Penn Kemp ~ Solstice



Insects shrill. A thrum as of clacking bones.
Today tallies a long count of creation cycles.

On this winter solstice we climb our Sacred
Tree to enter wide zones of silence through

the doorway of darkness, our canoe riding
white rivers of night. The elliptic crosses

Milky Way precisely now, when elements
merge in a dark rift of source and return.

Cacti and palm leaves rustle dry in the ruins.
Terror cracks the heart open. Rivulets run

a scarlet sap to appease unknown gods be-
yond us. Blooming and blessing, this wound

wound tight round knots of surmise reveals so
little before our offering is received in sunrise.


Penn Kemp ~ Performance poet, activist and playwright Penn Kemp is the League of Canadian Poets 2015 Spoken Word Artist of the Year. Her latest works are two anthologies: Performing Women and Women and Multimedia. Her new book of poems Barbaric Cultural Practice (Quattro Press, Toronto) will be published this fall. See and
Read more of Penn’s poetry in DM 99 ~ Életképek, premiering soon at


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