The shortest day rolls away like a brief lament

in a book near its end, and my, how it's flown

in the reading my friend!


Even as we mourn for the light

half blinded while waiting for inky night,

we celebrate with incantation as if

there's fear in the shortness of it, like dying breath


on lips that talk of its passing away.

A celestial hound sniffs amongst leaves

on its stately journey around the sun,

no sooner said nor more quickly done.




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Tue 25th Dec 2018 13:48

Hi Big Sal, thanks for coming through. Interesting thoughts - no, I was not aware of a mind rhyme, but I can see you have applied a certain analysis, and on reading it again, what I tried to do was provide rhyme "stepping stones" in the format. Very pleased that you enjoy my work, and i'll juggle my brainbox and see what emerges.... Cheers and a happy Xmas !

It's Christmas Day Beno, and I'm so enjoying your comments and your close analysis of my stuff. All the trimmings. You are spot on about the sentiments underlying such poems; I live for the day basically, but have a fund of memories (thank goodness). I think also we should enjoy our own writing with a few flourishes here and there as you kindly pointed out. With the shortest day, it's a bit like a glass half full or half empty mindset. We have to adapt to nature, learn to ride a storm or two.

A young view is always paramount, my friend!

Forgive me you lovely likers for not mentioning you individually, there is a queue forming! x

<Deleted User> (18474)

Mon 24th Dec 2018 08:42


I really enjoyed this poem, thanks for posting.
Great description of the winter solstice. It's so beautifully put, and gorgeously sentimental. I loved it. I loved the image of the hound sniffing the leaves of fallen years towards the end. After a few reads it got me thinking (I should have probably just read it once ?)
It got me thinking that the poem could also be describing someone older in years, maybe coming to the end of their lives, looking back a recalling all the events that have passed.
I often hear people saying "where have all the years gone" (how it's flown in the reading). They often seem a little mournful while saying it, like they rue not quite seizing every moment (mourn for the light half blinded while waiting for inky night). Sometimes I feel there fearful of the brevity of what remains and life in general (fear in the shortness of it, like dying breath on lips that talk of its passing away). It was just me thinking....
I too like the ending very much.
Sorry for over analysing this.I know I waffle on sometimes, but it's only coz I enjoy your poems so much. ?
Hope you have a lovely Christmas.

Big Sal

Sun 23rd Dec 2018 21:01

Have you ever heard of a 'mind rhyme', Ray? Well every other line on this piece reminded me of a metaphysical rhyme, in that it did not necessarily rhyme - but the ideas were so cogently conveyed it was hard not to appreciate them.

Enjoy the holidays, Ray, and here's to another year of your writing blessing the net.?

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Sun 23rd Dec 2018 17:10

Thanks David, so pleasing that you have read through this. That last line gave me a puzzle how to express it - is it grammatical? As long as it makes sense! Events like Lockerbie live on - turning days into a living night. I went through the rail station once and that in itself was poignant.

Mark, many thanks - I'm glad you thought the reading justified the poem.


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M.C. Newberry

Sun 23rd Dec 2018 15:58

Having commented via an initial reading of these lines, I have now
listened to RP's audio and it provides embellishment to the evocative
poetical imagery of the text. Quality stuff.

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Sun 23rd Dec 2018 14:59

Thanks Mark. Quite right... Enjoy the Xmas break.

Hannah, There is indeed a mystical element to all seasons and in the observation of them too. You of all poets would know that. Thanks for your support this year!

Brian, Jon Anya and Avishek, thank you all for the likes. Have nice Xmases.

Ray x

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Hannah Collins

Sat 22nd Dec 2018 19:04

The winter solstice, always bringing us in touch with the mystical.
Love this one.


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M.C. Newberry

Sat 22nd Dec 2018 15:58

A pleasing reminder that we're now on the up - the slow rise to longer
days after the rapidly dwindling light that accompanied our annual
journey through the seasons towards winter.

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