyelashes brittle and snap in the wind
arms, hair, fists flail across the sky
fury unleashed, and undirected
great gobs of spittle cast against windows

~

she weeps
but these tears cleanse
rinsing dust and dirt and spit
from every branch and leaf
until the world
shines

~

she weeps
she thrashes in her sleep
ripping bedsheet and blanket

she roars
throws dishes across the kitchen
blocks the sink and floods the floor
she breaks the windows and runs barefoot
and bleeding into the night

~

today is fine
still and sunny
quiet

she has brushed her hair
and dressed for lunch
in blue and yellow
she sits with one elbow on the table
wrist arched back
as she might if a cigarette was held between her fingers
she is quiet
reading and tracing the pattern on the tablecloth
with one hand

~

today is fine
blue sky, high clouds
she is silent

~

tonight
she sings
as her daughter
drops her head
slips the cloak of darkness
across her shoulders
and makes her escape

and in the morning
she sings up the sun
whispers into the ears of snails
her voice circling in the spiral hallway
whispering into the quiet spaces between petals
her warm words lifting the feathers
of sleepy birds

~

and today

her breath settles low on the hills
letting the morning wake slowly
she speaks quietly
as the green rises
and the birds wake
and the barefoot creatures
step into the light

©clairegriffin2018

 

August

after the long winter

when the shadows linger

we begin to see movement

Earlier this month I was distracted by a whale in the harbour, planets in alignment and the lunar eclipse – so distracted that I wasn’t aware of the turning of the month, calendar time was lost on me.

So now we’re in August – the days are still short with dark mornings and dark nights – but the plants know spring is coming. New shoots are forming, some plants already flowering, and birds are back in the garden.

There’s a restlessness in me after so much time spent inside. I find myself moving outside – even in the dark – in the rain – my lungs are opening to the freshness in the air.

July

we seek the heat

we seek the light

reminding ourselves we are alive

During these cold days and nights our senses come awake in different ways to the days of summer – we are drawn to comfort, to warmth and light.

But remember to welcome the tingle of icy finger-tips, the mist of warm breath when you step outside, the thin winter light that subdues the colours around us.

Our senses give us feedback from the physical world – keep us awake and attentive.

Hibernation is not an option.

June

IMG_9847

in the dark of winter

the pulse slows and quietens

the heart glows

Here at the end of May, the temperatures are dropping, and I know the cold of winter isn’t far away. I feel as though winter is the time when I need to fold in to myself, weave threads of slow, dark energy around my shoulders, sheltering, comforting. Sitting quietly, warm and still, feeling, hearing my own heartbeat. Its time to be quiet, to read, and cook.

I don’t want to fight the winter, I need to find a way to work with it, to continue the routines of work that don’t make any allowances for the change in seasons. And I’ve found it difficult some years – the struggle of getting up in the dark, coming home in the dark, day after day. The cold early morning and reluctant to get get out of bed.

This year – I want to hold this image in mind – a candle burning quietly in the darkness. I want to welcome winter, and adjust to the demands it makes on me.

I want to be patient and gentle with myself, taking time to snuggle inside, making soup, and using my big blue casserole dish to create one-dish dinners.

There never seems to be enough bright daylight, and so I want to commit to making the most of what little there is by walking outside whenever I can. This means making time at work – making sure I take a lunchtime!

And the glow? I’ll keep it fed with little twigs of friendship, conversation, pets, art, books, food. I’ll keep this inner warmth alive, hold my hands around my heart-flame, and be ready to breathe it in to life when spring comes.

just discovered this post wasn’t published in June –
so better now than never –
then I’ll be ready to add September 🙂 

August

img_6923-1

watch the sea
waves keep coming, waves keep breaking
in all this change is constancy

I’ve been reminded of change lately – the passing of seasons, the rhythms of life. The fact that nothing lasts forever, but our memories hold our dear ones close.

Going out in the garden today it was heartening to see fresh green growth, and new flowers, even though we’re still in the midst of winter.

And my old cat is seeking warmth, a blanket, a knee, and today, a sunny corner of the couch. She is sleeping her days away – I hope her dreams are sweet.

June


shift your rhythms / attend to the night / tune in to moonrise and moonset / fluid and regular / dark in the light / light in the dark

Here’s my calendar page for June. I’ve been so busy and distracted by 9-5 work that I almost forgot to post this. 

I’m definitely feeling the need to shift my rhythms – to accept getting up in the dark, getting home in the dark. I’m trying adjust to winter – to slow down and not push myself to do too much. 

I welcome those bright clear winter days when they visit – but today is cloudy and cold – just me and a book bundled up keeping warm. 

I’ve got some writing ideas underway – just taking me ages to finish things. 

©clairegriffin2017

winter dreaming

IMG_2491

it’s the tail-end of winter
and I’ve been feeling low
I have days when
I can’t imagine
how I will rise again

but I stand here today
overlooking the sea
on the verandah of a house in another town
in the distance I hear birds call, voices,
the low hum of the waves
little flurries of wind
blue sky to infinity
the sun pouring its heart out over the land
and I can feel, if I stayed here
my spirits would lift

I can see myself living here
in a two-storied house
overlooking the sea
with a room for books and writing
and quietly watching the world

I’d take the dogs I don’t have yet
for walks on the beach
bake bread and knit and talk

until the ‘real’ world changes
and catches up with my imaginings
part of me will go on living in this dream

© Claire Griffin 2016