December… wishing you peace






this is the time of ice, of hungry birds,

give broken bread so they may come –

crows slip on the tops of walls,

puffed pigeon risk a cat-watched lawn



( whisper it )

is about





this is a time of dilemmas

whether to give or not,

does it matter or not,

looking for meaning



( remember it )

is about loving

and not-loving.



Poem and photograph Rose Cook

Seasonal greeting as the year gets ready to turn

New Year Resolve by May Sarton


The time has come
To stop allowing the clutter
To clutter my mind
Like dirty snow,
Shove it off and find
Clear time, clear water.

Time for a change,
Let silence in like a cat
Who has sat at my door
Neither wild nor strange
Hoping for food from my store
And shivering on the mat.

Let silence in.
She will rarely speak or mew,
She will sleep on my bed
And all I have ever been
Either false or true
Will live again in my head.

For it is now or not
As old age silts the stream,
To shove away the clutter,
To untie every knot,
To take the time to dream,
To come back to still water.


from Collected Poems 1930-1993

photo Rose Cook


Yuletide greetings as the year turns


They Call This

by C.K. Williams


A young mother on a motor scooter stopped at a traffic light, her little son perched on the ledge between her legs; she in a gleaming helmet, he in a replica of it, smaller, but the same color and just as shiny. His visor is swung shut, hers is open.

As I pull up beside them on my bike, the mother

is leaning over to embrace the child, whispering something in his ear, and I’m shaken, truly shaken, by the wish, the need, to have those slim strong arms contain me in their sanctuary of affection.

Though they call this regression, though that

implies a going back to some other state and this has never left me, this fundamental pang of being too soon torn from a bliss that promises more bliss, no matter that the scooter’s fenders are dented, nor that as it idles it pops, clears its throat, growls.


The Wagtail Tree


There is a tree in our town

which every night fills

with a cloud of wagtails.


We stand in the cold air

and look up at the branches.

A hundred small bodies perch in silence:


fragile, wild, all facing the same way.

A chain of bulbs is strung around the tree

uplighting their pale breasts, long tails.


This when my mother lies sleeping through

her last Christmas; my life has a split screen

with her face and memories of past times,


hanging decorations, her hands

clipping a silver wagtail to a branch

…this was mine when I was small


and every evening, the birds come back

to roost, and every morning

there is life to be embraced.

by Rose Cook