As I walked into the banquet hall of the
Goodman’s Inn, the first thing that stood
out to me were the eyes of the people. I
felt as though I could actually see hope. Eyes
seemed to sparkle and everyone in the hall
sat talking to the others sitting around them
as they waited for the main course of the evening.
To understand this report we need to go back just
over a year ago when Lindsey Long won the 50
million dollar lottery. Apparently the multimillionaire
booked the Goodman’s Inn for December 24th through
to January 2nd of this year solely to house the homeless
over the Christmas holidays. Miss Long walked through
the streets herself over the last week inviting the
unfortunate homeless to come to the motel for these
festivities. Lindsey Long has not only provided the rooms
for this week, she also has clothed them with new
wardrobes and warm winter clothing and accessories.
Now as the people sat around the table they were
told Miss Long had an announcement. We all waited
to hear what this amazing lady had to say
and excitement filled the room. When this
beautiful young woman began to talk there
wasn’t one dry eye in the building. She told them
how she was not going to just send them back
on the street next week but how she had
built a new centre that would have sleeping
facilities and showers to accommodate all
of them. This new facility will be serving
three meals a day which will be prepared solely
from themselves on a voluntary bases.
The feeling in the Inn that night was pure joy
and as the people realized the impact of this
wonderful news, they all broke out singing
It Came Upon a Midnight Clear. This is
Rhonda Reeds reporting for
The Good Newspaper.
Merry Christmas everyone.
Written by Brenda Meier-Hans
Sponsor Mystic Rose
The Good Newspaper
Peering at the radiating faces of happy families
So much joy emanates from well-to-do children’s sparkling eyes
Wish I could replace the grief, put smiles on the faces of my sons
Without a glimmer of hope even promises of warm meals would be lies
In the brown eyes of my sons, the same eyes their mother, my wife
Sadness the sacrifice, a courageous mother giving life
So great a zest for life she sacrificed to give her sons life
But now greed hath put her seed in peril and my world in strife
No “Help Wanted” signs in the windows of Main Street’s bustling stores
The aroma of fresh bread wafts tauntingly from the bakery
With my hands in pockets, finding not even loose change
Overcome with hunger and jealousy, should I resort to thievery?
Mind reeling, contemplating abating moral principals
Suddenly appear familiar brown eyes amid face so dear
The image of deceased wife, Spanish born eyes filled with tears
Speaking, "Abe, the Lord is gracious, walk until head is clear"
I follow the light in her warm eyes reflecting in glass windows
They lead me down the road to a park at the end of town
Dressed in ragged clothing, a man sits with a smile of peace
Breathing white puffs in frigid air, this gentle soul sees my frown
The message is plain, as my fears begin to clear
There is a greater depth in a soul of love well kept
The night is far spent; I kissed the hand of this gentle man
He smiled sweetly and said, "Lift up heavy head from dread"
I look up to see sun glistening on snow-laden pine boughs
It’s here, Christmas Day, and I’ve left my children alone all night
An ache in my heart compels me to race quickly back through town
Breathlessly, I reach my porch unprepared for a welcome sight
Hearing laughter within, I smell, yams, turkey and ham
I open my door, on the floor, presents piled high as well
Laughing with glee, sons kiss me, sparkle of brown eyes I see
Sparkling brown eyes, of Spanish descent, love is evident
“From where in the world did all this come,” I ask my sons
“Beautiful lady with Spanish brown eyes, stopped at our door
She said a strange thing, as on the floor our gifts were lain,
‘Tell Abe keep the faith; a mother's love is stronger than the grave.’
Her hugs and kisses, will be greatly missed! Who was she, Daddy?"
Thank you, Moses, for joining me and guiding me in this write. Merry Christmas, dear
It is October again, but I have another in mind
One long ago, and it brings tender memories
It wasn't the usual, of Halloween kind
Of parties and goblins, of which there were many
It was a year of some changes, our family had moved
I was ten years old...struggling and shy
A small little town, I'd been replanted and torn
It was late in October...now uprooted and more...
A different school....a country lane....no close neighbors next door
On Halloween night, it rained and it poured
The end of the world...I was unhappy and bored
Leaving what had been home, familiar and sure
Where our old street had been filled
With Halloween thrills
Here in the country, ...no one came to the door
I was dressed to go out...but storms plagued the night
My mom understood....she saw my sad plight
She went up to her room, made up her face
She combed up her hair, until it stood on it's roots
Covered her face with black fireplace soot
She threw on her robe, and pulled on dad's boots
Crept out the back door, and to the front porch
When the doorbell rang....I jumped in delight!
Trick-or-treaters had come to our house this dark night!!
When I opened the door, at first I didn't see
It was mom, ...trying to hard, bring me some glee!
She grabbed me and laughed and pulled me to come
Out into the rainstorm....up the road we would run
We ran in the downpour, getting soaked to our skin
Laughing and yelling....such fun it had been!
Later that night, we warmed by the fire
She let me stay up....no one was tired
So cozy and warm...no longer so cold
With popcorn, and candy...and the ghost stories told
That one Halloween, on that night of the storm
Was the best Halloween....and reminds me of home.....
I'll never forget when each Halloween comes
The gift of the fun.... all thanks to my mom.....
As December winds swirled the snow in drifts outside
Lisa covered Mama, held her hand as she cried
“It’s my last Christmas, I know it in my heart, dear
Send my prayers to God; deliver them with my tears”
“Hush, Mama, you can’t die; Tommy needs you so
And his tour of duty still has six months to go”
Mama fell asleep, Lisa bowed her head in prayer
Adding her own tears, she asked that Tommy be there
“Please let my brother see Mama just one more time
When her eyes open, may it be her son she finds”
Tears fell on the floor as Lisa kept vigil
Beside her cancer-stricken mother so fragile
Awakening to see Tommy standing nearby
In uniform he appeared; Lisa exhaled a sigh
“God sent you home, I knew He would, our pleas were heard”
Tommy stroked his sister’s hair, saying not one word
‘Twas then Lisa saw Mama standing behind him
Aglow in heaven’s light were her mother and twin
“How blessed we’ll be – together on this Christmas Day!”
Lisa exclaimed, just before they faded away
Confused, she saw her ashen mom so still in bed
‘Neath the door a telegram, Tommy too was dead
And though there were tears in Lisa’s blue eyes so bright
Her loved ones would spend Christmas together in God’s sight
A smile came as candles flaming in the window grew
Lisa realized one Christmas she’d be with them too
*Rhyming narrative for Paula Swanson’s “Tear” contest
Pweeze wet me expwain, officer -
I taught it was dat wascally wabbit agin...
buwwowing under my ewectric fence,
eating up my cawwots. wettece, my bwoccoli
and-and...even my woot-a-beggers!
He's a weal pest...constantwee hawassing me,
destwoying, wandom wooting, wuining my cwop...
din waughing at me! (Dere outta be a waw)
Wha...awwest me?...Dis is an outwage!
I am a waw-abiding citizen!...Wead me my wights!
I demand pwoper mis-wepwesentation!
I am going diwectly to your superwior office, pwivate!
Bewieve it my fwiend, you will wive to wegwet this...
Ow! Must you be so fweekin WUFF?...Dat hoits!
I have woomatism you know! Powice bwutality! Po...
Aw scwew it...Wes! Wes! I moidered da widdle bum!
(Wunning awound dwessed wike dat
distwibuting doze siwwie cowoured eggs
Embawassing widdle cweature...
It's a downwight disgwace I tell you)
written 28th June 2013
The place downunder, I'm happy to call my home
if you plan on a visit, here's somethings you do "need" to know
Kakadu is a place 'you' need to take the time to see
such magic you will never won't to leave
But...if your arms "outside" the boat...
It...WILL end up down, a crocodiles throat
Ayres rock...is a must place to have on your list, simply this you can not miss
As the sun descends watch it's colours change, you'll be mesmerised by 'pure' bliss
Coober Pedy...for those slightly intrigued with the underground
for it is here, a quiet town where all there house's are found
Ballarat...you can still find gold
Well... so I've been told
I recommend...."you" don't swim in the oceans at the top end..
surrounded by oceans.... the rest, feel free to jump in
"BUT" if you happen to see a 'fin' I highly 'recommend' you swim
With nights call..'when' offered pull up a chair, grab a beer and relax
there's just....'one small' catch
Don't ever be the 'first' to fall "asleep"
Aussie's find 'extensive' pleasure in an innocent prank when asleep
Enjoy your stay....and from the Land downunder we 'all' say "G'day"
and look forward to seeing you again, we know you had a great stay
The sandwich was probably only two days old
School had let out for Christmas vacation on the 23rd
And now on Christmas Eve Sam had found it -
lunchbox and all - in an alley behind Clarke’s Super
The kid had taken a couple of bites of the apple – now
gone brown- but left the roast beef sandwich whole
“Too damn much mayo!” Sam frowned
“But boy am I hungry!”
Licorice the cat – so named by the neighborhood kids –
was hungry too and let Sam know it with his most
Sam was street-wise an old cardboard box dweller who
had tenanted many boxes many alleys in his time
Yet this was no “Hello puss whose puss are you?”
animal summons for attention
The yowl had a bone-rattle desperation Sam hadn’t heard
Licorice blended with the night
But stood out even against the gloom
She was pressed against an empty oil barrel back arched
on the tips of her paws so almost skeletal
Sam couldn’t help but sigh
It was Christmas Eve and despite the location – a forlorn
back alley – a string of lights (from somewhere) were
The red-green-gold shown against Licorice’s satin fur
Charmed the (already charmed) night
Charmed Sam the Box Man
“Well I’ll be damned!” he gulped
Then threw half the sandwich to the starving kitty
“Merry Christmas old beggar.” Sam smiled
Love is a season
And holidays mark the seasons, like signs in the road
Reflecting the bumps in our journey, but showing us a way back home...
Sixteen, in pajamas, watching the rain pelt down
It was long past midnight, Christmas eve
Twinkling lights on one house across the road, stared back at me
It was if they were trying to fill our void with color
The block was filled with a hundred black windows
And the blackness somehow seemed more appropriate
There was no Christmas tree in our house this year
I suppose Dad felt it was too soon, or perhaps just the effort to get through each day
had taken all the strength he had...
We had stayed up and watched a Christmas program together...
It was Perry Como, I think....somehow I remember how he sang "Ava Maria"...
My brother had come home from the Air Force earlier that week
He had helped bring us a bit of cheer....at least for awhile...
but he had been called back to duty, and I missed him terribly...
The house was silent after Dad had gone to bed
I wasn't sleepy....and it was lonely looking out at the cold night
It seemed the whole world was sleeping,
getting ready for the sun to shine on Christmas morning...
I started to head for bed, but noticed a light had been left on in the front coat closet
I opened the door, and looking up, to pull the chain, I noticed the box...
The little box that kept the sugar cube house
It was one that Mom and I had made together when I was 8 years old...
Little sugar cubes stacked into walls and a roof, glued together with red frosting.
We had copied one out of her Ladies' Home Journal....surrounding it with little trees, and
people skating on a mirror for a pond, things we had found at the 5 and 10 cent store
Carefully packed away last year, on Mom's last Christmas....
Throughout the night, I sat in the dimness of the house, laying out the sugary scene on the
fireplace mantel....as Mom would have done .
When the freckled morning moved into day...
I woke on the sofa...Dad sitting next to me. He had covered me with a warm blanket.
He held me and we cried together.
After breakfast....he disappeared outside, and soon came in carrying a sorry looking branch
from our old evergreen tree.
We decorated that bedraggled branch...it wasn't the most beautiful tree we had ever had
But it brought Christmas back to my family...
For Constance La France's contest "Your Saddest Christmas Ever"
I was sitting in the crowded train station with time to waste, waiting on the train to take me home on Christmas Eve. A very pretty, young lady, carrying a full backpack headed for one of the only open seats across the aisle from me next to a rather dirty and disheveled older man.
As she removed her backpack to sit down he glared up at her; she smiled a beautiful bright smile and said to him, “Merry Christmas”.
“I don’t celebrate Christmas”, he barked up at her.
“Yeah? Well, that doesn’t mean you can’t be happy on the day that I celebrate Christmas. And I hope the day is merry for you as well.”
“What is there to be merry about”, he moaned, “A bunch of hypocritical religious zealots pretending to be nice to one another while the world goes to hell in a hand basket.”
“Well, at least for that one day, most of us believe the hypocrisy, and even for just a few hours, we practice the morals that our religion tries to instill in us. At least on that one day, for us religious zealots, there is a glimmer of hope that we can save the world from going to hell and, I, for one, believe that is reason to be merry.”
“Terrific! And, what does that get me,” he whimpered.
“Well, what you get is this one time of year, when a twenty-two year old college girl is not afraid to sit next to you; smile at you; and, wish you a Merry Christmas. And, if you just say, ‘Thank you’ and ‘Merry Christmas’ back to her, she just may give you the biggest and best kiss you have ever experienced.”
She stood back up and started to put her backpack back on as he simply stared up at her. Once she was situated and ready to move on towards her train, she stopped; smiled at him again; and, said, “Merry Christmas.”
It seems I was not the only stranger that was witnessing this exchange. All of those around me were perched on the edge of their seats waiting to see what might happen. The old man cracked a little smile. A glimmer came to his eyes, and he said, “Thank you. And, Merry Christmas to you, too.”
The girl leaned down and planted a kiss right on his lips for what seemed like ten minutes. Smiles lit up the faces of all the men, women and children watching this take place. When the girl finally pulled back, the old man was frozen in place with a big ole smile on his face. She adjusted her backpack and started heading towards the tracks. All the men she passed on her way who witnessed this exchange anxiously yelled, “Merry Christmas” as she passed, hoping for a kiss as well.
I looked back at the old man who was still in a dream. Suddenly he caught me looking at him and barked, “What are you staring at?”
I just shook my head back and forth and said, “Merry Christmas”.
“Yeah! Well Merry Christmas to you, too” he shouted.
In my hometown of Hillsboro
A humble, small suburb
There stood a church that was more humble still
In that cozy congregation
We'd teach and learn the Word
And try each day to do the Father's will
But our little congregation
Each year at Christmastime
Would execute a miraculous feat!
The whole town would come out in droves
To view what we'd present
A Christmas pageant right next to the street!
The first vignette was of a home
A modern family
Telling of that first Christmas long ago
The next scene showed the palaces
Of Herod on his throne
When his grim proclaimation he bestowed
Each onlooker could walk or drive
From scene to sacred scene
But either way, observers saw the worth
For every stop would reenact
The story of God's love
From Herod to the blessed Savior's birth
The community seemed hungry
To hear the wondrous news
Of the Messiah, born to die for us
And like them, we were richly blessed
To share with all who came
The spectacle-- a Journey Through Christmas!
*This is a true story that I've presented in poetry form for Carolyn Devonshire's "Christmas
in Your Town" Contest
riding out the night
searching for that solar storm
instead, up ahead
columns of wind
breach the scene
green trees clobber the place
as bedlam pulls out the white swords
and once again it's on
even though it was full as can be
no sign of Jason Voorhees either
maybe he's graduated from the mask
this place ain't so scary
"THIS PLACE AIN"T SO SCARY!"
(stirring up the devils)
only 15 minutes 'till we're in the clear
Saturday 14 is near
©2014 ~JSL PoetTreez Publishing
Upon our roof top did he arrived, two reindeers short and blood shot eyes. With his gray
and black beard with bits of food inside…I thought it was suppose to be white? They also
told me he had a cute button nose…his nose was big and by no means cute. He attempted
to enter thru the chimney top, only to discover that it was a false smoke top. So he being
Old Nick, I could hear him as he fumbled with some keys as he did huff in discuss. His
belt did seem a little bit too big for his gut and his and butt was as big as my dad’s big old
butt. From behind the big chair were I did hide by the tree, I could smell the aroma of
cheap alcohol coming off his breath as he bent over by the Christmas tree to deposit our
gifts. To despite the fact that he had been to plenty of houses before ours that had real
chimneys, his red suit was not covered with one drop single drop of soot! No not even one
dirt spot and the boots that he had on look like my dad's old work boots! I chuckled to
myself… and said maybe it’s made of some special stuff? As I he place the last gift in
place up under the tree, he then reach his hands to the sky and then grabbed his lower
back, I thought he was suppose to be jolly and all that stuff? The whole time he was here,
I could almost be certain that I could hear him cursimg from up under his breath… but to
my surprise he eat the cookies and milk that my mom had left, but the damndest thing
happen as he flung his back pack over his back and proceed to leave, but instead of going
back out the front door, he made a sudden turn toward the stairs and went up and into my
parents room and never left? I final said I had seen enough, I just chucked it up to
another year in the Ghetto and my first real sighting of legendary Ghetto Santa and one
which I hope would be my last!
Four palms, one taller, the other three measure the same.
Heavily anchored in sand, all are vertical climbers of this azure sky.
Eight new fronds per palm, the older ones neatly trimmed by man.
No cocoanuts anywhere to be seen, their hazard great, if allowed to fall.
Growing 40-50 feet tall, how many savage storms have they endured?
Lying on my back, I hear the unseen breezes giving voice to their action
as they manipulate the individual finger like fronds into undulating waves.
In the far and nearly vertical distance I see a moon in half-phase.
This reflection of the sun bisecting the geometry of the moon
made possible by none other than the very planet I lay upon.
One lonely cloud of no consequence is viewable. The pristine nature
of it all now rudely shattered by an absurdity. “Dusk to Dawn” barnyard lights
are lag bolted onto two palms. How incongruous this fit of barnyard lights
affixed to a palm in this tropical paradise.
Suddenly, the whispering of the tropical breeze is interrupted
by the staccato, whump, whump, whumping of a helicopter, all black and shiny.
Streaking parallel to the shore mimicking a news channel
coverage of a Bronco chase or the latest freeway jam. Now comes
the cacophony of a loudspeaker, calling out it’s “Bingo Time” for
the bored and soul-less, as it reverberates toward the beach from poolside.
The rhythmical lapsing of the waves on the shore is drowned out
by high-pitched adrenalin fed screams and twin 200 horse outboard exhausts.
A parasailer from Des Moines has caught the wind and traverses the sky.
Strapped in a chest harness while dangling precariously attached to multicolored bands of
nylon, he is praying the towrope doesn’t break.
My total sublimation again obliterated, this time by two nudists from Europe.
Heavy oiling barely covers her lack of cups and his cajones are swinging free.
Nuts and knockers that haven’t seen the sun for eons will certainly
ache for emollient caresses tonight. Those mental images will play in my mind
like a never-ending mobious strip of hilarity, for which there is no end.
Traveling thousands of miles from the cold weather and slush.
I was allowed only one minute of solitude before nuts, knockers,
loudspeakers and barnyard lights rudely jerked me back to this reality.
Corrupting civilization is just a split second behind us. Ever ready to bury us,
should we but pause to admire natures’ beauty in a remote destination!
*Vacation thoughts garnered in Punta Cana.
Guess what... they even have “Black Friday” in Russia!
It's called, ?????? ???????
Who would have believed it!
The whole wide world has gone nutso, nutso, nutso!
Thought for sure Putin would have abolished it by now
Oh well, Happy Shopping!
© Jack Ellison 2014
Relaxing sea ride with skies of blue.
Gentle waves rock our bodies like a porch swing.
Family laughing and soaking up the sunshine.
Further along waters start to get choppy
Waves grow bigger than a garden wall
Green emerald waters broke our bow
This nearly ended a land lubbin crew
Straight to the bottom the pontoons did dive
I heard a shrill scream of terror escape
When my ankles submerged to a watery doom
I ran to the stern to get more height
Drowning was not the goal nor our plight
The pontoons began to arise like a bubble but
Our motor stalled from the severe incline.
I know now fuel don't run straight up at a ninety degree turn
We had to be at the mercy of the sea while our engine
Decided whether to trust us or not
After several harrowing moments the engine reved
We made our escape from natures deathly fury.
Partys for couples new lovers and just friends.
Music to fill the night the streets of New york
breath life to old flames keeping even jaded souls warm.
The lonley gather round the TV.
sharing a glimpse at something we all yern to have.
And from the up high the streets seem magic tonight.
the soudtrack of the night will echo
into are hungover minds with a painful yet happy reminder
of last nights celebration.
Late night lovers will smile and go there awkward ways.
So many acts in so many different plays.
creeping back to are corners in lastnights suit and tie.
Tight little black dress kiss worn lips
acting happier than two kids ragged in need of a shave
you with hair in a mess.
And for friends that gather to relive not so real
The pages are left to the writter.
To add to lastnights not so original story.
As the barflys gather to battle another unsober day.
I watch this first new day anew.
Take a sip from my flask and thank the lord
for one more year with you.
And tonight I say to you all raise that glass.
kiss that stranger you know so well.
Laugh love and live.
And thank whomever ya choose weve made it through another
year to tell.
Many Christmas stories are told every year,
and many songs are sung with pure cheer;
do I have a good story, at least one, I can tell,
or a simple song I can hum and spread good will?
When Lisa's grandmother passed away unexpectedly...
by her dying bed she kept an ivory music box,
and to her lovely granddaughter she gave it
to saying," Take care of it, and smile when you think of me!"
The day after granny died, she went down the dark cellar
to hide the ivory music box in an old dresser's drawer,
and once in a while she would open it and play it and listen to it sadly;
the pretty angel swirled...and Silent Night played as Lisa touched it tenderly.
It was almost Christmas Day and the pine tree wasn't decorated yet,
she rushed outside carrying a red basket with ornaments in it;
how could she had forgotten to adorn it with bulbs and garlands?
" Oh gosh, I feel like the Grinch!" she displeasingly uttered to herself.
There was no snow predicted for that evening and the illuminated town
was lacking Nature's magical snowflakes to make it festive and vibrant;
five minutes to midnight the choir from the nearest church gathered outside,
and waited for a miracle...silence...tranquility...every heart felt so alone.
But Lisa with an indomitable spirit ordered them to sing,
and they began singing looking up the clearest, starriest sky;
everyone seemed sad and some of them wanted to cry,
but before sadness set in...snowflakes began falling.
Lisa knew that it was the miracle she had been waiting for,
but something was missing from the snowy scenery...
she remembered her ivory music box she had put away,
and running, with awe in her bright eyes, she opened the cellar's door...
Clutched in her caring, careful hands, she carried the ivory music box,
laid it gently underneath the twinkling, scented Christmas Tree;
Lisa kissed it tenderly...until the golden angel started to swirl at midnight,
as that divine music filled the nippy air...making all cheeks so peachy.
Copyright 2009 by Andrew Crisci
One more Christmas,
has brought such joy,
to many a family,
and not only with toys.
from once silent homes,
as cheer, and gatherings,
turn into merry songs.
memories were made,
as a New Year approaches,
and this one fades.
Death has taken a few greats: Willa Mae Sams Brooks, Gary Coleman(What chu talkin bout?)
Dennis Hopper, and Lena Horne
Childhood still has a day or two left, toys are scattered all about the floor. A new year's baby
has another year to plan and explore. Time continues across the globe though our hearts are
saddened for those who have gone before us.
The sun is shining and the leaves still blow, I hear a puppy yipping waiting for a boy to play
fetch. There is still packaging scattered across the floor from Christmas presents. Tonight we
will celebrate a new year for the birthday girl.
Happy New Year to all!!! May your dreams come true!
Who decides what's fair?
I dunno - but I can sure
Tell you what's
Putting out costumed morsels
On Halloween night
And having their parents or other large beasts accompany them
Some of the large ones carry mace
The worst ones
Carry wooden stakes
Tasty-looking tots go from door to door
Trusting in the kindness of strangers
Who will give them candy
But not ONE will come
Into my parlor
Willingly or not
I've had a few tugs of war
Over several treats
Who tend to scream
And somebody big always
Comes to their rescue
Then they go away
WIth all their TREATS
Whilst I remain here
Now THAT'S not fair!
They say there's a first time for everything
My first time ever feeling the unsettling effects of an earthquake
Albeit, it was ONLY 5.8 on the Richter Scale
It happened during our holiday in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
We were roughly 60 km from the epicentre
But still found it a little unsettling to say the least
The locals didn't even break a sweat
They experience on average 150 of them a year
However there was definitely some rocking 'n rolling going on
At first I thought it was one of those people movers going by
Transporting folks around the resort
Then realized... YIKES!
That was a FREAKING EARTHQUAKE!!!
All's well that ends well
And I'm still alive to tell my tale!
Great place to vacation but you wouldn't wanna live there!
© Jack Ellison 2014
I want to tell you a story,
about one Christmas morning.
The snow was falling,
and the wind was roaring.
Holly and Christmas ferns decorated the door.
Gifts piled high around the tree on the floor.
Home baked goods from the kitchen filled the air.
The children opened their gifts with great care.
Time stood still for a moment when,
I reached for the box to open.
The box was white like snow.
Delicately tied in a big red bow.
Inside the box was a gift for me.
A tiny silver bell laid silently.
I picked it up and it begin to ring.
The music of Christmas, so charming.
My little girl said, "I hope you like your present too."
"Every time you ring the bell, a note of love from me to you."
A silent tear fell from my eye.
What a beautiful gift, and such a surprise.
I placed the bell on the mantle with care.
Even today it still sits there.
This happened many years ago.
The Christmas box with the big red bow.
A tiny silver bell plays a precious tune.
A note of Christmas joy from me to you.
It's funny how we associate things. They become one with each other. Who can imagine an Easter without the bunny, or losing a tooth and not being paid a visit by the tooth fairy. And Christmas would be unthinkable without Santa. So that is why, I guess, that I still remember one particular Thanksgiving from my youth.
Back then, turkeys at the market were fresh, not frozen and encased in plastic as they are today. They also represented an extra expense on an already tight food budget. So my mother made arrangements with the market manager to set up a layaway of sorts, paying some each week, and they promised to hold one for her.
I remember when, on the afternoon before Thanksgiving day, she sent me over to the grocer to pick up the turkey. I jumped on my bike and rode downtown to Converse Market. Walking up to the door, I found it locked. Shading my eyes, I pressed my nose against the window and saw that all the lights were off. Turns out they had closed early that day to give their employees a little more time to spend with their families.
When I returned home and told my mother what had happened, the look on her face was one of devastation. What would Thanksgiving be without a turkey? I thought my dad would be mad, but instead he just said “we've got food in the house don't we”? And we did.
So, although the letdown of a Thanksgiving without the traditional bird could have been a disaster, on that particular day, we chose instead to give thanks for what we had, and, as a family, dived into our pork chops with all the fixings.
Perched on the shore of Lake Victoria
Of its beauty I will speak
In any place I shall be
Granite stones chopped into bricks
Layered one upon another....glued by cement
"Monomutapalian architecture perfected" on the shore of Lake Victoria...
Of its hospitality I will tell
To all l shall meet
"Welcome" to me they said..."feel free"
This is your room...they guided
Some faults I saw
That prompted me to enquire...
"Do not worry"...they reassured..."this is Speke"
Warmly they pronounced..."You are our honorable guest"...
"We upgrade you to an Executive Suite"
"Do I have to add another cent?"...I wondered
"Nay" they said to my disbelief
"Come this way...this is where you will stay...
'til the closure of the errand that flew you here!"
It's amazing what a change of scenery
Can do for our psyche
Our whole outlook on life changes
We see things in a different light
More positive, more accepting of others
And the similarities between us
A break now and then is a must
To clear the cobwebs from our overloaded brains
Without a change of scenery
We muddle along never experiencing
The bright wondrous world out there that awaits
A form of therapy I guess you would call it
A time to recharge our tired old batteries
I strongly recommend this break from reality
You'll live a longer happier life
It's amazing what a change of scenery
Can do for our psyche
© Jack Ellison 2014
Memories of Christmas through the years,
Have brought lots of laughter and many tears.
Memories of those who have gone on home,
Sometimes leave us sad and alone.
The good times that were had by all,
Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, their happy faces I recall!
The gifts that were given, the fellowship we shared,
The love we all had, showed each other we cared.
The trees were so pretty, the food, oh so good,
Sometimes we would go caroling in the neighborhood.
We would exchange gifts by drawing names,
Some would get clothes, others might get games.
The homes would be decorated with ornaments and lights,
And we would all feast on the many delights!
There would be cakes, cookies, sandwiches, pies, and punch,
Some might eat a lot, others would just munch.
Before you knew it the night would be gone,
And the wait for next year would seem so very long!
But Christmas means more than just these things,
As we remember the birth of the Christ child and the salvation He brings!
He came into this world in a meek and lowly way,
Born of a virgin and in a manger lay.
The Shephards were frightened as the angels came to say,
The great news of His birth on this special day!
Born in Bethlehem, God's only son,
Savior from our sins, He is the only one!
So as I remember the Christmas's of old,
The greatest of all, was the one the prophets foretold!
One crying kid after another sat on Santa’s lap.
He tried to remain jolly while holding onto squirming, screaming, kicking and
Those who did not cry had endless lists of toys and games they wanted for
He was not aware of the electronic gadgets and accessories they asked for in
He had been pee’ed on. Had his real beard pulled and tugged on. He had been
kicked and clawed. He was even slapped by one mother who did not like the way
he held her daughter.
Picture after picture for ungrateful parents who commented, “Last year’s Santa was
One spoiled brat after another, disappointed with the snow globe they got for
sitting on his lap after over an hours wait in line.
Christmas had lost its meaning and joy to the, underpaid, Mall Santa Claus.
Finally, on Christmas Eve, the line had come to an end and one last child waited her
turn to sit on his tired, wet and weary lap.
Void of enthusiasm, he motioned with his mitten covered hand for the girl to come
sit on his lap.
He wondered if this would be a crier, a wetter, a silent stiff, a whiner or a spoiled
brat with a long list of gift orders.
She felt frail as he lifted her up onto his lap.
She removed her cap and displayed a totally bald head.
“Hello, little girl. And what do you want for Christmas?”, he asked with no emotion
left in his voice.
She could only answer in a sweet, soft, whisper of a voice, “I came here to say
thank you, Santa. I already got my Christmas present.”
“You did? And what did you get?”, he asked.
“A bone marrow transplant,” was her answer.
“Oh,” was all he could respond with.
“Mommy said it came from Jesus. So, I thought maybe you could tell Jesus, ‘Thank
you’, for me.”
“Yes,” he said, with rejuvenated spirit, “yes, I can.”
“Thank you, Santa. Oh, and Santa, can you give my Mommy and Daddy a nice
dinner away from the hospital on Christmas day? They have been there every night
for a long time and I think they could use a night off.”
“I will see what I can do,” said Santa, with a tear in his eye.
The little girl climbed down off of Santa’s lap, thanked him for the most beautiful
snow globe she had ever seen, and wandered off down the mall holding her
Santa sat there in the dark for the longest time, having forgotten the hundreds of
kids who soured his Christmas spirit and smiled, full of Christmas joy for the present
he had just received.
“And, Jesus,” the mall Santa said, “Thank you from me, too.”
A Stormy Christmas Eve
It had been snowing all day and
the skies were looking glum.
My mama started crying when
the mailman didn’t come.
Tomorrow would be Christmas Day;
Dad said, “I’ll ride to town.”
He put his warm raccoon coat on
and pulled his big hat down.
Then my mama began to fret.
I saw her fingers drumming.
“Do you think that you really should?
I fear a storm is coming”.
My daddy said, “I’ll be okay
if I am riding Dan.
You know that horse will find the way.
He’s smarter than a man.”
Then Mama gave him a big kiss
and said, “Now do take care.”
She waved him off into the storm
and wiped away her tear.
My mama plucked the turkey and
kept looking at the clock
while little brother prattled on
about his Christmas sock.
The storm was growing stronger and
the light turned into dark,
while I was just a wishing I
would hear old Ringo bark.
Mama lit the kerosene lamp
and started slicing bread.
“I should have told him Christmas could be late.”
I think she said.
About then I heard Ringo bark
and saw my mama smile.
I knew I’d hear my daddy at
the back door in a while.
That horse of Daddy’s brought him
safely home through blowing storm.
He said that he was glad to be
back home where it was warm.
Then he said he’d met a stranger
while on his homeward way.
He recognized old Santa Claus
with reindeer and red sleigh.
Santa said he would be happy
to lighten up his pack
and be obliged if Daddy would
relieve him of plump sack.
So little brother went to bed
to wake to a surprise
from Santa Claus whom our Daddy
had seen with his own eyes.
By Joyce Johnson
(inspired by “Seein’ Santa” picture)
"In this town, everyone's waiting for the next sunrise."
Gather round children of every age, wouldn't you like to see something strange?
Come with me and you will see.
Let us set the stage, for this is Halloween.
Whispers hum in the wind. (I am the clown with the tear-away face)
HALLOWEEN! HALLOWEEN! the crowd chants.
Master scares and creeps.
This, our circus on Halloween.
Don't be late now, for after the show, everyone's waiting for the next sunrise.
This is Halloween.
"Life's no fun without a good scare" we sing.
"I am the wind blowing through your hair; I am the hoo? when you call "who's
I am the one hiding under the bed, teeth grown sharp and eyes gone red." my friend
sings as the rest of the group sings the pumpkin song.
"La, la, la la la, la. Life's no fun without a good scare! La, la, la la la, la. THIS IS
HALLOWEEN! THIS IS HALLOWEEN! HALLOWEEN HALLOWEEN.
As the song ends, it is replaced by the eerie tinkling of a music box; slow and scary.
But, hey. That's what we're here for; the scares.
SEA TO SHINNING SEA,
...this is so intimate of time, as a first kiss of time is...so close of soul, so near, so dear of heart beat, so precious a rhyme that flows so intimately,
deep of time, down by the Crystal Seas...
...this is so intimate of dreams,
as the Crystal Sea so reveals of destinies galore,
destined as the night light of the moon-glows of starry eyes,
upon the waters,
...seeing tranquility upon the waves...
watching to the depth of a dream,
and a sun-rise
being so true...
for underneath and within this a moon-lit poem of starry night eyes, down by the Crystal Seas, a vessel sets sail upon the deep...into a kiss of dawn...
Sea to shinning Sea.