A Spirited Quadrille

On the first day of December, De Jackson (aka WhimsyGizmo) brought to me (and all the other poets hanging around the bar at the dVerse Poets Pub) a quadrille in the spirit of the season.

My forty-four words are meant to evoke the spirit of winter solstice, the longest night of the year.  It’s been my immense privilege, in years past, to be the voice of the Dark in an annual solstice celebration devised and led by poet Laureate of Nevada County, Chris Olander and his beautiful, belly-dancing wife, Jackie.

They live at the top of a stepped hillside in the foothills of the Sierra.  Halfway down the hill the land flattens into terrace.  It is here Chris builds an enormous bonfire out of brush and weeds.  Buried in the middle is a huge bird carved by Chris and soaked  in water for days before the ceremony.

When night falls celebrants take up candles and written intentions for the new year and process down the hill, singing as they go.  Poems, prayers and declarations of intention go round the circle until the moment comes to light the fire.  Silently people add their petitions to the flame.  Fire reaches for the stars as fire calls to fire, flame to flame.  It burns hot and very fast, falling quickly to ash as Chris’s glowing phoenix emerges from the embers.

Winter Solstice

Black velvet shrouds her golden gown. 

At the moment of change, as Earth’s spirit

strains against Sun’s tether, she’ll shed

ebony for gold.  Meanwhile, during longest night’s

last moments,  she chants hymns of gratitude

for the many gifts only Darkness can deliver.

This entry was posted in dVerse, Poetry, Ritual, Solstice, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to A Spirited Quadrille

  1. Anonymous says:

    I always think of you at winter solstice, and here you are with another gift for us, another blessing for the gifts only darkness can bring.

  2. whimsygizmo says:

    This line is just absolutely gorgeous:

    “she’ll shed

    ebony for gold.”

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