The Scarlet King at Yuletide

By Nicholas Trandahl

Spilled across the gleaming crust,

Lambent in the hyperborean night,

Are smears of color; lights aglow

In red and orange, blue and green.

The township, enchanted and frosted

In weeks’ worth of snow and rime,

Radiates bright Yuletide ambiance

In a whisper of garish-colored light.

A contrast to that wintry land

Is another realm, another scene.

A crystalline void, clear and black,

Is stretched monstrously overhead,

As taut as inky canvas; perilous.

The achromatic gulf, sullen and fell,

Is all aglitter with starry ornaments.

A cardinal, vermeil and brilliant-

Even in this incapacitated night,

Falls out of the delicate glassy sky.

Avian friend, where have you been?

Mysterious bird, an orgulous lord,

Why do you flutter in the ebony night

Instead of roosting in dark warmth?

Have you been harvesting seeds

And crimson berries; spherical and glossy?

Descending out of the Stygian ether,

This red sovereign dances over snows-

Over diamond-encrusted lawns-

Over homes, slumbering and rimy.

Its puissant and feathered frame

Is a fleeting wraith across the hues;

The nostalgic glow of holiday light.

Fly home, cardinal, the scarlet king,

Your belly full of berries and seeds.

Fly home upon the niveous hush,

And into the candy-colored night.


I hope all of you had a fantastic Christmas. Here’s a poem I’ve recently written inspired by the holiday season. It was published in last week’s issue of my area’s local newspaper, the Weston County Gazette.

Have a marvelous 2016. I know I will!

Artwork by Janene Grende.

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