Poets’ Corner: 2 for Winter Solstice

Poets’ Corner: 2 for Winter Solstice

A few facts about the winter solstice from Mashable.


1. It happens at a specific time

The winter solstice isn’t the full day of Dec. 21, but rather occurs at a specific time. At that point, the sun is shining farthest to the south, directly over the Tropic of Capricorn. There’s no duration to the event, per se. Paul Stokles, a meteorologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration refers to the winter solstice as a “single event.”

Of course, the sun isn’t actually moving, the Earth is. At 12:11 p.m. ET, the North Pole is tipped about 23 degrees away from the sun. When summer rolls around, the South Pole is tipped 23 degrees away from the sun. During the vernal and autumnal equinoxes, the Earth is not tilted in either direction.

2. It happens at a different time each year

The winter solstice doesn’t always occur on Dec. 21. Sometimes it comes on Dec. 22, which will happen again in 2015. The hour of day also fluctuates. Last year, the solstice came at 11:12 a.m. ET. Next year, it occurs at 11:03 p.m.

3. The meteorological winter began three weeks ago

If it feels like winter has already begun, you are correct. Meteorologists consider Dec. 1 the start of the meteorological winter and March 1 the start of the meteorological spring. That’s because December, January and February are the three coldest months of the year. By the time the Spring Equinox rolls around on March 20, 2014, average temperatures in most areas will have already started rising. The winter solstice isn’t the coldest day of the year, either — that comes later.

4. Last year at this time, some people thought the world was ending

Remember how the Mayan calendar supposedly said the world would end on Dec. 21, 2012? That was based on a reading of the end date of the Mayans’ 5,126-year-long Mesoamerica Long Count Calendar, which corresponded to certain astronomical events, including the winter solstice.

Continue reading here. 

And more words of a lyrical nature about the winter solstice from two of our favorite poets and regular contributors,  Word Woman Rosemerry Trommer and Art Goodtimes, both of whom are to be featured at the Telluride Institute’s upcoming Talking Gourds Poetry Club at Arroyo Telluride on Tuesday, January 6.




Four Solsticings 

thank you world

for these disappointments

I would have become

without them so comfortable,

so certain, so stuck


now, is it time,

is it time yet, is it time

says the seed


in the river of self

surprised to find I am also

the dam, the eddy


longest night

and still darkness does not

swallow everything





Cloud Acre Solstice

It isn’t so much the standing still that makes us

turn our busy heads, but the way the Sun escapes

each dusk, sliding almost down to the Blues before

tromboning back to the high peaks of the La Sals.

When we raise our songs like flags, it has to be around

a fire large as we dare. Beating on drums. Mesmerized

by the soprano-stringed glissandos of a lone dulcimer.

A lark chanting the light back from the southern abyss.

This the season to be outside. Now! Free to exercise

the heart muscles. When we must squeeze out fat & fail.

Release what we’ve been given. As gift. As goad. Or

what we’ve chosen to hold onto, past all reason, until it too

can be tossed on the pyre. And we can stand stripped bare.

Smudged with sage. Prepared for Gaia’s great dark spinning.


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