Summer Solstice

Last night at yoga, I made a vow (or, in yoga-speak, “set an intention”) to be more involved with the community of writing. Our yogini asked us to think of a sangha (community) we wanted to support and be supported by, and writers was the first thing that popped into my head. I want to be inspirational to and inspired by other wordsmiths and artists of different sorts, and I want to make concerted efforts to have that be an ever-growing part of my life. So much of my time is tied up in work these days that I need to take a step back, look at what’s really important to me, and figure out how to re-align. (This is a process. It’s something I keep saying I need to do regularly.)

Tonight I’m going with a friend to an association of sci-fi/fantasy writers whose work I’ve adored for years. I’m going to be tongue-tied and starstruck, I just know it. (They’re not big names to the general public I guess, but they are to me.)

Tonight is also the summer solstice, which is not exactly the theme of this one. Technically this moment happened to me last night during yoga class; I was in some godforsaken twisted position with limbs everywhere, and I happened to look down and see this arc of shadow perfectly placed along the knob of my ankle. I don’t know why, but that just kicked in a small door of inspiration, which led to this. I’m trying more and more to capture these moments of inspiration, and not rely on sifting through a slurry of experiences with a prompt-shaped dipstick; I think it worked out pretty well, this time.

Summer Solstice

I believe there is another body buried
underneath the body. You cannot dig it up:
it must be wrung out like a twist of silk,
maybe coaxed to the surface with some

brown sugar and vanilla, scribbled on
a saucer. You can feel it as it turns loosely
within your other skin. We are layered
like the Earth. Sometimes you catch

glimpses, when the light is absolute gold
in the window, tickling through the nets of
your pale surface. You find yourself
bent into a ring, dripping with sweat, and

you see it. The simmering evening arranges
shadows that cup the ankle, just so. You are
pressed, against yourself, against the sun.
There is so much we belong to.

9 thoughts on “Summer Solstice

  1. First of all, if you do this much writing when you are busy, I’m almost afraid to see what you would turn out when you are not. This poem is amazing. One of my favorites I have read from you.

  2. marcmarrs says:

    Your words hold so much meaning. So light and carefree but full of substance. I am impressed.

  3. rosemary mint says:

    I love your inspiration: “I was in some godforsaken twisted position with limbs everywhere, and I happened to look down and see this arc of shadow perfectly placed along the knob of my ankle” … And I’m dying to know which posture you were holding. :)

    This is exquisite, Joseph. I completely agree with every word. These are my favorites:

    “I believe there is another body buried underneath the body.”
    “coaxed to the surface with some brown sugar and vanilla”
    “You can feel it as it turns loosely within your other skin.”
    “You find yourself bent into a ring, dripping with sweat”
    “simmering evening arranges shadows”

  4. Irene says:

    We are layered
    like the Earth.

    So glad reading this in the morning, with hair dripping wet.
    Perhaps I should write a summer poem.

  5. vivinfrance says:

    This is beautiful, just the thing to come into your head during a meditative exercise when you can’t spare a hand to write it down! I hope the new resolution will send you looking at all the poems inspired by your own reveries.

  6. Joseph, that fact that you were, indeed, in some godforsaken yoga position when this came to you only makes me love you more. I often think of that “skin beneath the skin” as the soul, the part that gets to leave and join the huge, vast wonder of the universe and leave the twisty body behind.

    Also (I have to say it), this reminds me of when I lost 50 pounds and could actually see my ASS when I twisted around. Funny how these little things connect, huh? wink Amy

    http://sharplittlepencil.com/2012/06/22/the-bible-in-33-words-exactly/

  7. quillfyre says:

    Joseph, I wish this kind of inspiration would come to me! Beautiful.

    Carol

  8. brian miller says:

    You can feel it as it turns loosely
    within your other skin. We are layered
    like the Earth…nice…and we do catch glimpses of that at times….i may need to take up yoga to help my writing…smiles.

  9. Oh, LOVE this one, Joseph — perfectly captured! The light must have been absolute gold! ;-)

    “We are layered
    like the Earth. Sometimes you catch
    glimpses, when the light is absolute gold
    in the window”

    “You are
    pressed, against yourself, against the sun.
    There is so much we belong to.”

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