the longest night, a lone light shines,
a red coal in a bowl of blue,
a puff of breath steams in the night,
alighting earth and fire anew.
the bowl is passed, from hand to hand,
and wish by wish the fire grows,
fed by written word and charm,
as twice the circle round it goes.
the third time round, against the clock,
sacred incense is the fare,
the last hand reached, she takes the bowl,
and raises it into the air.
“mother moon and father sun,
take this our wishes and our dreams,
in tribute to the dying year,
and though the night eternal seems,
we thank you for returning warmth,
as father sun is born again,
rejoicing, we too are reborn,
as ever was, and will again!”
the fire flares, the light burns bright,
across the circle shadows flow,
long and slender at their feet,
and dark as ink on midnight snow.
the fire flickers, dies to coals,
as in the distance, roosters call,
the darkness once again pushed back,
the newborn sun illumines all.