Night lights


So stark the dark of this year’s ending

burned black and silent when birds should sing

but here and there are bright lights burning

friendships soft as feathered wing

and through the night the lights are shining

stars and owl song flutter bright

to frosty dawn the world is turning

perhaps some peace this year will bring.



Stop and listen

Looking east

Stop and listen to the singing

of the thrush, the sunlight bringing

motes of gold, drifting earthwards

and a soaring flock of songbirds

sketched upon a winter sky.


Leap, with the kestrel fly

high above the sweeping dry

and seed-pod rattling grasses,

watch where her shadow passes;

that’s where the small things lie.


Take this day in trembling hands,

close your fingers on its sands,

on its colours bright, and keep

its golden light when rain clouds weep

their cold stony tears.

Dusk when



when the light is muddied

by the day dragging faded glitter

through the streams of night.

Song flows

a ripple of farewell to the sun

and shadows move from their lairs

beneath the trees.

Light shifts

uncertain as the notes

that rise and fall fading

as feathers settle.

Buttercups hold the last gold

in cupped petals

and all that breathes is hushed

watching the muddied uncertain

shifting light

sigh and sift the silver

of the rising moon.

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.