These are dark times. Rumors of war
rise like smoke in the east. Drought
widens its misery. In the west, glittering towers
collapse in a pillar of ash and dust. Peace,
a small white bird, flies off in the clouds.
And this is the shortest day of the year.
Still, in almost every window,
a single candle burns,
there are tiny white lights
on evergreens and pines,
and the darkness is not complete.