Equinox 2016

By Peter Halstead

Moving circle of our matching time,
Even out our nights with days,
Shine the hours of the season’s climb
On the bed of our reclining rays,

The rings of morning on our souls,
Semaphores that shoal across the eye,
Uniformly spaced around the poles
And prisms of the sky,

Shadowed with the planet’s motion,
Clocks of hands that show the time,
The latitudes of rolling ocean
Between ascension and decline,

Compasses that cannot be adjusted,
That judge our distances by sight,
Harmonies of watches rusted
By the stars in breaking light—

Divide our hours with the blinds
Of noon on disintegrating places
And winters with the lines
Of our aligning faces:

Wind our summers with the sun,
With a hemisphere of equal style—
True North of age’s pendulum
And earth’s apparent human dial.

March 22nd, 2016


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.