8 January – a pome a day…
Too Soon The Cold Wind
Too soon the cold wind
wrapping valleys, swallowing ridgelines
putting out lamps in stone huts.
Too soon the fingers numb
thoughts split and hammered
into a chilly corner of the room.
But when I awake
dig out from the chill
I find the spirit aflame.
A sapphire peak
struggles up out of the dream
a thousand seams of garnet
wrapping its base, frost sifting
the world silent —
the eave bell striking
on its own.
— John Brandi (b 1943)
The World, the World
White Pine Press, Buffalo, 2013
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First Writing of the New Year
Beneath the sky of my homeland,
Yellow mai blossoms blooming,
Announcing the joyous news to millions of friends.
Here beneath the sky of this foreign land,
Covered with snow and floating mist,
Glowing ember of wood fire.
Bright candlelight and fragrant tea
Also warms my heart.
— Thich Giac Thanh (1947-2001)
Parallax Press, Berkeley, 2013
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some saintly ancestors of mine whose feast is celebrated today:
Sainte Adèle of France (1009-1079), generation 31 grandmother
(Adela, Adela the Holy, Adela of Messines, Adélaïde, Adelheid, Aelis, Alix)
Ste. Gudula (Goedele, Goule, Gudila, Gudule, Ergoule, -712), generation 45 aunt.
St. Athelm (-926), generation 37 uncle