21 December 2017

Yuletide



"And this light is for Midwinters past, present, and future. May we 
learn, may we love, may we revel! Hail the Yuletide!"


This is a poem for heathens, pagans, humanists and atheists. It is perhaps worth noting that people have lived on the island of Britain for half a million years. Stories of Jesus of Nazareth only arrived here in the second century A.D. via The Roman Empire's  channels of communication. That's much less than two thousand years ago. 

Even after the Christian message seeped in to our land, the old ways persisted and subtly they continue to this very day. I wrote this poem in response to the "Poetry Monday" challenge posed this week in the Nova Scotian blog - "Procrastinating Donkey":- 
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Yuletide

At midwinter we gathered round a burning log
Drinking flagons of ale as a roasting hog
Spat and sizzled in those lapping flames
As our children played their childish games
And we sang songs from long ago
As moonlight glistened upon the snow.
And green were the garlands about our door
Though the worst of winter lay in store
We knew that at last the darkness had turned
Even as the Yule log burned.
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Christianity in the guise of Roman Catholicism requisitioned thousands of  ancient sites in the British Isles and built churches upon them. They sought to crush our ancient belief systems and cynically they purloined midwinter traditions, adapting them to showcase the fictionalisation of Jesus's birth. But the old ways were simply suppressed, not expunged.

The wheel has turned. This is the winter solstice. Happy Yuletide!

35 comments:

  1. Isn't it wonderful that the invading Roman Catholics/Christians never destroyed the wonder of Stonehenge!

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    1. Come to think of it you are right Mary! It would have been really bad if they had obliterated it.

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  2. and in a testament to all things delicious, we are still feasting with ale and hog

    happy solstice to you, Mr pudding!

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    1. You are most tolerant Kylie. Thank you for not biting my heathen head off.

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    2. I once got cranky with a blogger who suggested burning hymn books but generally speaking I try to respect that everyone has a different opinion

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  3. Nice poem! Jesus, those Christians were boring but they knew how to plagiarize the good stuff. As I type this on Long Island we are about three hours from actual Solstice, which means that later today I am hiking to my favorite little beach on the Long Island Sound with my bottle of champagne to toast the new year. Some times it's balmy and we stand around in shirtsleeves, and some times we shiver and huddle together against a cruel Arctic blast, but either way the bubbly always tastes wonderful and the first rays of Winter sun always makes me happy that I married a pagan.

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    1. There are fundamental earth rhythms and human feelings that Christianity could never tap into. They run too deep. I am with you in spirit on your Long Island beach. Cheers!

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  4. An excellent poem, and bravo for tackling Poetry Monday! This seems like an especially pagan time of year, with our candles and yule logs and decorated trees. I am ready for some sunshine, though!

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    1. To tell you the truth, I think that this November and this December have been sunnier than usual. Plenty of bright days for walking but the days end too quickly don't they?

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  5. There is a Solstice celebration at the Avebury stones just down the road from here this afternoon at 4.00 p.m. but I shall stay at home and eat Christmas cake instead. I enjoyed reading your poem.

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    1. Don't you mean Solstice cake?...One of the main reasons I wish to go to Wiltshire next year is to walk where ancient sites speak of our ancestors.

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  6. Happy Solstice/Midwinter Day to you and yours, Neil. It's still early here and I enjoyed your poem while finishing a second cup of coffee.

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    1. You should be working at the mall! Not drinking a second cup of coffee!

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    2. I went to the bookstore yesterday to do some shopping, and my former coworkers said, "How dare you come in here looking so relaxed!" Lol!! :)

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    3. Don't you wish you were back there - working your butt off to maximise company profits?

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  7. What a beautiful picture! It sums up the season perfectly. Wishing you a Happy Solstice from Colorado.

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    1. Thank you Diane and if you see my surrogate sister Donna in Denver - please say hello for me.

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  8. I enjoyed your poem; it has warmth to it. Lovely.
    I am also learning of so many lovely traditions - Happy Yuletide!
    Greetings Maria x

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    1. Thanks for calling by again Maria and Happy Yuletide to you too!

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  9. I posted a comment earlier but it has disappeared into the ether......
    Your poem is wonderful. It captures the season perfectly!

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    1. The Mystery of The Disappearing Comments... almost as strange as Stonehenge.

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  10. Just read your poem to my better half who asks if you have read The white goddess by Robert Graves?

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    1. No I haven't Christina. Please thank your better half for the heads up. I will look out for "The White Goddess" when sorting through book donations at my Oxfam shop.

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  11. I like those old ways YP. Much more sense than religion as far as I can see.
    Merry christmas

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    1. Until now, I didn't really know how you felt about the Christian message,

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  12. Some belief system is necessary. I think many in this age have no belief system at all.

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    1. Belief in something and values too. Yes. Without these life is like a cork tossed upon a great ocean.

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  13. 'Tis best to believe in the reality of reality, methinks!

    A lovely poem, Yorkie. :)

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    1. "the reality of reality...". Now that is an interesting notion.

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  14. I am not a heathen, pagan, humanist or atheist but I enjoyed your poem very much nevertheless.

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    1. Thank you for your open-mindedness Bob.

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  15. I've already told you how much I like this poem, YP. And now I am happy to add that I very much like the post you've put with it. Well said!

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    1. You can be my literary agent Jenny. If you fly me over to Halifax I will be happy to give a couple pf poetry readings in your neck of the woods.

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    2. pf = obscure Old English version of "of".

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    3. Ha ha - good recovery! Don't hold your breath on the poetry readings, though - Christmas has blown the budget :)

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Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.