Through cold and lonely winter’s night
I dream of far-off days of light
My empty arms embrace the shell
Of hope: I dare not break the spell
Then half-imagined drumbeat pulse
Announces spring, quick buds convulse
And swell, life’s tempo on the rise
I dance beneath these wider skies
My summer days fly quickly past
On sunlight wings too hot and fast
That leave no more than briefest trace
A flash of smile upon a face
And now in fall, my passion spent
Though on my own, I lie content
The long slow light of autumn sun
Keeps warm the heart that you have won
Stark monochrome: black trees, white snow,
Gray skies above, dark ice below.
A freeze-frame landscape, time stood still
‘cross patchwork fields pervasive chill.
Laid in the hearth, upon the grate,
The source of Yuletide warmth awaits
Its kindling, when the flames will dance,
Bright heralds of the sun’s advance.
When rising at the turn of year,
Blood red! sun’s light comes running clear
With warmth as if from sacrifice
‘t were spilled to flood across the ice.
And here like frozen drops of blood
Are holly berries from the wood,
Nestled amid the leaves’ dark green,
Reflected by the lustrous sheen.
Swirling snowflakes fall without a sound,
Blanketing the ground in folds of white.
Sitting here I watch as patterns form:
Fleeting moments captured by my sight.
Morning comes: the rising of the sun
Illuminates the scene, clear and bright.
Wrap up warm in winter coat and hat,
And step out on this stage, set by night.
Early birds have left the only tracks,
Out despite the season’s frosty bite.
Rambling over heath, mind open wide,
Calm comes streaming in upon the light.
Samhain is over now. One night a year
The normal world outside my door departs;
Retires to the wings, the stage left clear
For actors to appear: the play can start.
Undead hordes come lurching by the dozen
With jack-o’-lanterns shining out their light,
And on their heels the cackling of a coven:
Witches trick-or-treating through the night.
This celebration marks the passing summer,
The seasons’ change: arrival of the dark.
Now the harvest’s gathered, hear the drummer
Slow the beat that tells life’s primal heart.
Feel the vital pulse’s change of tempo,
And light the fires to keep the ice at bay.
With Yule will come the turning of the corner,
When sun returns with growing strength each day.
That’s when the frozen world begins to quicken
As life is reawakened from its sleep.
Despite the thin veneer of modern living,
Our connexion with this land is old and deep.
Whether you still dance around the Maypole,
Or set the bonfires blazing at Beltane,
When Sumer is icumen in the rhythm
Of nature’s bold arousal strikes your brain.
With a warm richness of color,
Red and gold replacing lush green,
Trees burn their brightest in the fall.
Soon the leaves will drop revealing
Bare branches; the semblance of death
As life retreats from limbs to heart.
But the embers still glow inside,
Waiting to rekindle the fire
And be born anew with the spring.