It’s time for our next Challenge, a special one marking one of two special times of year! Yule have to think a little out of the giftbox for this one!

Your challenge is to write a poem of any kind,
from sonnet to free verse, of 19 lines or less,
or a flash fiction story of less than 300 words around the theme

Win this pic

Win this image.


NASA Solstice illustration

Whether scientific, fantasy, fairy tale or metaphysical, you’re to free share your poetic glimpses of light and dark, the amusing creatures and beings of this time of year or the magical outcome of a ritual or two.




henge and sunrise sunset


Puns aside (never!), I thought I’d end this year as I started with a limerick, adding a little bit of history.

We challenge you to do much better!



See the CRES Submissions Guidelines for what we like (hint, no horror).
Enter your 19 line-or-less poem as a comment below this post. Limericks are always welcome!
Or enter your 300 word or less speculative flash fiction story as a comment below this post.
One entry per a person, please.
The Winner gets two Bs, a prize, and a pic: Bragging rights & a Badge, a gift subscription to Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores online magazine, and a .jpg of the challenge pic 😀 Also the chance to be a part of any anthology we do.
Vote by commenting MY VOTE or similar under your favorite entry. Other comments on entries are welcome!
If there’s a tie, we’ll get Fran, editor of CRES, to make the final judgement.
Please keep entries and responses friendly to all ages and as lighthearted as possible.
Challenge ends on 2 January 2021. Winner will be announced soon thereafter.

May this special time be filled with good health and things to cheer. Happy holidays and new year to yew, and you!

color in solstice

Your Solstice Invitation

* * *


It’s felt—hard to miss—
summer or winter’s longest kiss.
Light and dark dipped to balance
for a heartbeat in this celestial dance.
And within reach lies all bliss.

Druid From Inverness
There was a druid from Inverness
who, each solstice, got himself in a great mess.
Last week, he petitioned St Nick with mistletoe
for his enemies to sloe…
Whether d’still on a bar crawl is anyone’s guess!


Solstice at Maeshowe (294 words)
They say the winter solstice at Maeshowe is something special to see—the sun’s path lines up with the entrance and shines right into the stone circle (square, really) set within the grey mound built by ancients and graffitied by boastful, yet fearful, Vikings.
Unlike pompadoured Vikings thinking of bedded conquests and hiding from a beast (possibly a dragon, or maybe a stoorworrum if their predecessor Assipattle is to believed), I, myself, have nothing to fear from spirit beasts (or was it spirit-fuelled beasts?). After all, we’re entering the 2020s and all I need worry about is the sun may not show its face on this drab Orkney day.
I follow my guide into the mysterious monument, past the wondrous stone door free of rusty hinges or the decay of modern man, and into the womb-like enigma of the square set in a circle alluding to one ancient religion assimilating (or was it eradicating?) another…
Our hush voices die with held breaths as the beam of sunlight moves along the narrow passage and highlights the far wall within like a projector in a cinema. I stand, camera recording, by the etching of the Maeshowe dragon as the wall shimmers into golden particles. I hear a deep resounding snort, as if one’s come out of a deep dream. A waft of warm, mineral air fans by me and my open-mouthed guide. I move my glance up from my viewfinder to follow his gaze in time to see a dragon-like form, tail gliding like crocodile’s, disappear down the corridor.
“Did you get it?” asks the guide.
I shake my head, and then smile, understanding. The truth of things lie in one’s heart when brightness and contrast can’t be fiddled with…At least, not during a solstice.