Poetry of the Year - December

In the dark cavern of December,
winter arrives and beckons us
to sit upon its stone cold throne,
circled by hibernating bats
and long toothed spikes of ice.
Shining with the rising sun,
Jack leaves his sparkly signature
on each blade of silvery grass.

Let us pull on our warmest coat,
behold winter’s skeletal trees,
glimpse the red, lean hungry fox,
here, then gone in a flash,
like a sudden snuffed out flame.
With the slow return to light,
let us bless Hestia, Divine Spark,
Goddess of the Sacred Fire.

As Cock Robin and Jenny Wren
swap winter’s feathery crown,
so the Holly King bows his head,
defeated at winter solstice
by the Oak King who rises tall.
With spring in the belly of winter,
let us welcome the swelling of
December’s pregnant darkness.

In woodlands woven with webs,
winter with its wicked wrath
cannot stop the Christmas bells,
nor evergreen circles of life,
placed merrily upon thresholds.
Where shadow and light meet,
all magick is made possible,
as we reach the gate of the year. 


Copyright © Deborah Gregory 2019


Dear Poets & Dreamers, Thank you so much for all your inspiration and support throughout 2019! Here’s a link to Welcome Mother Light last year’s Winter Solstice poem and is where my “Poetry of the Year” series began.
See you in 2020 with my new book (hopefully!) which will include this latest series. With all best wishes for a happy, healthy, and peaceful New Year. Warm & wild blessings, Deborah.

28 thoughts on “December

  1. Dear Deborah,

    I love this poem as much as I love this time of year: “the dark cavern of December” and the “swelling of December’s darkness.” Just love it!

    This year my body responded to the season with clear reminders of the importance of waiting and resting. As the darkness lengthened my hibernation deepened. A stomach flu at Thanksgiving transitioned into a scratchy throat, laryngitis, and then full-blown bronchitis. All this has slowed me down and kept me in a resting mode until now. During this time, many things have remained undone, including responding to your exquisite poem, in the wake of my surrender.

    As the winter solstice nears, I regret the coming loss of dark more than I look forward to the return of light. Yet I know my body and soul will find their own ways to come to terms with this transition just as they did with the last one.

    Thank you for your pertinent poetic reminder of the value of every season in the cycle, and the equal merit of both sides of the “gate of the year” “where shadow and light meet.” Your seasonal poems have been a wonderful gift. I will miss them. Solstice blessings, Jeanie

    1. Greetings of the Season to you Jeanie! Thank you so much for your wonderful review of my final poem in the “Poetry of the Year” series and for all your inspiration and support throughout 2019! Deepening my relationship with Mother Nature this year has been epic and life-changing as I’ve tapped into Her deep rhythms and cycles with poetry’s pen.

      Oh, I’m pleased to hear that you’re feeling better here at the “Gate of the Year” where many will resonate with a dark, waiting and resting period. Hmm, the last time I had bronchitis was 12 years ago (ironically when I gave up smoking!) and I can still remember how long (about a month) it was before I was able to return to work so empathise with you deeply.

      Here in the dark cavern of December I know what you mean about the loss of darkness as we approach the winter solstice (only days and hours away now!). After the 1st I wrapped my writing pen and placed it in a dark drawer where it will sleep awhile until after the festive season. With all best wishes for a happy, healthy, and peaceful New Year. Warm & wild blessings, Deborah.

  2. Something happens when we don’t go along with the rhythms of nature and the four seasons. I believe some part of the soul withers. Your beautiful poems reminds me of this. Thank you Deborah. Sending you love and full moon blessings for the festive season.

    1. Thank you so much Mariquitta for shining love and light on my final poem of the year! On a cosmological note I read that today’s full moon will be taking place at 12.12pm here on the 12th December and will be not only the last full moon of the year but the last full moon of the decade too … wow! Thank you for acknowledging this auspicious event on a day here in the UK when a general election is underway today. You couldn’t make it up! It was all written in the stars! Warm & wild blessings, Deborah.

  3. Exquisite, dear Deborah, as I add another log to the wood stove and let it cook. The cold came early here and usually doesn’t end until late March or even April. I’m so locked into winter’s cave that I forgot to read this until today. Then that inner voice: “Wait! Where’s the December poem?” Getting a puppy leaves me with little time and an addled brain. (I hope intuition didn’t lead my astray, but she’s mine to raise now.) OK. Here we are in December!

    We started the month with a nasty ice storm and it’s treacherous to get to the driveway–especially when being pulled by a black puppy who grows like a lovely weed. (Training, training, and more training!) I feel close to Hestia at the dark crossroads and plan to write about what Hestia might say about training her midnight pups to do their jobs and stay close to her in the night. Yes, the oak king rules majestically in the forest–and I see deer tracks in the snowshoe trail. The creatures survive in their magical ways with a glut of acorns produced earlier this fall.

    Thank you for taking me through the year. I look forward to your new book. Thank you for the beautiful images and opening my eyes to the wonder of it all. Sending warm love strong enough to melt a frigid world. Off I go to share.

    1. Thank you so much Elaine for your most generous comment on my final poem of this series! You’ve been such a lovely, kind-hearted friend throughout 2019! Busy I’m sure, yet nevertheless, Disco must bring you and Willow pure joy … yes, I’ve seen the snowy-nosed photos on FB, she’s seriously cute!

      Aww, “who grows like a lovely weed” … I’d say your intuition, when making the decision to welcome new life into 2019, was spot on! And although I’m packing my own pen away until the New Year here at my blog … I’m really looking forward to reading more about the goddess Hestia on your fabulous blog.

      As always many thanks for sharing my poems on FB and Twitter (the land of the little blue bird!) Much appreciated my dear friend! I’ll keep you posted re: new poetry book, I’m thinking September, as autumn descends. “Love strong enough to melt a frigid world”, oh, I love that! Warm & wild blessings, Deborah.

  4. I just wanna add my thanks for sending me your amazing post of “The Divine Hermaphrodite”. Your words learn me a lot including about myself; now I got to know my own soul has been always an androgynous soul 🙂 have a leisure weekend my dearest Deborah <3

    1. Oh, I’m so pleased you enjoyed reading my Jungian themed essay and prose poem, “The Divine Hermaphrodite” Aladin! Thank you so much for your beautiful, soulful words! I didn’t know where I would journey next following “The Animus Diet” and this is a topic I hope to continue exploring for many years to come. Warm & wild blessings, Deborah

  5. Deborah, The Poetry of the Year is an exquisite collection – I look forward to its publication next year. I hope you have a great holiday season in your part of the world. On December 17 – Rumi’s Wedding Night you might enjoy:

    “Those who don’t feel this Love
    pulling them like a river,
    those who don’t drink dawn
    like a cup of spring water
    or take in sunset like supper,
    those who don’t want to change,
    let them sleep

    This Love is beyond the study of theology,
    that old trickery and hypocrisy.
    If you want to improve your mind that way,
    sleep on
    I’ve given up on my brain.
    I’ve torn the cloth to shreds
    and thrown it away.

    If you’re not completely naked,
    wrap your beautiful robe of words
    around you,
    and sleep.”

    1. Wow! First of all, I’ve never read this incredible poem before and secondly, up until this minute I’d never heard of “Rumi’s Wedding Night” either so thank you so much Anja for visiting and gifting us with the link to a wonderful article, poem and your kind-hearted words. Somehow, who knew? (my soul!) these are the words I needed to read today!

      Quote taken from the website …

      “Rumi died on December 17, 1273 and that day is a sacred Sufi holiday known as Sheb-i Arus, Rumi’s Wedding Night, celebrating when he was finally reunited with his Beloved.”

      I urge all readers to follow the link above and bathe in the beauty, imagery and poetry of the Divine poet known as Rumi … whose 813th birthday approaches?! What an amazing year with Mother Nature it’s been … quite like any other! Warm & wild blessings, Deborah.

  6. We need the darkness to see and feel the light
    Thank you again dearest Deborah for your warming words in these cold days, they are always like doors for me getting opened when I read them.
    These days are full of activities for me at work because of Xmas and therefore, I am a little bit late to come to your poem,as always, wonderful writing. Have a great time my friend ❤❤❤

    1. Thank you so much Aladin for your wonderful comment & your welcoming company on my journey this past year! Yes, the (pregnant) darkness is so much needed at this time of the year and what better way to celebrate than to cross over the threshold of darkness and move into light and into the households of our family and friends.

      December is a busy month for many so it was extra lovely this morning to note your visit yesterday and to receive the generous gift of your kind-hearted, encouraging words! Have a wonderful month and I look forward to joining you in the New Year. Warm & warm blessings, Deborah. xx

  7. Ah Deborah – a beautifully crafted poem to finish your Poetry of the Year! I love the way it ends on such a positive note of magick and promise as the wheel of the year turns again towards the light. I’ve grown to love this time of year (despite the cold!) – the knowledge of the coming light allows me to sit back and relax whilst I reflect on this passing year.

    Hibernating in the dark and warmth of the festive season I read back over my journal, do a Tarot spread for the next twelve months, draw up a list of projects, aims and wishes for the new year and then I venture back out into nature again and a new cycle of life. Warmest blessings to you, Deborah.

    1. Thank you so much Sophia for your beautiful, kind-hearted response to my final poem and for being such a wonderful poetry friend throughout 2019! Yes, the magick of the winter solstice is almost upon us! Oh, I love seeing those decorated, seasonal wreaths hanging over front doors and crossing thresholds (from dark to light!) as something wonderful within takes place! Knowing spring is in the belly of winter keeps me going!

      Nothing beats a blazing hearth, a good book and a glass of Baileys all through December! Well, that’s my kind of winter hibernation! Yes, reflecting on the year, embarking on a tarot spread and looking ahead is great too, alongside taking a well-deserved break off work and literally putting my feet up! Warm & wild blessings, Deborah.

      1. I came across this quote from Jung and thought of your poem “No new life can arise, say the alchemists, without the death of the old. They liken the art to the work of the sower, who buries the grain in the earth: it dies only to waken to new life.” – Jung, (1946)
        Just thought you’d be interested!

        1. Yesterday in pure synchronicity I heard (for the first time!) the opening sentence of that Jungian quote in a podcast I was listening too … you couldn’t make it up! The second sentence describes the month of December so well … with spring in the belly of winter! Thank you for sharing more of C. G. Jung’s words and wisdom.

  8. While I feel the chill of December you evoke Deborah, I feel the warmth and rosy glow of your energetic words. Hard to believe the equinox will be here soon, when the wheel turns yet again and new forms of life and light will delight us once again. Ah, Mother Nature with all her surprises, so delightfully and poetically expressed by you – always a joy, thank you!
    Have a wonderful week and month

    1. Thank you so much Susan for your beautiful comment on my final poem of this series! You have been such a wonderful companion and friend throughout my journeying with Mother Nature this year. It’s hard to believe that the winter solstice is almost upon us once more and I’m back to where I started … much like “The Fool” on my “Poetry of the Tarot” journey! Have a wonderful week and month yourself! Warm & wild blessings, Deborah.

  9. Deborah, your ‘December’ verse and voice is rich and strong and thanks for the nod you know where!! What a stellar cast – Jack Frost, Goddess Hestia, Cock Robin, Jenny Wren and the Celtic Holly and Oak King – I sincerely doff my cap to you dear poet!

    Even though everyone knows the cliché ‘a picture speaks a thousand words’ when I look at those wintry lines of bare trees they metamorphoses into a poem themselves. A poet’s wife production no doubt?

    I’m off to reread ‘Welcome Mother Light’ and then your entire poetry of the year series through each month. Looking forward to hearing more about your new book in the coming weeks and months!! Wishing you both a merry Christmas and happy New Year! If you’re passing our way, don’t forget to pop in!! HF

    1. Ha-Ha! I couldn’t resist inserting a lean, hungry fox into my second verse! Yes, what a magickal December assembly indeed! It’s been fun discovering many stories around each of my characters. My favourite one has been discovering how and why the wren (Holly King) and robin (Oak King) swop crowns upon winter solstice.

      Ah, yes, tis the joy of being married to a fantastic photographer! Such a great photo I agree!

      Thank you so much Henry for all your amazing support and encouragement throughout 2019! I couldn’t of written this poetry series without you Dear Poet on this journey we call life. Yes, when passing your way we’ll be sure to stop and over-indulge (again!) in a glass or three of (seasonal!) Baileys!

      Re: The Shepherd’s Daughter, will keep you posted! Hope your own verses are going well? Warm & wild blessings, Deborah.

        1. Oh, I would love to try the short story format! Hope you’re still enjoying your creative writing. I’ve decided to look for a group to join in the New Year! 🙂

  10. I’m curling up with the dormice and hedgehogs Deborah as I snuggle down with your last poem of the year. Thank you for introducing me (ahead of your new book!!) to these 13 inspirational poems. Your beautiful Poetry of the Year series reminds me I’m only a guest on this beautiful planet. Five stars for the alliteration in the last verse! All the best, Anna.

    1. Thank you so much Anna for all your kindness and encouragement throughout the year! I didn’t realise there were thirteen poems in the series until I finished writing this one … it all started with “Welcome Mother Light” and don’t ask why but much like my “Poetry of the Tarot” series, a form and a structure followed which I faithfully recorded. I can’t explain it any other way! Yes, we’re “just guests” on this beautiful planet of ours. Ha-ha! My “w’s” alliteration, oh, I’m so glad you enjoyed them! Warm & wild blessings, Deborah.

  11. Lyrical and beautifully descriptive.

    There are many reasons to fall in love with this month so thank you for bringing more to light at this most wonderful time of the year.

    Can I reserve a copy of your new book please?

    1. Aww, thank you so much Bookworm for your truly beautiful review! I agree, December is such a joyful month, let alone time to spend with family and loved ones! The beautiful art of Mother Nature has inspired my poetry this year, deepening my relationship with Her in ways I never dreamed possible. Re: book, I’ll post a link up as soon as it’s finished! Warm & wild blessings, Deborah.

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