Winter Advice

by Larry Hammer

for Greer Gilman

When gall the spirits still
from tender love plucked strait,
your crack-mazed cup completely fill
for one taste sweetens fate.

When honey they draw out
from air and darkness whole,
accept their pot with its cracked spout —
it sours the bitter soul.

But pot and cup take one
and never surfeit more —
that aftertaste of liquor gone
must last till hair is hoar.

Larry Hammer lives in the sunny desert of southern Arizona, where the bees make interesting honeys. He recently published a collection of translations of Japanese poetry, One Hundred People, One Poem Each. The word "cherry" makes him think of Campion's "Cherry-Ripe."

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