photo by Diego PH on unsplash images.
Sunfall It was a dark day, all two minutes of it. The only light was in a crowd, flickering low through their knees. When I pushed to the centre, I saw a fine woman, heavily muscled, rich in her age, but oh, her fatigue could not be endured. The crowd had a kindness, and such an attentiveness. They kneaded her tiredness, tended her brow, And lay her, too heavy to move, beneath eiderdown, moss for a pillow, hushed voices around. And all the time gleaming, this woman showed gold in her skin, though dampened, a fierce inner flame that lit all our faces, brought warmth to our fingers. The smiles were brighter, and the worrying tears. She must surely be sheltered, the common opinion: Huddle around her, keep her out of the wind. I fear she is dying. Turn your backs all of you. dignity in leaving. hold hands if you will. The death fire dwindling cast shadows around us, shadow on forest floor, shadow on crags, till one started singing, all tones of us singing, and later told stories, hand squeezing hand. We sent our defiance of all our fears gathered. Our fear was the only thing scaring us now. Even in unlit, lowering night, her last breath behind us, none to be seen to left or right, we sent our defiance. silent and thoughtless, wordless and still, still here, still here. We saw her again in the dawn, fine woman, heavily muscled, rich with age, she was clambering over the crest of the hills to the east, much rested, gold in her smile. Yule Prayer Dusk is falling, and soon the sun will have nothing left to give. Night must hold us, unseen goddess. Pass the year, pass the time. Pass the hidden woes of yesterday. Passage through the door of Yuletide. The wheel turns. The candle, lit, will bear the flame, the hope, as a single spark, to a lightless sky The Chase at Yuletide (In Norse mythology, the sun and moon are said to be pursued by two great wolves. One day, they will catch and devour them.) The sun is sleeping. Stop a while. For twelve nights, rest, between the years. Leave the chase. Change your quarry. Take a bit of turkey bone, or festive cake. Fill your belly, long tongue lolling. Load your gut. There will be time - the tides are quiet. Even the moon eats to a fullness. Claws can carve. Crave no more. Running’s for tomorrow, tired of wolf. The ball of the sun’s burned herself out. Feast till you’re fat, feral hunger. Stuff yourself stiff! Stay and devour till late in the day, the dawn forgotten. Sun’s away! You’re slow on your feet! Bio: Math Jones is London-born, but is now based in Oxford. He has two books published: Sabrina Bridge, a poetry collection, from Black Pear Press (2017), and The Knotsman, a collection of verse, rhyme, prose and poetic monologue, which tell of the life and times of a C17th cunning-man. Much of his verse comes out of mythology and folklore: encounters with the uncanny and unseen. Also, as words written for Pagan ritual or as praise poems for a multitude of goddesses and gods. He is a trained actor and performs his poems widely.