Midwinter’s faire

Imagine sitting around a fire of olde, Renaissance era minstrels and bards singing and reciting love poems, or perhaps poems about the darkening of the sky in midwinter? For lovers of Renaissance festivals, we still celebrate poetry and song, fires and wassail, and the chill of winter held at bay by a warm woolen cloak. Author and poet JT Morse shares a poetic vision of a winter faire that sounds so perfect we can nearly hear the bagpipes and see the dancers. Nollaig Shona!

With the rising of the sun, the King 

and Queen kiss ‘neath a ball of hallowed 

mistletoe, encouraging the day’s patrons 

to summon courage and follow suit.

“Huzzah to Midwinter—at this most 

revered Renaissance Faire!”

Jousters skewer evergreen wreaths

from the grasps of elven jesters, clad

in red tunics and too-snug green tights,

as fairies paint golden star bursts and

crimson holly berries on the cheeks of 

giggly children and grizzled barbarians.

Mulled cider, sugared yams, and spiced 

ham, their scents commingle, swirling 

midair with the raspy harmonies of untamed 

pirates singing bawdy versions of ancient 

carols and medieval parodies of pop hits

at the tavern, just around the bend.

Crushed velvet cloaks cover snowflake-

embroidered bodices and woolen socks

keep calves of brazen kilt-wearers warm, 

never mind their chilly twig and berries

left traditionally unadorned—“Brrr,” 

silently say the rowdy band of brithers.

Robin and Maid Marian dance to Un Flambeau 

Jeanette Isabella played airily on Highland pipes, 

accompanied by masked, choral singers as the 

parade passes Maypole Meadow, led by Father 

Christmas and his eight regal Clydesdale-deer.

At the masquerade ball, jugglers delight in

using hand-blown ornaments for their daring,

comedic feats, while puppeteers spoof classic 

Twelfth Night customs and a bard rambles 

on about the history of yule logs as a troupe of 

mummers begin their ever-playful mumming.

Then as the sun bestows her final farewell, 

all gather ‘round a crackling bonfire or

fireworks-lit, lakeside arena, snuggled up 

with friends, family, and a few complete 

strangers, wishing Happy Faire Days to all

and to all a gute nacht.

This poem inspires us to listen to wonderful, wintry music, including the ballad “Drive the Cold Winter Away,” sung by the inimitable Owain Phyfe, performing with the New World Renaissance Band. You can find our playlist here: https://music.apple.com/us/playlist/ladyfaire-a-cozy-winter/pl.u-2aoqP5bFVeMLlK

JT Morse tiptoes the fine line between recklessness and bravery every time her fingers grace the keys. A multi genre writer, Morse pens everything from corporate web content to deeply heartfelt essays, from award-winning horror fiction to eye-catching ekphrastic poetry. This retired singer/dancer/actor, now prefers flexing her creative muscles for the written-word muse but has still been known to show up centerstage from time to time. If missing, she’ll more than likely be found hiding out in the barn, grooming the rescue horses while listening to a podcast from NPR at her SE Texas homestead. To learn more about JT Morse, visit her website JTMorseWriter.com or find her on social media outlets: @JTMorseWriter. 

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The mission of LadyFaire is to encourage people, particularly women and femmes, to recognize the beauty and magic in their world while developing their inner strength and connections with others so that they can live abundant, creative, empowered lives. Words build bridges to relationships, art strengthens the soul, and authentic friendships change the world.

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