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A poem for you this day. Solmonað is the Anglo-Saxon equivalent of February. It translates to “mud month.”

False springs appear

in deep winter –

a tease of green as the snow falls


Restless, we count robins –

or are they sparrows

playing games?

We long for buds and blossoms

under a Lent-grey sky

promising neither rain nor snow

nor anything

but dim midday.

We measure time by freeze and thaw,

in shadows crossing

gardens of mud –

barren, fallow tracts –

waiting for the Resurrection

to stumble from the tomb –

from catacombs and caves

to sky.

If we look back at the trail we’ve followed,

we might see our way

to Saxon halls –

frosty breath round hearty fires –

smoke and wine and armor

and song –

under the vigil of the moon.

The venerable monk a thousand suns ago

sketched Solmonað on vellum,

lest the word vanish like a footprint

in the rain of a thousand thaws.

And here we are again.

(Copyright J.P. Boston)

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