Happy New Year! It has been a pleasure writing and editing Literary Hook for all of 2006. Plans for 2007 include a focus on green issues, and other peace and social justice issues as seen through poetry and prose, as well as publishing the remaining pieces from last years Rock River Poetry and Prose Contest. As usual, literary events and contests will continue to be printed.
I would like to begin this year with a poem I wrote five years ago. After seeing Al Gores An Inconvenient Truth, as well as exploring the numerous excellent organizations dedicated to helping planet Earth, I am compelled to share work I have written about these issues.
January Rain, 2002
Zen rain on cedar shingles.
January in the Midwest.
Winter has not yet come
With its down comforter of snow,
Its peace like a pleasant dream
Piped on a clear, cold night under Antares.
Rain scratching its talons
On the skylight, where an ash
Small as a cabbage moth lands.
No one, not even the cat
Craning to see it from above,
Knows what this renegade filigree
Might be, blown in from the Northeast.
Perhaps it is the heart of a computer wizard
Cremated in a stairwell on September 11.
Is this too morbid? Then lets talk
Of the gibbous moon last November,
How it drooped like a storm cloud,
The way you feel when the blues
Blows its bitter wind against your temple.
Its raining in January.
A wise man returns from his morning walk
With rain on his boots
And a mouth like a waning moon.
Seeing his frown, his wife asks, Whats wrong?
Global warming, he says. If you look deeply,
you will see Illinois turning into Mississippi.
Thats how the blues hits
This January when its raining,
Here in the kitchen,
Where you slice an apple in half
To find a perfect starburst of seeds.
Christine Swanberg is a local poet. Her Literary Hook column appears every week.
From the Dec. 27 2006-Jan. 2, 2007, issue