The flames leap bright and high

A quatern for Bealtaine


The flames leap bright and high,

Into the deepening night,

Keeping the old ones nigh,

Bringing them into the light.


The new ones mutter low,

The flames leap bright and high,

Black hearts make shadows grow,

Their chants, the shadows fly.


Wise ravens’ croaks defy,

Their paltry magic chasing,

The flames leap bright and high,

Down sacred hillside racing.


The black ones falter, failing,

We watch their magic die,

The old ones’ fire swords flailing,

The flames leap bright and high.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

18 thoughts on “The flames leap bright and high”

    1. Ours was bright and sunny. Perfect weather for parades and demonstrations. Our police station was defaced! Never seen anything resembling crowd anger in Bordeaux before. Things must be getting serious.

      1. It’s the general anti labour law protestation. Some cities (Paris, Nantes and Rennes) have had serious rioting and several policemen and protestors seriously injured. Bordeaux rarely wakes up for these kind of demonstrations, but Sunday was First of May so if there was going to be any damage done, it was during the May Day march. Nobody was hurt. The police keep office hours, close for lunch and are never there at weekends.

      2. You have to call the central commissariat. It’s the only one that’s staffed at weekends, so unless it’s about a murder you’re not likely to get anybody to come out.

      3. We actually no longer have a police department in our town (which is tiny). Another town took it over, but before that, I think the other town also did it on weekends.

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