winter wish


credit - Cynthia Brackett-Vincent

credit – Cynthia Brackett-Vincent

Appears in current Fall/Winter 2013/2014 issue of Aurorean (inspired by ‘Imbolc,’ by Miriam Dyak)!

I want to regress into a world of fur and blood,
slow breathing hibernating me through the long cold
of winter, the way my dog, happy

in her hours of cuddled blanket sleeps the days
from meal to meal, oblivious to the clock’s turning
or the span of hunger that would stretch

into months were I not to feed her, walk, and feed again, releasing her back into the sleeping hours of fur
her pulse slowed by darkened hours of rest.

three poems out today!!

pencil sketch of my dad

pencil sketch of my dad – done when I was 18

In honor of Father’s Day, three poems from my collection honoring my Dad, Like Toast for Jam, have appeared on LiteraryMama. Once on the page, look down the list and you’ll fine my three poems. Or you can access each one directly this way:‘Hunger;’ ‘Simple Gifts;’ and ‘The Shower.’

My Dad lived to be 90, and died in 1997. It’s taken me a long time to bring these forward. I’d love to hear your comments – what resonates with you, moves you, raises questions. Have you experienced similar feelings or interactions with your father?

Please share your stories with me here! And Happy Father’s Day to all you dads out there.

reminder or promise?

soul card from deck 2, Deborah Koff-Chapin

courtesy Deborah Koff-Chapin

Age becomes her, its many stages
circling like a softly worn robe
love, hunger, wisdom
coloring its many folds as she
passes the fire blossom
to she-who-is-still-becoming
emerging from darkness
seal-sleek and strong
to receive with care-filled arms
the lesson from her crone –
innocence and experience
at the threshold of knowing
a lifetime’s presence.


as imbolc unfolds

I love the work I do weekly writing inside Vermont’s women’s prison. The women in our circle never cease to amaze me with their knowledge and their wisdom; their willingness to dive deep; their openness to sharing the most frightened and frightening parts of themselves. In their presence, I too find myself unlayering. The fast-writes we write and share together in our hour-and-a-half circles surprise most of us, most of the time.

This past week, in acknowledgement of February 2 and its many named celebrations – Candlemas, Groundhog Day, Imbolc – we opened the circle with Miriam Dyak’s wonderful poem “Imbolc” (see writinginsideVT’s Poem of the Week.) My first surprise was that one member of our circle, an ardent Buddhist, spoke equally passionately and knowledgeably about the meaning and history of Imbolc. The second was the powerful writing that emerged from every pen around the table in response to the double prompt of Dyak’s poem and selected SoulCards(TM) by Deborah Koff-Chapin.

In honor of the season, I take this opportunity to share two of my own fast-writes during the four hours of two different groups, writing to the same poem and to several different cards. I hope you enjoy them. Perhaps you have your own February 2nd reflections to share, below. I’d love to read them!

credit Deborah Koff-Chapin

credit Deborah Koff-Chapin

I peer into the depths to see myself

slowly waken, pulse slowed by cold
as my hands hold my heart suspended

for winter’s months to pass into warmth,
bring me fully out of the womb-cave
of darkness, stilled by sleep and reflecting

back to me the lessons learned
from winter visions that long to merge
with the light springing into life.
– swb

credit Deborah Koff-Chapin

credit Deborah Koff-Chapin

Hold my hand, eyes stumbling into light
from the dark place I have sat so long.
I am blinded by your gentle presence

a glow in this wintry cave of night
its low-arching edge cupping you fetal
around me as at our first birth,

holding guiding me until the time
of release, when I shall go forth
unfurl my own wings sprung into the light.
– swb