from Francis Kerr Young
When The Yule Log Crackles for Jacqueline
While Santa keeks doon frae the
the Yule log crackles oan this Christmas Nicht,
waurmin' hearth an' hame by burnin' sae bricht.
We coorie thegither, my wife an' I,
voicin' oor thouchts aboot the day ganged by.
A' wheest in the daurk we savour oor love.
Contentment is treasured as flames
the shadowy shapes that lowp roon' the room
as midnicht's chime filters intae the gloom.
Oor weans, noo sleep (hiv they been up syne dawn?),
their stoakin's hing limp, a' their plunder gone.
Imagination stokes this magic fire:
Wraiths mingle in every dancin'
nimble forms soom in a translucent fog;
memories brocht forth by a blazin' log.
Ribbons o' fire mak' sparks flare an' collide,
for thochts are flotsam in a fiery tide
that shortly disappear frae whence they came.
They vanish like dreams at morn's
tae loast coordinates in Time an' Space,
marooned, perheps, in an enchanted place.
Oor hopes for the Future cam' . . . Och! sae fast.
An' Present, quite suddenly, is Noo - Past,
up oor lum jist like a puff o' blue reek.
* * *
Scoorin' oot cinders ablow dawn's
(the Auld Year's cauld ashes ane micht suppose),
a stourie eddy in Time's ebbs an' flows.
A soberin' day tae contemplate life,
an' yearn for solitude wi' my dear wife
when the Yule log crackles next Christmas Nicht!
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