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Lantern-Bearers (half-formed thoughts)

January 26, 2012

She stood on the strand, my solstice sister,
garbed in grey on gleaming ice.
Dawn was dusky; dim clouds
rimmed the rime-cold sea.
She wandered recklessly;
I, sturdy on cold sand,
cast crumbs to the quarters,
to welkin and world,
for the spinning sun.
Who are you, solstice sister,
grey ghost in the gloaming?
Last year’s dark is in this dawn;
Wes þu hæl.

Round and round
small trains around the glimmering tree
Round and round
the CD playing its song
Round and round
recalling the whirring of iron wheels
of a larger train, travelling home,
transporting through darkness a dreaming company.
A moon twice-hidden turned in cloud and shadow.
On a mistfoggy morning
I woke, and words came —
Þa cwom of more under misthleothum
Grendel gongan: godes yre baer –
but no ghasts were we, only guests
rolling on rails.
Last year’s dark is in this dawn:
Wes þu hæl.

My backpack holds bread
Given in grace, food for the gloom;
Songs sung freely, silence shared;
Hugs held closely, warm in winter;
Generosity, granted undeserved;
Forbearance for our faults and foibles;
Belief in our abilities, when it eludes us –
Candles to rekindle coming spring.
What has been given, give again threefold;
We lantern-bearers carry light
For leaving on lonely doorsteps.
Bearing burdens, we shall be brilliant.
Last year’s dark is in this dawn:
Wes þu hæl.

(I started this on the winter solstice, as part of my project to write a poem for each holiday of the Wheel of the Year.  Then it sat on my hard drive for weeks, and seeing as it’s almost Imbolc now, I thought I should release it into the wilds, finished or not. After all, haven’t I been trying to give up on perfection?)

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