Summer Solstice (Dogs of Light)
Reading time: Approximately 3 minutes
"Summer Solstice (Dogs of Light)" first appeared in Issue 15 of Tahoma Literary Review. One thing I find very successful in this work by Veer Frost is the interplay of quiet and passion in the imagery. It is both a calm meditation during a summer morning's routine and an exuberant hymn to the season of summer. If your experience is like mine, it will sweep you away and leave you grateful for the heat.
A ramping day, too big, the hours swelling,
fanning out like a movie gang taking over,
like dogs bred by the sun to be this once unchained.
I count three, maybe four,
insomniac eyes not up to their numberless glitter,
fractals of the apotheosis now bounding
into the small wired rooms around my heart, their claws
a star's, igniting fire trails across the tongue
deep into the skin and bone part of the soul
forged by a bunch of unhelpful myths,
whose success is nevertheless quantifiable. Am I a tree
to stand up jubilant, vindicated? The birds have shed
their indigo caution, small splendors
swooping to vie with pure incandescence, with the three
or four now vaulting the sun's way
toward its apex,
the firmament to its geometry of perfection. I was up early,
hoping to go on quietly watering the peas and eating them,
as if no sighing and round-shouldered self might be spun
in this bright flood and tossed out as coal spits out diamonds,
an iota of a radiant, equatorial, phosphored burst.
The rapture of dogs is like no other. Footprints of their lightning
enter the sun
as the last photon
swings the year, scattering
the blown door of the skies until
all is the light, wolf-eared, grinning.
I hear it resound in the infinite mouths of the new summer leaves,
with burning fingers, pet me.
reprinted with the permission of the poet
Veer Frost had this to say about her work:
There is a moment when everything, even nature, seems to conspire against the choices we've made, or perhaps it is a concatenation of such moments that builds to a point. “Summer Solstice” blew up out of this crossroads in my life as an artist. In spirit, everything talks to the artist, from the pebble to the star. A dream had required me to sign a contract to write and paint, itself a story of doubt and denigration faced off by intense desire. Where conflict is, language fountains up, to obscure and defend as well as illuminate. Jung writes of the sacred “Third” born out of dualities, like a child to parents. I see my Solstice poem as an exploration of a daily process of confronting and embracing who I am.
Veer Frost lives and writes in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, is absent social media and, too often, internet access. As well as poems, she is the author of a novel under consideration for the Bakwin award, The Child at the End of the World, and is at work on Little Book About Dreams.