Bacon on the Bookshelf

Savory picks for the free range reader

January 15, 2021
by jenniferpuryear

When, Near the End of Day…

For my friend who has suffered a profound loss, and for anyone lost…

For the Interim Time

by John O’Donohue

When near the end of day, life has drained
Out of light, and it is too soon
For the mind of night to have darkened things,

No place looks like itself, loss of outline
Makes everything look strangely in-between,
Unsure of what has been, or what might come.

In this wan light, even trees seem groundless.
In a while it will be night, but nothing
Here seems TO believe the relief of dark.

You are in this time of the interim
Where everything seems withheld.

The path you took to get here has washed out;
The way forward is still concealed from you.

“The old is not old enough to have died away;
The new is still to too young to be born.”

You cannot lay claim to anything;
In this place of dusk,
Your eyes are blurred;
And there is no mirror…

What is being transfigured here is your mind,
And it is difficult and slow to become new…

*      *      *

To my friend: I fear words are cold comfort now. I hope that your community – our community – will lift you up and hold you, as long as it takes, and that God will bring you peace.




*      *      *

Excerpt of “For the Interim Time” from this collection:

Thank you for the gift of this book, Helen Callahan.




January 10, 2021
by jenniferpuryear

Winter’s Feast

In my yard, unsteady, I’ve taken my first steps since October. Winter’s glories abound, and its desolation…

Winter’s Feast

At winter’s feast, I drink the yellow jasmine – 

Paint my lips with blood-pink bloom – 

Rub my hands with Rose of Mary;

In their rooms, dear pansies flirt and swoon.


At winter’s feast, I touch the veined hydrangea – 

Dress my hair with leaves of old – 

Drown in sun’s light, close my eyes tight; 

In their rooms, dear pansies smile and scream, bold. 


At winter’s feast, I shiver with the branches – 

Hold their bony hands in mine.
Grey becomes the sky, becomes me.

All the while mad pansies breathe the Winter air malign –
and dream of Spring.


*      *      *