Winter Solstice at Glastonbury – a poem by Rob Evans

Winter Solstice at Glastonbury

If a great bell survives the molten bedlam
of its begetting; if in the slow-cooled darkness,
it crystallises to one clear voice; if it emerges
from its sand-encrusted shell with vocal folds
uncracked then I suppose it’s natural that we
should recognise its pure enduring authority,
its right to mark our endings and beginnings,
like the one calling now from a nest of stones,
somewhere among the spires, its measured
metal song shivering the thin bones of the streets.

The bell does not know, or care that this is the null-
point of the year, the bottom dead-centre
of the wheel where everything waits for its turn,
where the light clings on to a memory of itself
like hesitant glass, forever on the edge of breaking.
This is the time that puts us to the question
and even if we do not hear it, we must choose:
to blindly trust in the brute momentum of it all,
or to make a different act of faith, a sacrifice.
Either way, our rituals are much the same:
we rise; we step into the day to gather kindling.

Rob Evans is an aerospace engineer who lives near London but who works all over the world. When not flying or working, he spends his time writing poetry and sometimes reading it to hushed and not-so-hushed audiences. He is a one-time UK All-Comers Poetry Slam Champion but has since clawed his way back to some kind of respectability.

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