Friday, December 31, 2021



The Last Day of the Year.  See Postscript.

Poem © 2021 by Joyce Mason


The most uncomfortable place I have ever lived

is in-between.

It’s that vast, noiseless wasteland that forces us

to sit in the waiting room of our next life,

confronted by nothing but silence.


There’s no clue

of what it’s all about,

just a bleak gray-and-white landscape,

the fuzzy, gritty old TV static after all the shows

have signed off for the night.

I can almost see the test pattern.


Yet I know this tremendously boring

and unstimulating gray zone is the laboratory

of new life.

It’s a beaker, an incubator, a womb.

It is the unseen vessel of Everything That Comes Next.


It is depressing at face value.

It’s just purgatory,

dues we have to pay

before all sunshine and color break loose

and we are off to chase another rainbow.


It’s why suicide and even lesser forms of giving up

are so questionable.

You might miss something.




Photo Credit: ©

Postscript: Today is one of the many “endbeginnings” we all experience. For most of us, the in-between is a very uncomfortable place. We live there more than ever with the changes a pandemic and our collective reaction to it has leaked into every-day living. We hardly know how today is going to work out, so it’s hard to picture tomorrow. I have been reading up on the psychological effects of Covid, and they are significant. Paraphrasing one article I read, no one is equipped to cope with such an extended period of stress. Quite literally much of the world is suffering from PTSD due to the upset to all our routines, commerce and relationships—just to name a few affected aspects of life.

While this is not a rosy picture, when we can understand these in-between places for what they are, knowing they are part of a larger process will hopefully carry you to the next place that feels safe and secure. If my poem touches even one person and helps them put this strange place in perspective, I will have ended the year on an up-note. Writing it sure helped me.

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Uncomfortable Beauty

 A  Winter Solstice Poem

Poem © 2021 by Joyce Mason

We dread Winter Solstice.

It cuts Day to the chase.

It delivers us long-suffering nights.

It steals Warmth

and leaves behind Darkness,

bleak feelings that remind us intuitively

of Death.


Winter comfort demands feats of acrobatic energy:

piling clothes, blankets and firewood,

clapping or blowing on our hands,

jumping up and down

just to keep our blood running.

Winter is one of the closest things to dying

we will experience until we do.

(We say frozen stiff for a reason.)

The Lucky will know many winters.


To find the beauty in struggling with the elements

And any force bigger than ourselves,

we first have to admit;

Comfort is overrated.

Comfort is an oasis, a place we must visit

as long and often as possible to be healthy and happy.

But to live there—to move in permanently—

is more than decadent.

It is decay.


Winter’s perishable beauty reminds us:

constant renewal is Beauty’s core.

You cannot have rebirth without death

or warmth without cold.

Contrast gives these things meaning.


Everything beautiful thing is transient.

Each unique snowflake melts

before we can barely take in its geometric perfection.

Together flakes form blankets,

soft white coating on landscapes

that hold your breath.

Winter takes simple substances like water,

freezes it, and turns it into diamonds.


The same winter cold that drives us inside and inward,

defines uncomfortable beauty.

From this cold we seek the warmth of Love.

When our breath is frosted air

we are close to the cutting edge of Life

where beauty lives,

we want to tell each other how we feel

to say “I love you”

one last time,

or perhaps even for the first,

before it’s too late.



Photo Credit: Wallpaper Pro