Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

poem- candle December 12, 2013

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 10:32 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

In Finland,

a single candle in the window

is the Christmas light.

In graveyards,

candles illuminate gravestones

through the dark winter days:

a haunting reminder

of life lights extinguished,

better than buried plastic flowers

in the moonlit snow.

Light dances like a living soul

in windows and on graves.

Single points of light,

simple festivity,

Christmas celebration

far away.



Missing my Finnish host families and friends tonight, but remembering them with a candle in my window.


28 Responses to “poem- candle”

  1. Lovely Shawn I am so enjoying discovering the customs and practices of the northern hemisphere. Here at present we are having hot days, which is our idea of the Christmas period.

    • Finland this time of year has about 60 mins of dusky daylight around noon, and is otherwise starlit or moonlit. The snow cover reflects the stars and moon in the most beautiful soft, blue light. It is magical. (But not at all good for those suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder! I wanted to sleep all the time!)

      Here at 50.7 degrees North latitude, we have light from 7 to 4 so it’s better, and I still would like to spend most of my time curled up in front of a wood stove! We have a lot of snow piling up the last week or so. It’s very pretty.

  2. Geo Sans Says:

    brief light
    glowing tigers
    the night

  3. Bastet Says:

    Here in Italy too people put candles on their loved ones tomb. I do remember the long long nights in Alaska at this time of year…no sun..just light for a few brief hours. But i loved the summer! 🙂 Nice poem!

    • Yes, in summer at that latitude (and Helsinki at the southern tip of Finland is the same latitude as Anchorage, Alaska) the sun is glorious. I had the worst trouble falling asleep! It’d be 6 or 7 in the morning before I could drop off, and it never grew completely dark.

  4. pi314chron Says:

    Shawn…there is a depth of feeling in this poem that gives me shivers!

    “Light dances like a living soul
    in windows and on graves” — Inspired!!


  5. Noora Says:

    Greetings from Finland! I had no idea you’ve lived here. 🙂

  6. Von Simeon Says:

    Beautiful! How simultaneously healing and damaging, a simple flame.

  7. Lovely poem that sheds its own light.

  8. Hi Shawn,
    I like the way you connect the memorial and holiday festive aspects of using candles. It reminds me of what I have learned over the last several years about the Latin American celebration of the Days of the Dead, a very beautiful tradition that is full of both, encompassing both the living and the dead.

    Thank you for your visits and likes on the poetry on my blog.
    Elaine Danforth

  9. toad (chris jensen) Says:

    Reblogged this on tot123itsme.

  10. meechavatwe Says:

    I’m going to second Ron’s comment. “Light dances like a living soul / in windows and on graves” –absolutely beautiful lines. Love it.

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