On the Second Day

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On the second day

of the two-thousand-fourteenth year, the world turned,
two cities in Iraq, two boys in Elmhurst, burned:
others saved from ice–nice–though that same ice
was melting all too fast.

Tomorrow rises
too often an occasion for more ash.
Still, we prise the phoenix:
still, we prize the phoenix;
still, we believe
in phoenixes.

******************************
Here are 55 grim words (excluding the cheating title, which is truly part of the poem) for the G-Man.  (Galen–I know apologies are unnecessary, but I feel bound to say that I HAVE written cheerful poems of late, but none have been in 55 words.)

I refer in the poem to certain events in the news yesterday–bombings in Iraq and a terrible fire in Queens, as well as the saving of the scientists/tourists in Antarctica.

The first picture is self-explanatory–the second a lace of ice on a window.  It is now about minus 6 on our thermometer,  during the day, the temp got up to a high of about 1 or 2.  Beautiful but a little scary to walk around in–if you worry about things like the ongoing integrity of your cheeks or nose or even throat.  (I had not before realized how cold air can burn going down.)   I feel very lucky to be able to have the mini-adventure of going out into this cold, and the great blessing of a warm place to come back to. 

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16 Comments on “On the Second Day”

  1. Kay Davies Says:

    Oh, my goodness, Karin, don’t come to Alberta in winter. I should have known better than to move here, actually, having experienced -32 Celsius, which is -25.6 Fahrenheit. Definitely couldn’t breathe without a scarf over my face.
    And just awful about the two boys.
    HOWever, your photo of ice lace on a window reminds me of my single-pane-window childhood when that often happened on the window of my bedroom. I loved it.
    K


  2. Oh! That was a surprising read for me. Yes, we do believe in phoenixes time and again because if we would not hope, we would be burnt by our own hopelessness.
    Very well-penned, so much said in these words.


  3. A most powerful write…..it is amazing that we DO still believe in phoenixes, now that you mention it. A fantastic 55, kiddo. Ha, my son and daughter in law moved from the mild and moderate climate of Vancouver Island to Saskatchewan where the wind chill is often minus 49 below. Good grief. When it gets to minus two it feels like spring to them.

  4. brian miller Says:

    cool pic…saw the saving of the people on the ship…every day is an opportunity….and what would life be if we stopped believing we could once more rise from the ashes of yesterday

  5. Yvonne Osborne Says:

    I’m glad the people were saved. Nice to have some good news once in a while. Love the warm picture. Cold here too. Been a while since I’ve seen minus degrees on the thermometer. Almost didn’t know what to make of it! Love your phoenix 55.

  6. Mama Zen Says:

    This is just outright fabulous writing. Smart and layered.

    :others saved from ice–nice–though that same ice
    was melting all too fast.”

    I just love that.

  7. G-Man Says:

    Karin…
    We missed all that snow, but it was -10 last night. Yeah, you are a bit morose of late, but I know you are really a joyful person….:-)
    Loved your cold and depressing 55
    Your are a trooper for churning this out
    You make me proud
    Thanks for being so cool!!
    Have a Kick Ass Week End
    And a Happy New Year…. G

  8. hedgewitch Says:

    This is almost like reading something quite ancient, despite the contemporary references–I suppose it’s the solemn cadence, the pace of an old person who cannot hurry any more, even through punishing cold. I most especially like the phoenix, prised and prized. It’s very chilly here, too–we walked with the dog today(she is half Husky and loves this weather) and I had my muffler wound round my face, and glad of it. This is going to be one of those winters that break records; they can break spirits as well, but we won’t let that happen, just build the fire higher and look out through our lace-covered glasses.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      It was minus 18 or 20 through the night and now about minus 10. One solution I’ve found is goggles — when I wear something over my mouth and nose without them–my glasses become so fogged I can’t see, and if I take them off, I can’t see– so a bit crazy–but the goggles can fit over glasses and let me cover my breathing apparati without the fog issue–of course, I feel like a bit of a space woman!

      • hedgewitch Says:

        Laughin at the image of you muffled up and goggled–but it pays to be sensible in weather like that and how one looks is obviously *far* less important than not freezing off those little parts of the body that project out into the winter. We very seldom have temps like that here of course, (though Monday night the low will be 8 degrees-ugh) but I remember Chicago winter as a child, waiting at the bus stop in knee socks and a skirt and feeling utterly naked. When it was snowy and cold, we were bundled into one-piece snow suits that made one look like the Pillsbury doughboy, but felt pretty darn good. Enjoy your space-walking. ;_)

  9. janehewey Says:

    you’ve captured timelessness in this poem. It is mind-boggling that we still die from the cold and from fires in this era. We’ve progressed in some ways, not so much in others. There is peace here, and hope.

  10. Helen Says:

    Grim, yes … beautifully written, yes! Stay warm!

  11. Alice Audrey Says:

    i find grim much easier to write than cheerful. It’s just the way of things.

  12. margaret Says:

    … reality doesn’t go away just because it’s a New Year…

  13. Lindy Lee Says:

    Yes, luck is a commodity unavailable to too many…


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