New-winter Light

Feral friends and wanderlings, for those of us who live by daylight and the stretch of purple night, the Solstice brings a new year. And for those of us with a talent and taste for wild silences, winter is the blessed season. In the coming weeks we will resume our Saunters and workshops, write frozen poems and make muddy ones come spring. For now, we wish you longer days and warmer socks.

— Jack Phillips and The Naturalist School

A Census of Solstice

Funny that winter bird counts perchance the most birds to those traveling arteries perhaps the trail makes a membrane by avian osmosis condensing on bird-lover lenses. This year is going to be different — no lotus on a stump, no hippie in the sticks — better socks and good binoculars like a real birder. Despite best intentions my colleague pokes in hollows sniffing for foxes and I to myself ponder through tangles and tangents and here comes a kinglet and another and one more makes haiku: To the first humans and those who wander early here comes new-winter light.

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Becoming a Naturalist 64, (haibun poem) by Jack Phillips