A Holiday Poem by Ian Krieger

December 26, 2019

Next year will mark the thirty-fifth anniversary of POETRY LOVES POETRY, an anthology of poets based in Los Angeles. Probably close to half of its contributors are either dead or live elsewhere, but it remains one of the two anthologies to appear that year that still conveys the excitement of its assembling. One of PLP’s contributors, who now lives in Florida, was Ian Krieger, and he enclosed the following poem with a holiday card that he sent me about two weeks ago. In the course of the final week of classes, I managed to get a card off to him in return, and asked for his permission to reprint his poem in my blog. Permission arrived, appropriately, on Christmas Day.

*. *. *

Journeying
(Christmas 2019)

The dawn wind carols; though music is not light.
Sunrise separates longing from its aubade,
While sentiment shivers, notches goosebumps under an absent eternity.
The pallid clouds quicken, clatter above strands of introverted trees.
Winter’s nostalgia occludes, veils what fall’s earthiness grips,
How the astral eyes of Magi canopy the manger with stars.
Destination, not destiny, strips elicits elation, catalyzes mystification.
Past to now, nostalgic prior to where; there was never a god to know
Or show how passion deified prior to love’s ever chilling syncopation.
Sensual promptings heighten playtime’s pantomime, a tangible ascent,
A solstice in a box, wrapping and excelsior in lieu of up as fire.
Despite what neurotransmitters proclaim as goodbying from on high.
The Hosannas of well fed, clever, or home-baked, humble as hay, soar,
As to define this brazenly cold night as the fete of playmates lost of late.
Though their music goes on forever-give or take.

— Ian Krieger