Fires will blaze

Today and tomorrow, we celebrate Imbolc, Brigid’s fire festival, midway between the winter and spring solstices, when the ewes start to give milk, the first spring flowers appear, and the end of the winter is in sight. This small poem is inspired by Paul Militaru’s splendid photographs that you can see here. There may well be more.


Fires will blaze,

feet tread in the darkness,

soft and silent,

while faces of the wild,

peer, watching,

waiting for the spring.

Flames lick the dead wood,

burn up the old,

light the new,

and in the ashes,

grass shoots.


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.

23 thoughts on “Fires will blaze”

  1. Fabulous evocation of the changing season – I always think that Brigid has it right …. this is the start of Spring – but then I’ve always been the optimist 😉

      1. I’ve been in Oxford for the last week and have another week to go …. doubtless I will start looking at the Météo as the time draws close for the drive back but for the moment what the eye doesn’t see might be a better way 😉

      2. Husband has been sending me articles from Sud Ouest about the legendary winter of ’56. I should never ever have been allowed to watch that film, The Day After Tomorrow.

      3. Actually he spends a fair bit of time in Greenland and us irritatingly savvy at keeping warm in bitter temps. Perhaps I should market him as an advisor…

      4. Well the thermals are no joke. He wears silk long johns and long sleeved crew neck under several light layers. Thick sweaters can sit on top but they don’t do the job without the light layers underneath. That includes on the feet and hands and a close fitting bonnet on the head. If it’s needed indoors (and joking aside we don’t blast the heating in Boston and have none in Marcolès) then we adopt this attractive look indoors. Look on Amazon for silk mix undergarments. And then treasure them…. they are a wise investment. We also move as much as possible…. it’s amazing how appealing physical activity becomes even if it’s waxing a floor! I know you have particular challenges but some of that might help? 🙂

      5. We have the thermals, (not silk but a nylon mix) roll neck and leggings, a couple of wool, silk and nylon mix jumpers, and I have a thermal jacket with a hood and a pull marin over the top. On the feet I have thermal socks and a pair of thermal indoor boots. The top of my left little toe has still gone completely black…Physical activity would be better than anything (well, within reason) but I can’t do much or I strain something. Trundling around in the undergrowth is my limit. Preparing meals in the cave is hell!

      6. He uses heat pads in his socks and gloves in Greenland if that helps …. I’m so sorry it is proving miserable but I am sure Spring is on the way …. after all Brigid says so 😉

      7. Miserable isn’t the right word. Sometimes I feel as though I’m going to die, other times, like today when the sun comes out unexpectedly and the temperature soars (everything’s relative) it seems quite wonderful 🙂

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