Solstice: A snowflake, a Snowcone, a senior sonnet


Winter solstice, when the Earth is tilted on its axis the furthest away from the sun, was Dec. 21, 2017. It marked the beginning of winter in the northern hemisphere. That brings cold and freezing weather to northern latitudes. We have none of that at 15 degrees north latitude in Micronesia We do, however, have snow in the CNMI. Sometimes it is actually flown in from Japan. Sometimes we eat it in Snowcones!
A Winter Solstice Wail
Tubas bemoan winter’s cold cash loan
they drone and bleat as fingers shrink
and stuck valves clink from loss of heat
from the gray sky no sound
on the playground a blue jay feather falls
when robins return pulling up worms
I yearn once again for snowballs
the sun barely up icy water in a cup
at a solstice wake  – on my runny nose
with most of me froze rests a snowflake.
I would build that cone in air
that slushy cone those mounds of ice
and all who slurped would taste it there
and all would shout, Snowcone! Shave ice!
its melting juicy colors rare
piled in shaved mounds so nice
so close your eyes and taste with joy
summer delights for girl and boy
dessert in Polar Paradise.
Sonnet 81
(after Sonnet 18 by W. Shakespeare, “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day”)

Shall I compare thee to a winter worn thin
your hair grows snowy as you grow old
coughing winds put frost on the pumpkin
and winter’s lions freeze out in the cold
sometimes too fast Jack Frost’s blanket spreads
and often are the houses and windows covered
field after field of wildflowers found dead
by freezing or fresh white snow has smothered
but thy winter of discontent will pass
as February’s groundhog valentine melts
as March winds uncover tufts of grass
when mother fries up a pan of fresh smelts
so short as winter solstice or crossing of the letter ‘t’
short winter days will come that’s just fine with me.

Joseph 'Pepe Batbon' Connelly (Special to the Saipan Tribune)

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