NaPoWriMo #9

Painting by George Inness (just because I like it)


The robin sings no more,

As black, bare branches burgeon,

Green, and full of the trilling of finches,

Overture for the blackbird’s summer song.

Winter chased with his flame-red notes,

He waits, bright sentinel,

In deep hedgerow shadows,

A flash of glowing embers,

Firebrand to melt the winter cold.


Fiery defender

Brigid is getting a real dusting off this year. The pic is more her spring mode.


On a wintry hill, she stands,
Where waves of fire lap the snow.
Grinding her heel in the fire-soft mud,
Rivers rise from the cold snow source,
While deep within the sleeping earth,
Seeds stir, swelling in the sappy spring scents.
She raises an arm, steel bright,
Sword flashing, fiery defender,
With healing in her slender fingers.
The wind fans the flames that tangle her hair,
Breathes her name, winter fire over the snowy plain,
To fashion it on a thousand tongues,
And the reeds on the lake whisper the song she sings,
The song of the earth as it was,
As it is,
And as it always will be.

Like a tree

Like a tree

Love is green growing
supple sulphurous striving
quick quarrelsome querulous.
Passions blaze brilliant
flaming sunflares

Boughs spread strong straight
striving sunward
though storm bends breaks blights.
Vine clings climbs
blazoned with blossom
that twists and twines
embellishing with cupped stars

Calm comes
soft as evening
enfolding encompassing
passions and peace.
Beneath flower festooned boughs
entangled embracing
inextricably entwined
we sit
still fire-fashioned




Last night was Twelfth Night, officially the last night of Christmas, when the decorations are taken down and, the last blow out meal is eaten, before we get down to the grisly business of surviving the cold and sunless days of January and February. I like the idea of decorating a real tree, particularly that the idea comes from those shaggy tribesmen that Russell Crowe massacres in the opening scenes of ‘Gladiator’.


In our household we wait until the following Sunday which is quite often also the Epiphany. Not for religious reasons, simply because it’s the end of the holidays and back to school the next day. Rather than ending the ‘festive season’ in a frantic tearing of wrapping paper and the destruction of fancy packaging, followed by the rush to ebay to sell the unwanted gifts, the rituals of packing away the decorations for another year, eating the last of the chocolates and burning the tree are all satisfyingly symbolic.


In France we also have the traditional galette des rois, a frangipane pastry eaten at the Epiphany, just to mark the end of Christmas. The galette contains a porcelaine figurine, traditionally one of the crib people, but nowadays just as likely to be a Disney character. We have quite a motley crew in our collection that ranges from Pluto to the baby Jesus, via wild ducks and unidentified beings carrying sinister-looking sacks. They are probably all made in China which explains the slightly off-beat appearance.

Nono64 08:58, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
Nono64 08:58, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Having lit the fire for the winter solstice, we’re sitting tight now until Imbolc, next fire festival when the snowdrops should be out.