After the Shortest Day – poem

AFTER THE SHORTEST DAY –  broadcast on Sunday Miscellany RTE Radio 1 27/12/15-
After the Shortest Day

As Venus appears with a crescent moon,
look upwards, breathe in the wonder.
You will see them watching over us
through the darkest of nights. Pivot
until you see the three bright stars
resting on the swath of the Hunter’s belt.

Find the four limbs enshrouding them,
Orion is walking on waves of light
past the Bull, the Seven Sisters, the Plough.
There is his shield, a club or bow and arrow
for the father of twins, protector of the universe.
He is pointing out the brightness around him.
This vast presence we visualise as stars,
once seen by those who have passed away,
continuing now for us, still to be there
when we have moved on. And long after
most constellations will have disappeared
the pink heart of Orion’s nebula
will still shine for all our descendants.