Welcome, poets! Frank Tassone here, your host for today’s Haibun Monday! As usual, we blend prose and haiku together to form that famous Japanese poetic form. And what a day to inspire our haibun! Yes, I’m talking about today, the first solstice of the year!
Which Solstice? Well, that depends on which side of the equator you live, doesn’t it?
A solstice is an event that occurs when the Sun appears to reach its most northerly or southerly excursion relative to the celestial equator on the celestial sphere. Two solstices occur annually, around June 21 and December 21. In many countries, the seasons of the year are determined by reference to the solstices and the equinoxes.
The term solstice can also be used in a broader sense, as the day when this occurs. The day of a solstice in either hemisphere has either the most sunlight of the year (summer solstice) or the least sunlight of the year (winter solstice) for any place other than the Equator. Alternative terms, with no ambiguity as to which hemisphere is the context, are “June solstice” and “December solstice“, referring to the months in which they take place every year.
The word solstice is derived from the Latin sol (“sun”) and sistere (“to stand still”), because at the solstices, the Sun’s declination appears to “stand still”; that is, the seasonal movement of the Sun’s daily path (as seen from Earth) pauses at a northern or southern limit before reversing direction.
Today, we officially welcome either Summer or Winter. Either way, you can find some poetic inspiration:
How again today our patron star
whose ancient vista is the long view
turns its wide brightness now and here:
Below, we loll outdoors, sing & make fire.
We build no henge
but after our swim, linger
by the pond. Dapples flicker
pine trunks by the water.
Buzz & hum & wing & song combine.
Light builds a monument to its passing.
Frogs content themselves in bullish chirps,
on thimbleberries fall, peeper toads
Apex. The throaty world sings ripen.
Our grove slips past the sun’s long kiss.
We head home in other starlight.
Our earthly time is sweetening from this.
Copyright © 2015 by Tess Taylor. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on June 19, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.
* * *
or the longest night
life is choices
the longest night
studying old photos
of winters past
with it a reckoning
in falling snow
ice fishing alone
over deep water
courtesy of PoemShape
* * *
Summer Solstice (Haibun)
Deadheaded flowersCourtesy of PoemHunter
tossed into the compost heap—
a new season starts
The excitement of the first day of summer is tempered with the thoughts that the days will be growing shorter, the garden is in a race to ripen before the first frost, and the woodshed still needs to be filled. The work waits while dandelion seeds float on the warm breeze.
The days pass slowly,
years are in a rush to end—
A life of seasons.
A light rain offers little distraction; it’s too wet to work in the garden, but not too wet to walk in the woods. Except for tranquility there is little here to gather; the fiddleheads have all unfurled, the chokecherries aren’t quite ripe, and it’s too warm for mushrooms. At the edge of the meadow the dog flushes a pheasant and turns to look at me— everything has a season.
Bracken waves me on
as if to say it’s too late—
Time for summer things
© C.D Sinex
Whether you are visiting the beach for the first day of summer, or building the first snowman of Winter, breathe in the Solstice air. Celebrate the day with an original haibun that alludes to the Solstice, whether Summer or Winter.
New to haibun? The form consists of one to a few paragraphs of prose—usually written in the present tense—that evoke an experience and are often non-fictional/autobiographical. They may be preceded or followed by one or more haiku—nature-based, using a seasonal image—that complement without directly repeating what the prose stated.
New to dVerse? Here is what you do:
- Write a haibun that alludes to the Solstice.
- Post it on your personal site/blog.
- Include a link back to dVerse in your post.
- Copy your link onto the Mr. Linky.
- Remember to click the small checkbox about data protection.
- Read and comment on some of your fellow poets’ work.
- Like and leave a comment below if you choose to do so.