Winter Solstice

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

Light is returned to light
on the high desert.
December’s darkness
never reaches the ground
like in the northern regions.

The north,
where once snow drifted
over tops of fences
and cold nights turned drifts
into white, frozen dunes
solid enough to support
the weight of a young girl and her dog
as she ran to celebrate
new-found freedom.

It was here,
near the southern corner of the field,
where she saw the great snowy owl.
He dipped down to her level,
scrutinizing her
with piercing yellow eyes.
She felt both fear and amazement
as the great white body
brushed near her face,
close enough to see the black spots
on his white feathers.

Now we roll the darkness
with our feet
into the fire,
amazed by the brilliance
of the light.


Filed under Ethel Mortenson Davis, Poetry

14 responses to “Winter Solstice

  1. Ethel, this took my breath away! How you wove the Solstice into a memory of the snowy owl (which must have been spectacular – I love owls) and then brought it back to those final 5 lines where you roll the darkness with your feet into the fire – simply stunning and beautiful!

  2. Like Betty, I really loved the reality and aliveness of your encounter with the owl. A great moment, even if only in my imagination. Thank you. 🙂

  3. Caddo Veil

    The last stanza really captures me, so beautifully visual that I’m “there”, and I don’t want to leave.

  4. I’ve nominated you for the Liebster Blog Award.

  5. You do have a wonderful ability to capture little snippets of life in such a way as to leave me smiling 🙂



  6. Oh, this is wonderful – such powerful and immediate images, all woven together with the magic of this unique moment in the year. Plus, I love owls – how I wish we had your great Snowys here! (Although there’s something very primitve and haunting about our own, rather humbler Tawny Owls when you hear them calling in the woods at night) Thank you for another beautiful and inspiring read.

  7. this is beautiful, tells a gorgeous story and speaks of an intimacy with nature that can only come with experience. Wonderful.

  8. …and, experience (df barker) is indeed the best teacher for the poet…

  9. The thrill and reward of engaging with Nature

  10. Unpredictable, and has a unique tone!

  11. Sonja

    I love all of your poems. So beautiful and engaging!

  12. Such beautiful and creative poetry. I really enjoyed this.

  13. Beautiful! I love the way you describe the weight of both the earth and the body and there interaction.

  14. ‘Light is returned to light’
    What a lovely opening…for meeting the knowing gaze of the Snowy Owl.
    And I love the conclusion as well.

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