A Calendar of Sonnets: December by Helen Hunt Jackson

A Calendar Of Sonnets: December
By Helen Hunt Jackson
Artist Jo Grundy


The lakes of ice gleam bluer than the lakes
Of water ‘neath the summer sunshine gleamed:
Far fairer than when placidly it streamed,
The brook its frozen architecture makes,
And under bridges white its swift way takes.
Snow comes and goes as messenger who dreamed
Might linger on the road; or one who deemed
His message hostile gently for their sakes
Who listened might reveal it by degrees.
We gird against the cold of winter wind
Our loins now with mighty bands of sleep,
In longest, darkest nights take rest and ease,
And every shortening day, as shadows creep
O’er the brief noontide, fresh surprises find.

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When I Am Among the Trees by Mary Oliver

When I Am Among The Trees
By Mary Oliver
Artist Adam Oehlers

When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.

I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.

Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.


And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”

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The Nap Taker


The Nap Taker

By Shel Silverstein
Artist Chris Dunn

No – I did not take a nap –
The nap – took – me
off the bed and out the window
far beyond the sea,
to a land where sleepy heads
read only comic books
and lock their naps in iron safes
so that they can’t get took.

And soon as I came to that land,
I also came to grief.
The people pointed at me, shouting,
‘Where’s the nap, you thief?’
They took me to the courthouse.
The judge put on his cap.
He said, ‘My child, you are on trial
for taking someone’s nap.

‘Yes, all you selfish children,
you think just of yourselves
and don’t care if the nap you take
belongs to someone else.
It happens that the nap you took
without a thought or care
belongs to Bonnie Bowlingbrook,
who’s sittin’ cryin’ there.

‘She hasn’t slept in quite some time –
just see her eyelids flap.
She’s tired drowsy – cranky too,
’cause guess who took her nap?’
The jury cried, ‘You’re guilty, yes,
you’re guilty as can be.
But just return the nap you took
And we might set you free.’

‘I did not take that nap,’ I cried,
‘I give my solemn vow,
and if I took it by mistake
I do not have it now.’
‘Oh fiddle-fudge,’ cried out the judge,
your record looks quite sour.
Last night I see you stole a kiss,
Last week you took a shower,

‘You beat your eggs, you’ve whipped your cream,
at work you punched the clock,
You’ve even killed an hour or two,
we’ve heard you darn your socks.
We know you shot a basketball,
you’ve stolen second base,
and we can see you’re guilty
from the sleep that’s on your face.

‘Go lie down on your blanket now
and cry your guilty tears.
I sentence you to one long nap
for ninety million years.
And when the other children see
this nap that never ends,
no child will ever dare to take
somebody’s nap again.’

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November

November

by Esther M. Clark
Artist Jill Barklem

Summer was made for the wandering heart,
The changing beauty and wonderment
In the long, gray stretches of open road
With only the sky for a wayside tent.
Meadowlarks singing beyond the hedge,
Grass with the shimmer of dew still wet;
A noon day rest by the water’s edge
Summer was marvelous sweet; and yet:

November days and a bright wood fire;
A hearth and a home and the Heart’s Desire.

Summer was kind to the wayfaring one,
Luring and beckoning, on and on,
Through new and untraveled, unweary ways
From dawn till night and from night till dawn.
Orchard and field in a veil of rain,
Blossoming beauty on every bough;
What more could the heart of a man contain?
Summer was wondrously kind; but now:

November nights and the open fire;
A hearth and a home and the Heart’s Desire.

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