The Winter of Our Contentment Without the winter there would be no spring, No snowdrops, crocus, scilla, daffodils, Or any other bulbs that need deep chills To send up flowers. Almost anything Would be preferred to missing these bright blooms, And so it is, we dream the reindeer hoof That damages the shingles of the roof, While we light candles in our living rooms. We shovel snow until our muscles ache, We clothe ourselves in insulating layers And send the snow-plow guys our heartfelt prayers, So they can do their job, for heaven's sake. Ensconced within our private domiciles, We sing the old familiar Christmas carols, While undergrads at school roll out the barrels And miss the season's point by many miles. Come Solstice, when the days begin to lengthen, A light divine that came into the world Is lauded too: God's perfect love unfurled, A newborn child through Whom our hope shall strengthen. And then long winter months that tax our breath Give way to days when gardens come to flower, Just as the Savior, in his darkest hour, Forsaken and entombed, defeated death. The Separate Modalities of Cognition Both Aesthetics and Science are studied in vain If we think with the heart and we feel with the brain. To observe the distinction 'tween Science and Art, One should think with the brain and emote with the heart. When it comes to religion, the nominal goal Is to focus on God through the lens of the soul. The conflation of disparate aspects of Light Will disorder good judgment and lengthen the night. Epistemic Conundrum A man of faith, but not a true believer, I walk a tightrope over an abyss Created by a powerful deceiver Who's waiting patiently for me to miss A step, and who is stationed down below To have me in his clutches should I fall. If what I think is more than what I know, Perhaps I don't know anything at all, But still I think that not by faith alone Shall I be saved: a heart that's free from guile, Adroitness, and persistence to the bone May cause the Powers up above to smile Upon unorthodox opinions' source More broadly than on those whose daily praxis Of constant prayer has made their voices hoarse, And spare high-flying souls from epistaxis. Cogitation and Cognition To think is to receive. —Ralph Waldo Emerson A thought is a deed. —Rudolf Steiner From out of nowhere rose a pregnant thought, An augury of many more to come, We dared believe, and we became distraught On learning we were still some distance from The living possibilities of what It was that first enkindled our desire To open windows that had long been shut. We've seen the water, we shall see the fire, But plights we see right now are not enough To send us off, as pilgrims, to a shrine Where there is neither letdown nor rebuff, Atop an arid hill in Palestine. It's obvious that what we need to do Is draw ideas forth and let them flow Until they settle, keep those that are true And be content to let the others go. Considered as a gland, the human brain Secretes a glut of thought, and it's a kind Of winnow, meant to separate a grain Of truth from tailings of an errant mind. C.B. Anderson was the longtime gardener for the PBS television series, The Victory Garden. Hundreds of his poems have appeared in scores of print and electronic journals out of North America, Great Britain, Ireland, Austria, Australia and India. His collection, Mortal Soup and the Blue Yonder was published in 2013 by White Violet Press.