Come to Cornwall for the Solstice,
for Mazey Day, for light and rejoicing.
See the serpent — a slithering reptile
of folk in green, twisting round
the streets, snaking over the fields.
Music and greenery are everywhere.

Old Penglaze the ‘Obby ‘Oss appears,
horse jaws snapping in play. Do not fear
— this is the festival of joy and love,
and bad fairies will fail to find you
today and tonight.

At the Crowst Parade, women in white
dresses are piping, with ribbons
around their hair and waists, curving
in the dance. See the sculptures:
a flower, a tree, a goat, a teletubby.

Now here come the drums!
With a pound — pound — pound
comes the torch procession, all holding
tarred and pitched tapers, and we circle
the bonnie fires.

As the fire wanes, the young of the town,
men and women both, leap the embers,
laughing. Oh, you can see fireworks
of every kind. Sparks are kindled,
and every evil spell is burnt up.

Autumn will come soon to nip at the heels
of summer, but the babes conceived now
will be born lush and lavish
in the green joy of Spring.

[Cathy Bryant is disabled and bisexual. She worked as a life model, assistant in a shoe shop, civil servant, and childminder before becoming a professional writer. She co-edited the anthologies Best of Manchester Poets vols. 1, 2 and 3, and Cathy’s own books are Contains Strong Language and Scenes of a Sexual Nature, Look at All the Women, and Erratics. She lives in Manchester. Cathy also runs the listings site of free opportunities for impoverished writers, Comps and Calls at http://www.compsandcalls.com/wp%5D