Illumination (A poem)

Getting back to it after a bit of a break. Note that I am using illumination here in the Japanese sense; examples of illumination can be seen here and here.

It’s been years since I last saw the lights
opulent displays of color and bright
to enliven the season
distract from the chill
with festivities running on into the night

The streets are all lit up, the stores inviting and warm
the people smiling and happy, the music—in all of its forms
I hear screams of delight
see clouds of breath rise
a celebration of hope sheltering all from the storm

Memories and photographs
remind me of those days
second- or third-hand, no matter

Somewhere the lights are always shining
fulfilling promises made long ago
to mark time and place
whatever the space
or frame of mind

In time, I will see the lights with you

(20 December 2015)