The night of Saint Lucy

Close to winter solstice
Night is dressed in worsted wool,
wears polished boots,
his hands are pale as knives.

He smiles in sickles,
as he slyly whispers
sordid lies and whisky
blended with the tepid water
from his lidless eyes.

“Come drink with me
Mesdames, Messieurs,
Come drink,
obliterate regrets and mourn
your dying glow”

Close to winter solstice
Night is pestilence,
a mountain road,
clinging to the edge
of dread and doom.

Close to winter solstice, still
a lonely candle
sticks with us
a song for daylight to return,
a door to close

Saint Lucy guards against
the heavy footsteps of the Night
while we stay close inside,


By Claudia Gründer – Claudia Gründer, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Today we celebrate Saint Lucy (Santa Lucia) here in Sweden. It’t the only saint we still celebrate with songs and candle and young people dressed in gowns. This poem is linked to dVerse Open Link Night.

December 13, 2018

36 responses to “The night of Saint Lucy

  1. You had me at /his hands are pale as knives/. You, once again, slyly dipped into darkness, but thankfully you left egress and light at the end.
    Have some grand holidays!

  2. I love that there is still a glimmer of hope despite the dark imagery in this poem ❤ Happy Holidays Bjorn! 😊

  3. I love the way you made me freeze with ‘hands are pale as knives’, ‘smiles in sickles’ and ‘dying glow’, Björn but then warmed me up again with the lonely candle and the song for daylight to return, thanks to Saint Lucy guarding against those ‘heavy footsteps of the Night’.

  4. Bjorn, your poem brought memories of the tales that my dad talked about St Nicholas Day, in the Nederlands. How many of today’s modern traditions are linked to the Dutch. Like leaving out treats for St Nick and stockings, it was shoes filled with hay for his horse and treats for being good children or coal for being bad.

  5. I love the way you skirt between dark and light on a couple levels here Bjorn. The dimming down and the lighting up. Nice contrasts give the poem strength and balance…

  6. For me this is a glorious huddle of a poem Bjorn – you conjure so much here throughout and gradually we join you in the needing the comfort of the season.

  7. ‘a lonely candle
    sticks with us
    a song for daylight to return’ creates a very powerful image. Wishing you and your family a happy Christmas and a great start to the new year :o)

  8. Night so close to winter solstice is all darkness, mourning the dying glow. I love the hope with: a song for daylight to return.

    What an interesting celebration Bjorn. Wishing you the best of the holidays.

  9. Sounds like Smokey Joe’s on Christmas Eve, a dive I haunted many lives ago. You set this up really well Bjorn — a crafted tale which pays off with every sigh of thanks the next reader releases when they realize by poem’s end they have been passed over.

  10. Lucy and I think he needs a solid knee to the groin.

    your dying glow”

    What an asshole. We summer girls won’t put up with his bullshit.

  11. Saint Lucy…I like you all being kept close and warm in the darkness. The dark and light play so well against each other in this. Good jul to you and yours Bjorn!

  12. i read of this Saint many years ago, cannot recall the book or story but the image of the youngest girl child with candles in her hair stayed with me. we celebrate the solstice with a special feast, not religious more spiritual, an ancient custom. best wishes for the new year!

  13. In the second strophe, last line- did you mean “falls” from his lidless eyes? I like the way you created ambience with ominous words like pestilence – the act as like the spooky music in a horror show – letting us know something lurks, the repetition adds a subliminal beat of footsteps drawing closer to the door we hide behind. Masterful. However, I have to take exception to your vilification of the dark – that fecund fertile womb of creation! I hold it dear as light.

  14. All it takes sometimes is one small light to keep from being suffocated by a night that seems to never want to leave (though I’m with Christine in that I often *like* the dark as a source for nurturing 😀 ). I found this to be a sweet piece about the power of hope in any case.

  15. “Night dressed as worsted wool”…. be still my heart. Wish I had written that! And that second stanza – pure gold. Loved the whole poem. And I personally love the name Lucy. Lucia – that’s very pretty too.

  16. Night errant, Night speaks to me today…

    ““Come drink with me
    Mesdames, Messieurs,
    Come drink,
    obliterate regrets and mourn
    your dying glow””

    obliterate regrets… does not sound half bad just now, the dark can be a scared depth. But it will be a long winter – Lucy feed me arcry me sustenance in this maze, with two hands filled to bring the light again, even if it means we will live to see our grief.
    Bjorn… thank you my friend for this beautiful piece.

  17. kaykuala

    It is most appropriate to relate it to a current event.The mood is sustained and the event is easily recalled


  18. Your night is sly and scary. I’m happy there is some light and hope.
    I know they have an annual St. Lucia festival at Old Swede’s Church in Philadelphia, but I’ve never attended it.

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