Winter solstice – the Hibernal solstice

In Persian culture, the winter solstice is called Yaldā (meaning: birth) and it has been celebrated for thousands of years. It is referred to as the eve of the birth of Mithra, who symbolised light, goodness and strength on earth.


In the Mid-Midwinter

‘Tis the year’s midnight, and it is the day’s – from John Donne’s 
‘A Nocturnal upon St. Lucy’s Day, being the Shortest Day’.  

At midday on the year’s midnight 
into my mind came 
I saw the new moon late yestreen
wi the auld moon in her airms though, no,  
there is no moon of course,
there’s nothing very much of anything to speak of 
in the sky except a gey dreich greyness
rain-laden over Glasgow and today
there is the very least of even this for us to get
the light comes back
the light always comes back
and this begins tomorrow with however many minutes more of sun and serotonin.
there will be the winter moon for us to love the longest,
fat in the frosty sky among the sharpest stars,
and lines of old songs we can’t remember 
why we know
or when first we heard them 
will aye come back
once in a blue moon to us 
bless us with their long-travelled light.

Through Winter Woods

  by: Margaret Adelaide Pollard

Gray mottled beech trunks locked in snow,
And a muffled stillness all around;
A stillness cut with the little smack
Of a tiny twig a-springing back
As a ball of snow with a breathy sound
Drops from the iced green pines bent low

Pale yellow shafts on a snow blue-white
And a molten sun behind the hill;
And thickening shadows under the trees
And the sharp little sting of a sudden breeze,
As up from the crackled crusted rill
Comes the clean-cut breath of the winter’s night.

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