Tamara Fusselman

Fall 2020: On the Theme of Tilt

Care’s Holiday

In November, one late day of summer
returned, flashing white under the goose wings.
The long sunlight rattled the bleached, fuzzy grasses
against the tree-blackened lagoon.

What had gone to grey blazed just once again:
the gold from the maples, the thorny red rose canes,
small weeds creeping close to the earth.
The savage shrubs shrilled, fiery with finches,
a silver cry into the dusk.

My care, my November,
don’t stop: turn to winter.
Tipsy earth, tilt swift into dark.

The ostrich-ferns still raise their fat leather feathers,
the ones with the spores, to the sky.

Written while hospicing a loved one

The Great Grey Bird

Silence is that great grey bird,
half eagle and half swan,
whose wingbeats hover overhead
when other beats are gone.

Silence is the frozen well
of utmost clarity
whose waters yield all music up
within their purity.

Silent is the breath of God,
the breath that blasts to snuff out error.
The silent soul waits, poised between
God’s Eden-heart and terror.

Silence is the great grey bird,
half eagle and half swan,
whose wingbeats drum against the ear
when all else is gone.

Winter’s Pivot

Let this be the winter of my forgetting:

The snow falls to obliterate
the record of the ground beneath,
to leave the blankest slate.

While no-one’s looking, frost returns.
Panes looking back get overgrown
with numberless white ferns.

The memories I hope to lose
creep away in ink-black trails
along the paper snows,
– and in each breath of air, I hear
Forgetful’s ocean beat against my ear.

Forgetful winter. All will be forgot,
and all will bleach to nothing in the light
that comes just after darkness,
the light that is our solstice.

For Christmas


Tamara Fusselman is a mother, composer, and recovering data analyst. She grew up at a community church whose music director believed the Anglican choral tradition is for everyone. While not quarantined, she sings in the choir at St Matthew’s in Evanston along with her husband. She values implicitly Christian art for its power to reflect Christ in all things and reach the hearts of those who do not experience explicitly Christian art as welcoming. She has a master’s in mathematics from LUC.

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