Ted Charnley

Approaching the Winter Solstice 

I know it’s just the solstice, just a day,
and not some darker sign that bodes the end. 
Where once the dimmer sun would see me pray, 

then sacrifice a victim, make amends,
my home now has the heat and light I stole. 
No longer will I raise my monuments, 

aligned for such a holy day, just so. 
No longer will a chariot of fire
appear above, demand my faith as toll. 

Where once the punishment for base desires 
might send me gloom like this of endless span 
or spoil the crops I’ve stored with godly ire, 

the crops are safely frozen or in cans.
Though seasons past have shown it’s their design 
to bring these shorter days, will I again
still whisper in the dark the fault is mine? 

Ted Charnley’s verse has appeared in multiple issues of such journals as The Orchards, The Road Not Taken, Think, The Lyric and Passager, and in the recent anthology Extreme Sonnets. He lives with his wife in a 200-year old farmhouse they restored in central Maryland.