These poems were written in a disturbing and troubling context – an emotional time of absence and loss which also proved to be an opportunity to search and remember. Out of the shadows, the darkness, and often the injustice, the need to lament and mourn goes hand in hand with the special significance of small moments and ordinary occasions.
So the poems attempt to express the poet’s calling and the value of poetry and creativity as they contemplate moments of loss and joy, both in my own life and in the lives of others near and far. And above all else Wintersong is a book with a longing to keep hope alive.
More than human wisdom,
looking is the poet’s charge:
to mark and mourn
death and loss;
to not let things go by
unnoticed; to respond
to the daily miracles, the music
of wind in the trees,
across stones, in the grass,
the shimmer of the willow –
how I see your face
in the darkness of absence.
(‘From within the dark times’)
Joy Mead is a member of the Iona Community and the author of several books including The One Loaf, Making Peace in Practice and Poetry, Where are the Altars?, Words and Wonderings, A Way of Knowing, Glimpsed in Passing and Walking Our Story, all published by Wild Goose Publications. She has been involved in development education and justice and peace work and occasionally leads creative writing groups.
Joy Mead is a poet of great sensitivity and subtlety. She is a deeply religious poet, without being a Religious Poet, if you know what I mean. Genuine spirituality is located in the material, in the embodied: that seems to be how our God works. Joy Mead’s spirituality is grounded in the depths of so-called ‘ordinary’ life – the extraordinary life. That’s why she is one of my favourite poets.
Ron Ferguson, author and award-winning journalist