Day 3: A Bright Hearth

After the snow was cleared, a new drift,
silent and silver, a spell in street light.
In crisp and cold, Christmas lights sparkle and through
doors, a stove is warm. In the dark of a room,
the halo-flame lights a face, the hunched figure
before a bright hearth. In crackle and smoke
images are kindled: the winter king’s burning ship;
the infant Christ, star-cradled; wild-eyed Saturn
and his stumbling train and deeper, an older time:
a forest in bitter mid-winter, where drums beat and
shadows rush and run. A heavy bough of holly prickles
and berries, sweet and bloody, are trampled underfoot .

A second poem from Matthew M C Smith. Matthew is a writer for Swansea. He loves winter Christmas and wants to write more festive poetry. Matthew has just edited Black Bough poetry’s Christmas and Winter edition, available on Amazon.

Matthew is also the driving force behind #TopTweetTuesday, a weekly Twitter event, where poets share poems. It’s a phenomenon.
 

12 thoughts on “Day 3: A Bright Hearth

  1. I love the way the new drift of snow is described as ‘silent and silver, a spell in street light’ and the glow of lights ‘in crisp and cold’ – the alliteration emphasises the icy chill outside before the shift to inside and the heat of the fire where ‘images are kindled’ – great use of the word ‘kindle’. But oh, how dark the further shift to ancient times!

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  2. What a beautiful and homey Christmas scene…..the warm hearth within, the elements without…….the holly berries at the end add such a vivid image. Lovely.

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  3. I’ll echo Jane on the amen to Christian snow piled up on the pagan. The holly “trampled underfoot.” Maybe that’s a desecration, and maybe old and new year kings will always bleed that way. – B

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  4. ‘A heavy bough of holly prickles
    and berries, sweet and bloody, are trampled underfoot .’ We often forget the true meaning of Christmas, but your words brought this meaning to life, even looking beyond earth to ‘wild-eyed Saturn/and his stumbling train.’

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