Solstice Night

Dark hours may grow but cannot creep beyond
The umbra in the sun’s panoptic sight;
And so will cease the owls’ distressful song
That mourns the passed and passing through the night.

In time, the sun shall dawn a different song,
A song of life, of love, and hope beyond,
Beyond the tears that fill your sleepless night,
Beyond the fears of t’morrow still unsight.

Hang on, friend, for ’tis the hour, ’tis the night!
The owls will soon cease their distressful song
When dawn shall crack within your teary sight
And bring the morrow from the world beyond.

Although no blue sky’s pledged to grace our sight,
The sun still dawns upon the wintriest night;
And so does hope abound and last beyond
The envoi of your sad solstitial song.

Echoin’ beyond our most wistful of sights,
Long’s been the twilight song of solstice night!


Colin Lee


Before I can gather my courage (and ambition) to conquer a whopping sestina (6×6+3), having read some pentinas (5×5+2) and tritinas (3×3+1), I figured it might be doable to try the logically existent (4×4+2) but rarely heard-of tetratina (or “quatina”?). Well, now that I’ve tried (strugglingly), perhaps the sestina can wait.

Winter Solstice is here, whereupon daylight hours will gradually recover. This familial festivity is alleged to surpass the Chinese New Year in importance, at least here in the south. To the amazement of many, my countrymen included, traditional Chinese farmers actually adhere to the solar calendar (upon which the solstices and equinoxes are prescribed), not the lunar one (where the New Year is based). The Chinese Winter Solstice is a joyous celebration, similar to Yuletide, the pagan precursor of Christmas, but perhaps for different reasons, as it traditionally marks the end of harvest and commences the annual holiday amongst our agricultural population.

On this day of family reunions and such, I’d like to dedicate this poem to any friends who have lost any loved ones in the past year. May sweet memories of love endure through your wintriest of nights. Blessings and peace. x

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37 thoughts on “Solstice Night

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  1. Reblogged this on Singledust and commented:
    Winter solstice night is more important than the Lunar New Year for the traditional Chinese family. I love this poem Colin writes about this night where family get together to celebrate another year together.

    Re-blogging here, the scribbles from an imaginative poet. Thank you Colin for the words.


      1. You are very welcome for the hugs! My prayers are with you too!
        So thoughtful of Colin. Interesting, must be something in the name Colin, for my friend Colin is so thoughtful like that as well! 🙂
        So great having special friends!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. names are very special and indicative of who were are, by serendipity our parents chose just the right ones for us. It was a lovely surprise to read such a beautiful poem. friends enrich our lives, even those we never actually meet but somehow connect through the words.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Good morning, Gina! Waking up to a sunshiny day and this. Thank you! And I’m grateful not just because of your reblog, but really, really, really, that it has made a moment of difference to you, my friend. Even as a parent myself, I cannot begin to imagine the grief you suffer. The least I can do then is to sit with you for a while. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers. Hang on there!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. as a parent you know how much it is to love unconditionally, and that’s how the words flowed, you are a special soul Colin for having the empathy for what i am going thru, though it is something I never want to wish on any parent.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Charley. When it flows from the heart, it feels incredibly effortless. I think this will be one direction I’ll take for 2018 — to write about and for the people around me, to lay down my poet ego and exercise my humanness.


    1. And I’m flattered, dearest nosaint. Thank you so much! I think it’s only time-consuming when the old-school metre is adopted. For a try, I had a go with a non-metrical sestina last week to tell a rather trivial story (not quite poetic I’m afraid), and it wasn’t as hard as it seemed. Comparing to those juggling with 44+ prompt words to quadrille every other Monday, this was, technically, nothing. lol

      Speaking of Christmas, I’m one of those who believe, with the support of historic references, that Christ indeed was born in Bethlehem; on the other hand, I’m also sceptical of the legitimacy of Christmas. The date, if happened, was more plausibly Sukkot — when a Roman census could be conducted over the Holy Land. But, I tend not to spoil, in Scrooge-like manner, the fun of my “regular” Christian friends, nor the consumerist frenzy conducted by Santa and co. (I agree with you nevertheless — that big, fat monster!)

      How do your family celebrate Solstice? I’m really interested to know. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Very simply, we take a walk on the bank of the river near our home, we cut some evergreen and decorate the table with them and have a family dinner together. It is a nice way of just being together, experiencing nature, and remembering what is important. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, yes, a marvelous poetic work that flows so well. I so understand what being in a hurry does to our writing, but not to be ashamed of the sestina. It was fine and may it encourage you to do more. You have the ability (if not the time) to soar!


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