By Richard Weaver

Winter Solstice: A Sermon

The moon shifts its fixed position.
What it has done for whatever reason
its shadows are left behind
and a question remains:
should math determine
what rises unfathomed?
Beyond number? Past silence?
Meantime, the moon sings
an aria swollen like the belly
of an orphaned cloud.
Another star dies. Music
rinses from the disturbed river.
Yellow moon unhinging.
An old prayer rising up,
bobbing to the surface.
It wavers between time past
and time to come, taking time
to laugh at itself. Left alone
the stars blink goodnight
as startled fish mouth novenas
and water diminishes
Light contemplates
its overdue death.


“Failing to comprehend, after hearing, they learn like the deaf. The saying
is their witness, absent while present.”  — Heraclitus

There is no cloud
like the present 
to urge a swarm of bees
towards night-green light.
After all, the soul
first melts in fallen fruit.
The river swells
wide, swollen fat
like a cow’s undissected heart.
Wind offers its lurid dream
of stones languishing, and joy
knows they can never be 
strangers. One prefers
the narrowed strait, and the other
red sky forever rinsing red.

Adrift in the blue wind
he listens and lends an ear
to covenant, each part
a purer blue animal.
In the juniper’s pulse
he makes his nest,
crowned with stars. Rain

he calls his friend, and swears
each mortal note is a reminder,
a sacred refrain, as the early moon
advances dreamlike on the unbridled
mouth, and blood falls
like fermented pomegranate seeds
falls drunkenly in the wilderness.
Solitude breeds freedom in the lindens
as light loses its race
and an oyster disgorges
a crescent-shaped pearl.

Forgiveness wears no crown as it unearths the old moon

The perfume of blood.
An earthen hand signing
in an unknown language.
Blue chasing orange
and green red. Translation.
Testimony. An unmoving whole
risen fallen folding
into itself before the rain
a lone bird calling the listening
gray white haunting black
lifting out in still life
where mountains are the point
where color blindly seeks
to be heard (its source?).
Praise falls diffidently to seize
to live in contrast and refrain.
All talking in shadowless
dense but radiant light.

Prophecy with sea salt

Blood-stars realign themselves 
as two-headed geese flee eastward.
They know to never look directly
at a cyclops owl. Or the myopic moon.

Orion with his lyre and black mirror
marvels as the ochre light of his skin 
becomes a blue silence. And asks
of no one, who could not see
this new ruined world 
and not wish for blindness?

Will we all go cave-mad
after staring down
the blood-stained sun? 
Or drop sadness like a coin
into the long black echoing
silence of a dry cistern?

Who wouldn’t wake the night
to say the sun is a beggar
that shines as it stains,
and discolors what the past honors
in the fierce horrors of dawn?

An aged light will shift
across a world disfigured
by your godless absence;
its honey-combed light
fixed in diminishing chords.

Nearer than the desert of night,
neither heaven nor hell,
rain or wind, born dead when you died.

All flesh is grass, all life compost

When no color glows
in this wounded world
in a place where no light
lives long and all flesh
is revealed and cries out,
but remains unheard,
where water stutters
and the mountain’s heart
stills, mortal in its way,
the red wind has no choice
except to mourn
another bloodied dawn.
Another bloodless day.

About the Author:

Richard Weaver

Richard Weaver lives in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor where he volunteers at the Maryland Book Bank, and acts as the Archivist-at-large for a Jesuit College founded in 1830. He also acts as a seasonal snow-flake counter, unofficially.

Poems published here are from a book-length series based in part on the art, correspondence, writing, and life of the German Expressionist painter Franz Marc (1880-1916). More particularly, they focus on the time between the years 1912 and 1916.  Marc and Wassily Kandinsky co-founded the Blue Rider movement. Marc died near Verdun, France on March 4 1916. Poems from the same collection have appeared in 2River View, Gingerbread House, Clade Song, Conjunctions (web), Aberration Labyrinth, & Twisted Vine Leaves.