January’s Greys

The sullen morning light,
the cloudy afternoons,
the grey-whites of salted roads
and dirty snow piles. 

The holiday lights removed,
the newscaster’s COVID numbers,
fogged glasses above serious masks,
and black-coated distancing. 

I huddle indoors remembering
summer’s colours and pre-COVID times,
I am grateful for hope
and my flowering window plants. 

Learn by Going

I learn by going where I have to go.

Theodore Roethke – The Waking

I have learned
to walk
without a destination,
except movement,
grateful for the places
unfurling before me. 

Where the twisting path
where I have gone
my distance,
is carefully
limited now. 

I rest briefly
then rise and continue
alert for random beauty,
walking forward
till the destination we all encounter
halts me. 

The Crone at Home

The Crone at Home

I rise when the light beyond my eyelids
In golden earrings, silk, linen, 
and dancing shoes,
I feast on 
porridge and berries.

I turn to my scrying glass
to see 
the heart-breaks of the world.

I climb to my tower, 
the treasured fleeces
I have been given, and earned,
and use my wheel
to spin my thread -
weft for my tiny moment
in the infinite tapestry.

Fingers red from spinning, I descend,
leaving my tower,
throwing my muddiness into the creek,
my restlessness into the lake.
I return
Wand calm.

In my caldron
I conjure up a bubbling broth -
an evening potent potion
and comforting charm.

By candlelight, I spell myself
into quietude.

After, I open my mind to
divining crystal stories
of others.

At the witching hour,
I wrap myself in my feather bed
and dream.

Advent from Mary’s Point of View

A re-post of a poem I wrote a few years ago.

Midwinter is a time of darkness, a time when the light lessens and disappears, a time when we mix hope and fear. The worldly powers shape most, but not every detail of our lives. We can, as this Christian story suggests, as Mary might have experienced it, face our lives with faith, with belief that out of our struggles, meaning will emerge.

This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I have called my son.”Matthew 2:15

by  Joan Vinall-Cox

It was a dark time –
Mary had wanted to be glad
Joseph had chosen her
but that strange dream …

and old Elizabeth, swollen  with  child,
calling her blessed, saying a
Child was growing in her
too, yet she’d never…
except in that strange dream;

and she had swollen
and Joseph,
angry and sad and puzzled,
had planned to hide
her disgrace, but he dreamed
and married her but slept
and would not look at her.

It was a dark time.


It was a dark time –
the rulers had decided
to count them all where
their ancestors had lived
so Joseph and Mary must walk

for days, weeks, and her so
large and tired, and both so
puzzled and hopeful and fearful.
Could the Holy One really have  chosen

Still they must walk,
as the rulers
demanded, in the cold,
in the darkening time, they must
walk into Bethlehem, this ancient
town, filled with others obeying
the rulers who wanted to count  them and did not care
about walking, or a room for a
young woman with her time
pressing on her,
with the Holy One’s Gift demanding
His time on earth,
and no room for this family

It was a dark time.

There was light at His birth –
light in Mary’s eyes and
light in Joseph’s smile and
light flowing out, pulsing out
around the wondrous Child

light that brought the amazed
and star light that
brought the Wise Ones from
afar to worship

and light that the eyes in
the dark could see, whispering to
a man with too much power
that he was nothing
beside such Light,

and the Holy One sent another
dream to guard the Light, to
hide it in a foreign land

and Mary and Joseph fled
into Egypt, carrying the Light
away from the darkness of
Herod’s massacre of babies.

It was a dark time.

It was a dark time –
waiting in a foreign land,
watching Him grow, and learning
patience and trust, waiting

for a new dream, yearning for

and then

out of the dark time,
the dream came.



When Does Time Begin

When does time begin?
September school or
Midnight at New Years?
Rosh Hashanah or Chinese New Year or Hijri?
Or Easter

With Basho’s “song in the heart while planting” 
or Oliver’s wild geese honking northward?

When the ovum engulfs the jetting sperm or
When the head crowns or when the cord Is cut?

When does TIME begin?
With the diagnosis or sentence or
the narrowing horizon of age or
the forever of following the hearse to a grave?

When I awoke with a poem pounding through me?
or when your eye kisses these words?

What Remains of My Parents

What remains of my parents
is buried
within my subconscious, 
opened by random impulses and
photos shared by algorithms 
in memory programs.

What remains of my parents
is buried
in a deserted graveyard,
silent except for the gravestones, 
close to my mother’s girlhood place
And far away.

Old Bone Tunnel

“Old bone/ tunnel through which I came.”

– Margaret Atwood

Old woman in a blue dress
stands in the sun,
Stares at her grandmother’s old home
And the ancient ferns,

what it will be like
to follow her.