A few years ago, a poetry class I was in was challenged to write a seasonal poem. This was my attempt, inspired by a news item about a Dark Skies Park in Galloway. It was published in Acumen No. 68, in September 2010.
In these northern latitudes, the light is sparse
and winter bares its white and weathered fist
against the fastnesses of night.
We decorate the darkness, cannot stand
its plain finality. Daub it with tinsel
dress it in baubles, switch on season’s greetings
in the streets. Perhaps God is dead;
perhaps the shortest day
will dwindle into black.
The brilliant gift-wrapped sacrifice
is not far away now. Pause a while.
Let your eyes become accustomed
to these dark skies; perhaps they hold the light
of a billion stars.