Tuesday, February 1, 2011


i like to be
on the good side
of the candle

i like to feel
the ink draw up the nib

i like to follow
the arcs and quivers
of words emerging


the sky is thin as wax paper

all around me
people are glimmering feebly
as they pass
through the day

there's more light to be had
than a month ago
but there's an empty
but not quite
about the air

boris pasternak spent time reflecting on a very similar sort of day

february. get ink, shed tears.
write of it, sob your heart out, sing,
while torrential slush that roars
burns in the blackness of the spring.

excerpted from "winter's night" by boris pasternak


ellen abbott said...

love the frost pictures steven, especially the last one.

Elisabeth said...

The comfort of the slowly increasing light cannot be denied.

Titus said...

Startling image of being on the 'good side' of the candle will stay with me all day.
And the photographs, as always!

Dejemonos sorprender said...

February, a month of warm summer here. very beautiful pictures, forms are great..

Pauline said...

Boris, Jack Frost, and you - what a combination!

Angela Häring-Christen said...

Eisblumen. Die Kunst des Winters.
Greetings from Switzerland

Bonnie said...

A good example for us all - to 'write of it'. Write about the dreariness, thinness, slowly gathering light of February. Your words are so beautifully bookended by your photographic art steven. Just lovely.

Reya Mellicker said...

OK ... totally fabulous, both yours and Boris's.

In my old tradition we used to call this moment in winter both the birthday of spring, because of the increased light, but also a time of both hopes and fears.

The pictures are exquisite!

Liza Ursu said...

"there's more light to be had
than a month ago"
there sure is,
and I'm not letting go!

thanks for this beautiful post steven.

The Weaver of Grass said...

One of my favourite authors Steven.

Linda Sue said...

Frost is thick, but the sun has come briefly- everything sparkles and we are chilled to the bone.
The hundredth day of dark rain actually made me laugh, it has been so ridiculous- I said to a man going into the shop "What a lovely winter day, this." Sarcastically but with enthusiasm- He "smiled BIG and said "yes- It's a great day- I am still alive!"
Today really is a great day to be alive- February- the almost OK month...
I am off now to buy a bucket of concealer...(Loved your comments re: Amanda Palmer's make up, I laughed long time)

aguja said...

This post is wonderful. The images, the words, so beautifully composed, just filled me with a poetic fullness, that only poetry can achieve.

A perfect balance of word and image.

Jo said...

Feathery, fragile February.

Struggling to get to the good side of the candle today, Steven.

At least there is a candle. Thanks for reminding me.

R. Burnett Baker said...

More stunning photos from you! This entire poem is wonderful, but I just loved the first line: It stands on its own, and says SO very much. I, too, want to be on the good side of the candle!


steven said...

hey rick - these were taken through my front window. days after the header picture at the top was taken. thankyou for your kind comment. steven

steven said...

jo - it's so fragile and that fragility translates directly into my body and then my heart and onwards . . . but the candle flickering . . .well i keep it close to me. steven

steven said...

aguja thankyou very much. i enjoyed bringing it together and sharing it here. steven

steven said...

linda sue - i was glad to be alive today having spent the evening riding the porcelain bronco! another fragility rearing its ugly head! amanda palmer. oh man..... i wanna be a girl when i see stuff like that. steven

steven said...

weaver - i want to know more about boris. steven

steven said...

liza i can tell there's more light because the sun is higher at the same time as it was hiding a month ago. the air has a different colour. there's smells. birds even. steven

steven said...

reya - i want to know more about the hopes and fears. there's so much learned that is not in the present but is entirely in the current. steven

steven said...

bonnie - i'm careful about letting out the small words of darkness that creep in to me but they are there and writing about them allows something of there lives to be obviated and maybe even better managed. steven

steven said...

angela! welcome from switzerland . . so cool to meet you. steven

steven said...

pauline you never know who or what you'll meet on a day! steven

steven said...

matias - the warmth will be here soon enough - well maybe not soon enough but soon enough for it. steven

steven said...

titus - stay on the good side - only you know where it is and how to find it! steven

steven said...

elisabeth - it is healing in the truest use of the word. i can feel little glimmers in my presence that i know are reflecting the light of the world returning. steven

steven said...

ellen - thanks. i loved taking them. sharing them and looking at them. steven

Tess Kincaid said...

Love you. Love Pasternak. Love Jack Frost.

Ruth said...

I learned today the word for measuring candle light: candela.

And I think that is on the good side of the candle.

There's more to this poem than I can encompass with words. Attending as wine attends, I think.

Really tremendous.

The last stanza leaves me . . . with just . . . yes.

Golden West said...

Love the pics, Steven - beautiful!