Equinox 2016

By Peter Halstead

Set the circles of our matching time,
Even out our nights with days,
Shine the hours of the sun's long climb
On the bed of our declining rays,

The rings of morning on our souls,
Waves that shoal across the eye,
Smoothly paced around the poles
And prisms of the sky,

Shadowed with the planet’s motion,
Balanced hands that slow the time,
The latitudes of roiling ocean
Between ascension and decline,

Compasses that will not be adjusted,
That judge our distances by night,
Harmonies of watches rusted
By the stars with endless light—

Split our lives with tines
And coils into artificial spaces;
Divide our winters with the lines
On our aligning faces:

Wind our summers with the sun,
Our hours run with equal miles
Between the solar pendulum
And earth’s disturbing, human dials.


I wrote this lamentation over a family member’s health on the Rio Grande trail in Aspen, looking up at the tombstone-like trees silhouetted on Red Mountain against a storm, but with intense polarized blue showing between their trunks. As it was the day after the spring equinox, I felt equal parts despair and hope, reflected, always obligingly, in the weather.


Directed by Matthew Thompson.