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Posts Tagged ‘winter solstice’

SOLSTICE LIGHT

Listen, listen, the slow light of solstice morning.

Time shuddering, time standing still.

A word wind muttering indistinct, its rhythms and intent

As steady as oars would be, as steady as oar strokes across a glassy sea.

Listen, listen. We were all in one band, a magnificent number.

Heading west ( always heading west into darkness there, into the mists).

One raised his voice – the song we all knew.

One of those songs whose words would be ridiculous, banal,

Without the tune. Whose chorus impossibly united the living and the lost.

The glass sea slid by. Time ran out.

Some said it was a hard coming of it that year, but it was not.

It was not. It was as easy as breathing.

The reasons, so reasonable. The logic, implacable.

The rhetoric, bombastic and irrefutable.

.

The watchmen were silent, uncommunicative.

Impossible it was to know the minds of the doorkeepers.

We were there to free the imprisoned,

There to reclaim what had been lost,

There to carry home what had been taken.

Voiceless one by one we fell into silence there.

Burning bright as phosphor bombs falling from the air.

Bright as sparks hammered from the anvil.

The prize was claimed, as it always is,

The light released, the cave broken upon,

The tomb unsealed, the spell broken, the curse trod down.

But the world now, irrevocably changed.

Seven with breath, seven with tears still falling,

Seven tired and justified. Seven wan and clustered stars

Backward looking, racing on.

In a world, in a morning, not ours.

.

The slim waning moon floating into the stormy dawn,

Losing its light minute by minute. No longer noticed.

Fading into day.

I have cast out on the grass, seeds for the small brown birds,

For the hungry and the cold.

The eagles and the hawks have gone. The songsters silent,

The stately waterbirds, the watching herons forgotten in the fluttering rush.

I shall sing the names, uphold the excuse,

a psalmist counting off lines in a cold cell: the cajoling verses of warrior kings

For fickle vengeful gods, the rosary of blood red beads, the genealogies,

Until the shivering silver-edged awen fails, tumbling into mute silence,

Voiceless watching an unextraordinary morning.

.

If we had not been so strident, so golden,

Could we have passed the doors unscathed?

Had we understood what was asked of us,

Has we not mistaken guileless honesty as elaborate deception,

A trick to catch us out,

Could we be in those halls still feasting?

There with no needs to forget,

no weight of dust and falling radiant starlight upon us.

No need to elaborate the litany of the dead,

Compose harmonious laments, gather together the names,

as if they meant anything any more, as if we remembered

Their bright eyes, their smiles, their warm strong hands,

Their words around the fires.

.

The ashes are cold and must be cleared now.

Reset the hearth. Begin again.

The splash of sweeping oars and the crack of canvas receding.

Our bright futures looking westwards: the new approaching night.

It is not what it could be,

Not what was promised.

But it is what it is.

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LONGEST NIGHTS

the smoke of owls
and the sparks of their prey.

the howl of darkness
and the howl of the dawn.

mist tumbles off the snowline,
jaundiced is the air.

fields lie fallow,
their farmers large as hills
and dark, watching for good time.

tumbled clouds tangled
in the sallow valley.

Scarce enough warmth
to go around the village,
scarce enough words.

a golden light within
everything, though.
pooled translucent light.

a river story blessing.
a famous birth
and a death that disguises glory.

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Solstice stars.

Stand still.
Take stock.
Light is short,
The cold is long.
No matter how secure
We are only ever one breath
Away from death.
From becoming fallow earth,
From falling frozen onto ice.
Take heed
Stand still.
The small time.
The long night.
In darkness
The slow drips slow,
Then stop completely.
Stars watch
And sing
Though offer little warmth,
But the way home,
The way home.

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ADVENT

Bran’s tousled head hangs eloquent
From every night-burned alder.

Rust red are the wounded bracken hillsides,
Sour the long sedge.

Steep is the road,
All distance vapour.

Every hedge, a calligraphy of secrets
Taught by italic rains, slanted weather.

The trees stripped to syllables,
Each a sharp tongue and a scourge for empty vastness.

All glory hidden,
Sunk into the small, warm hearts of huddled things.

In barn and byre,
A shuffled silence,

Summer days mulled over,
Scented green against the cold.

Anointed, we are, with slow light,
Awaiting an older cermony:

A star in the east.
A sure opening and a soft, certain closing.

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WINTER SOLSTICE

Shortest of days
Exquisite punctuation.

The golden egg
Hatching new time.

Birth-waters reflect still,
Cold blue skies.

Mist in the mountains,
Mist in the valleys.

Those that can,
Continue.

All others expire,
Release

Returning from the edges
To the centre.

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It is now the few days of Winter Solstice, where the sluggish, low sun of the Northern hemisphere, appears to rise and set at the same place on the horizon. I thought it would be a good opportunity to have a virtual exhibition of a set of eight images that were created to express the dynamics of each turning point.

The style of these digital artworks is constrained by their component parts, which are largely symbols that I have created to represent (and transmit to the viewer), the dynamic qualities of different species of tree. For each festival a selection of tree energies was intuited, (alongside a few flower, gemstone and colour energies). these were combined into a mandala form.

The first image is “Light of Winter Solstice”:

Light ofWinter solstice

The next festival occurs around the 2nd of February and is known in this part of the world as Imbolc. Here then, is “Light of Imbolc”:

Light of Imbolc

This is followed around 20th March by the Spring Equinox; “Light of Spring Equinox”:

Light of Spring Equinox

The 1st of May (or more accurately, May Eve), is Beltane. Here is “Light of Beltane”:

Light of Beltane

Around the 21st June it is the Summer Solstice. “Light of Summer Solstice”:

Light of Summer Solstice

Around harvest-time is Lammas (2nd August). “Light of Lammas:

Light of Lammas

The Autumn Equinox arrives around 23rd September. “Light of Autumn Equinox”:

Light of Autumn Equinox

At last the year swing round to its starting and ending point, Samhain, (All Hallow’s Eve, Hallowe’en) at the 31st October. “Light of Samhain”:

Light of Samhain

So I hope you enjoyed the show.

(Just by-the-by, if anyone wants a close look or feels a yearning to possess one or more of these prints, they are available on my etsy shop : http://www.etsy.com/shop/TreeSeer )

Happy Winter Solstice to All!

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