Winter Solstice 2015
From the first hint, a gleam, to writhing calyx of flame
with rosy birth thus the year’s longest night wanes.
Dawn-bud bursts into blossom: crimson, ruby, cerise.
and light sunders the darkness, its long reign to cease.
An annual pageant: ever-lengthening nights,
till the Solstice dawn’s shift, from the dark at its height
to the inverse: where daylight begins to prevail
and with lengthening days, nascent Spring will unveil.
Our traditions to fete this transition are old:
trees of evergreen; wreaths; twinkling lights; carols bold;
burning logs; candles bright: all bespeak Sol’s return.
Ancient rites kindle hope that night’s reign will adjourn.
With my home’s solstice tree these traditions I tend,
graced with ornaments handmade by family & friends.
So I celebrate kinship and love with great thanks
Nurturing evergreen boughs: bedecked, lighted, & ranked.
Yet fears still live on, fed by news that unfolds
of mass shootings and bombings and horrors untold.
What mad darkness in men’s souls can such violence prescribe?
How can men to any God such dictates ascribe?
‘Tis a blindness perhaps that I understand not
how worship could drive men to foment and plot
the killing of others. With pained patience I pray
that guidance and wisdom will this fury allay.
In my heart a still voice a small Truth does bestow:
that with kindness and love can an antidote grow.
Not by war or mere brawn can this pattern be changed
but with painful admissions of affronts we’ve exchanged.
No simplistic solution do I have to extend
that may bring peace to all; so I’ll simply attend
with what kindness and caring that I comprehend
to all those who have need; that with love we’ll transcend
needs to dominate, hate, and acts which offend
so in strangers we’ll find not new enemies but friends.
As with solstice dawn’s bloom the balance transmutes,
so I pray that the power of love can dilute
pain and suffering; that we’ll bring an end to despair
with a peace that we’ll wage through our actions and care.
So I wish solstice’s bloom may your season ignite
And to you and yours bring love, hope, peace, and delight.