No Celebration

I.
There is no celebration tonight
but the celebration
of being here –

friends and family
although some are distant.

There are no gatherings
at circles of stone.

No matter –
the solstice sun
has not shown up either.

II.
The clouds are grey
as the smoke pouring from Whitfires
where two old friends choose
to walk the fishery

of old bridge
and goosander

and the moss
that is now farmland
and isn’t quite houses yet.

We raise the oddest of toasts
just out of smell of the recycling centre
on the edge of a muddy track.

III.
And where are you my god?

My King of Winter
in the not-quite drizzling rain?

Are you on the empty train
that I fail to photograph

because it would be
unseemly to pull you from
the invisible realm?

IV.
Where are you going
Gatherer of Souls

on the train track
from Ormskirk to Preston?

My thoughts are ominous
as the virus that culls
all thoughts

of celebration.

V.
I remember
my childhood fears
of being the train
bricked up.

How I fled
from the Mile tunnel
where your ghost-lights dance
and where you a man
somehow bore
a son.

VI.
You speak to me
without tracks

united without
the worldwide web say:

“We must celebrate
for the living and the dead.”

Thus I raise this poem
to thee.