Summer Solstice (2013)

21 June 2013 ~ Hyacinth Noir’s Summer Solstice Literary Focus

~ a robin sings in the moments before dawn . . . ~

the summer solstice marks the time when the sun enters zero degrees of cancer, and the Sun God reaches the peak of his power and is celebrated in his glory.  At Beltaine, the Maiden Goddess and the youthful God had met in sacred marriage, and now the Goddess enters the aspect of the pregnant Mother.  The God, at the apex of his manhood, is honoured in his aspect as the supreme sun.  The earth, symbolic of the Mother Goddess, is now green and with the promise of a bountiful harvest in the autumn, and is celebrated for its abundance

our celebration of the summer solstice focusses on the poetry of Evelyn Deshane, whose work has encompassed diverse experiences of love with a sense of community and belonging


~ . . . the sun breaks across the horizon, light sparkling upon water lilies in the lake; a muskrat swims peacefully through the water, diving beneath the calm waves as the bird takes flight and disappears among the trees . . . ~

The Fortune Teller’s Muse

I took the iconic nature of the cards and made them tell a story beyond what was there on the deck.  The fortune teller is often neglected and only seen as a source material — they tell us, the reader, about ourselves.  But I wanted them to have a love story, and by combining it with a carnival, I hoped to capture the whimsical nature of summer.

I worked as a fortune teller

With tarot cards at the kids’ carnival

Making good money

But I didn’t believe it at all.


She walked in one night:

Sequinned top and high heeled shoes

When I pulled out The Lovers card

I knew I had to choose.


Between my day job at the super store

Or my night job at the fair

I noticed the moon was full that night

And I pretended not to care.


I shuffled my deck late into the night

After coming home from work

Pulled The Devil, then passed Judgement

And saw her face, flashing a smirk.


I travelled four blocks to find her

Following the sequins like the stars

A night map of Polaris and Ursa Major

Has never taken me so far.


She took me to a new World

And pulled the Magician out of her sleeve

Now I may never work at the carnival again

But she made me believe.

(… permalink)



the relationship between two girlfriends is maintained through the frailty of winter, but also through distance.  I wanted to take this idea of the earth — as always changing and always far away, and yet, predictable and see if it could also be related to the ways in which we experience love.

In winter, our hearts froze

From across an ocean

We sent emails back and forth

Trying to keep our fingers warm.


On Candlemas – Ground Hog Day

We had the epiphany to stay together

Though it would be more than six weeks

Of strained texting in bad weather.


But women are good with waiting

Our bodies are clocks and our skin the earth

We have been taught how to be patient

And to give when we wish to return.


I watch the rain cris-cross on the window

As I cross off the calendar days

Until the equinox and Easter and Beltane;

Until the plane is boarded and secured.


In the airport, at the arrivals

It’s midnight and full moon

Our arms wrap around one another

And we revolve as season should.

(… permalink)


Frank and Gavin

I wanted to mark out the sacred ritual of family.  Though this celebration takes place on the first day of summer, it does not always have to be reinforced through a religious/spiritual guide.  It’s the ritual and community of family that matters — and what gives the two boyfriends in this poem hope to carry on.  I also wanted to represent a queer family structure, that of many children and many different identities.

On June 21st, the first day of summer

My mom always has a BBQ

It’s really a birthday party, for all of us

Who were born into a golden afternoon

Just after the frailty of winter

But before the summer’s true heat incapacitates.


We recite toasts at tables

With long checkered table clothes

As dad flips five different types of burgers

— vegan, veggie, gluten free

All grade beef and free range–

with four different tongs

and all the younger children run around

and scream as they wait to sing

The Birthday Song.


My sister brings her girlfriend,

I bring my boyfriend

And the adults all pair off evenly.

For the kids, there’s a water fight

In the inflatable swimming pool

With red balloons and a sprinkler hose

And from the tin roof that we climb out onto

I explain to you my birthright.


Spring and summer have always felt very different

Since I was the only one born in the fall

I’ve always watched from the bottom, on scraped knees

My vantage point from between legs and toes

And I grew up thinking this was normal:

That all families get together every summer

Just to have birthdays and BBQs

That we all fight over a water hose

And not over mortgages

That this day will leave us all sunburned

But not alone or mute.  We will all

Match by the end of the day.

We will all be together,

Through more than circumstance or DNA.

Though there are no candles for the cake

It does not matter.  The wishes float.

They rise above, on the stem of dandelions

On the edges of eyelashes, and become:

A summer sunrise, a moonlight walk

An evening dressed in our finest hats and tailcoats.


But this is not a family reunion

since we never really left.

With your stunned silence, I realize

That old poet Auden was correct:

“Life remains a blessing,

Although you cannot bless.”

It takes until spring and summer

When the sun is out and the night is short

For people to understand how lucky they are

For people to understand that there is hope.


From the roof, we both look down

On the family tree that I’ve explained

Spiraling on the lawn like weeds and over us like roots.

There are few things that never change:

June 21st, the summer seasons

Our BBQs, and maybe, if I’m lucky, you.

(… permalink)


Evelyn Deshane

her work has appeared in The Fieldstone Review, Arthur Newspaper, and Absynthe Magazine.  She has an MA in Public Texts from Trent University and is currently pursuing her PhD.  She lives in Canada.

~ . . . dewdrops evaporate in the heat of the sun as the earth awakens to the longest day of the year . . . a monarch butterfly flutters through the warming breeze and lands upon a late-blooming marsh marigold, while in the distance, celtic music and the laughter of joyful children resonate in honour of the gods  ~

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