The shortest day approaches

on Cally forest paths,

silver- edged ferns.

Soil is sugar icing coated.


Few furred creatures move.

Night falls on Christmas Eve.


A first star appears,

lights oak tree branches, escaped winter firs,

sharpens palace stone and roof.

Stillness fills the Temple.


A sense of waiting hangs,

as might have filled a stable once.


Emptiness sighs.

Carols faintly echo

from Gatehouse streets and kirks.


A twig underfoot snaps

like a Christmas cracker.

In townhouses,

children's dreams open like parcels.

Liz Niven

The Temple: Diary

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