Friday 10 December 2010

21 days of Yule day 10: The Silence of Winter

Silence crawled across the snowfields
it lapped against the walls of the castle
Pale wintery sunlight flashed silver
from the branches of trees
and the frozen stems of grass
that rattle together like naked finger joints.
I stood on the snow lipped parapet.
Stared towards hills where something gleamed
Behind me on the castles further side
a black ricer ran, from which arose
cold coils of mist., so that the water
Seemed to smoke, breathing on the sharp air
waiting, I listened to the silence
felt it approach along the ground like a drowning wave
only where I stood was there life
My face seemed dead.
Yet my lops moved and my eyes saw……        
My fingers flew, flashed white
on the gray walls, and from my lips,
Words poured…….
…..In answer to my summons
The light that moved across the waste
Warmed and grew golden suddenly
Out of the still and golden-sky
Birdsong fell, Beyond my sight a bird flew.
Let fall a feather that floated to rest
At my feet.
At length I looked down
Fell silent and grew still again
Slowly the silence drew back
The black waters of the river receive it
And with a sound like indrawn breath
Sounds of nearing spring quivered
A single speck flashed momentary gold.
This is from the Song of Taliesin by John Matthews.(pg160-161)

I believe this sums up the feeling of stillness one experiences on the day of Yule watching the sunrise the following morning. The sense of stillness that lies both within and without in the landscape all around us, as if nature herself is aware of the significance of this dawning light. I like to read this poem just before dawn of Yule , just before sunrise, as I feel it encourages the return of the Sun, much like the witch within this poem whose prayer is answered by the Sun’s return as well as the answer of the bird.

I hope you enjoy the poem as much as I do
(Winter Solstice Image found from
Blessed be my loves


  1. Really beautiful - thank you. I think I will adopt this tradition too!!

  2. @Aine, isn't beautiful i think this perfectly sums up those moments of waiting for the sun to rise on the day after Solstice.

  3. What a beautiful poem! Thanks for sharing it. :) Theresa

  4. A lovely way to bring in Yule - thanks for posting this poem - I'd never heard of it before!


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