Long poem by
Suzette Richards | Details |
It was a visit long overdue by most people’s standards. I had last seen my daughter two years prior to that during a whirlwind trip which she and her fiancé had made to Cape Town. I had an unexpected financial windfall and the money was burning a hole in my pocket. On the spur of the moment, I called my daughter and asked her to source accommodation for me in London over the Christmas season. A few days later, she called me back with the news that all the hotels had been booked up, save for the Ritz. I chuckled at the idea of having to spend my entire holiday budget on just one night at the Ritz. Then reason asserted itself and we put our heads together to come up with an alternative solution. I could hear her flatmate in the background, chipping in with her penny’s worth of advice. My daughter hung up and I was feeling down in the mouth about the plans for the trip being derailed in such a fashion. Later that evening, my daughter called back with the offer that if I did not object to sleeping on the settee in the lounge, I would be most welcome to stay with them at their London flat. I gladly accepted. She is a chef at a top restaurant and I was looking forward to gourmet meals prepared by her - including the Christmas turkey.
screeching seagulls dive
at sushi scraps on a plate -
the urchin watches
The evening of the booked flight to London, arrived. It was an uncomfortable hot day and I showered and dressed with only minutes to spare before my friend took me to the airport to book in the statuary two hours before international flight departures. At the airport everything was in chaos. We were given the unwelcome news that our flight had been cancelled. This was the third direct flight to London which had been cancelled that week due to London experiencing the worst weather and snow since records began in 1890! We were offered alternative flights and had to stand in queues for hours in order to procure a new airline ticket. Some people became very verbose and insisted on being granted passage on other airline carriers (at the cost of our local airline carrier).
I do not know whether it was due to the weather or the disappointment I was feeling, but when my turn came at last to book a new flight, I readily agreed to fly on Christmas Eve ( three days hence) to London. If I had been given time to reflect on this date, I would not have accepted it. Arriving in London on Christmas Day would have been disastrous: The tubes and other public transport would have been curtailed on Christmas Day and shops and other amenities would have been closed for the day. This I knew from previous trips to the UK over the festive season. To add insult to injury, taxis would have charged triple for cab fare and no amount of quibbling would have swayed them. I phoned my friend to collect me and when we got home, I poured a large glass of Merlot and retired on the sun lounger in the garden. It was *full moon that evening and it was almost worth missing the trip to witness its beauty. I left my bags in the hallway and retired early – after phoning my daughter and giving her an update on the status quo.
between moon flowers -
Six am the following morning, I was woken up by the phone ringing. Sleepily I took the call. It was the airline inquiring whether I could get to the airport by seven am. My friend was dancing up and down in agitation and already had the car out by the time I had brushed my teeth. I offered to pay any speeding fines which she might incur during our mad dash to get to the airport on time.
The flight was an additional service which was laid on to get the backlog of passengers to their desired destinations. Heathrow had given our pilots permission to proceed, hence the call to me that morning. We were a total of thirty six passengers on the Boeing 747 – it translated to two passengers per crew member. We were treated to five in flight movies which were current and could eat and drink as much as we wished to. By the time we landed in London at seven pm that evening, there was a festive spirit among us. A radio taxi (which my daughter had organised) was waiting to collect me at Heathrow airport. It was a chilly four degrees Celsius below zero and I was grateful for my leather coat and wool accessories.
steep steps to flat
shut out the bitter world -
a heart pounds
*The December 2010 lunar eclipse occurred from 5:27 to 11:06 UTC on December 21, coinciding with the date of the December solstice. It was visible in its entirety as a total lunar eclipse in North and South America, Iceland, Ireland, Britain and northern Scandinavia.
"bitter" means piercingly cold..... A term commonly used by Britishers...
"flat" means apartment. The Londoners I know, refer to it as just "flat" with no adj or possessive noun or article. Please see the About section for explanations regarding the 1ST AND LAST haiku.
Haibun(literally, haikai writings) is a prosi-metric literary form originating in Japan, combining prose and haiku. The range of haibun is broad and includes the autobiography, diary, essay, prose poem, short story and travel journal. ~ Wikipedia
Copyright © Suzette Richards
Long poem by
Darryl Ashton | Details |
THE LITTLE FIR TREE
A Little fir grew in the midst of the wood
Contented and happy, as young trees should.
His body was straight and his boughs were clean;
And summer and winter the bountiful sheen
Of his needles bedecked him, from top to root,
In a beautiful, all-the-year, evergreen suit.
But a trouble came into his heart one day,
When he saw that the other trees were gay
In the wonderful raiment that summer weaves
Of manifold shapes and kinds of leaves:
He looked at his needles so stiff and small,
And thought that his dress was the poorest of
Then jealousy clouded the little tree's mind,
And he said to himself, "It was not very kind
"To give such an ugly old dress to a tree!
"If the fays of the forest would only ask me,
"I'd tell them how I should like to be dressed,
"In a garment of gold, to bedazzle the rest!"
So he fell asleep, but his dreams were bad.
When he woke in the morning, his heart was
For every leaf that his boughs could hold
Was made of the brightest beaten gold.
I tell you, children, the tree was proud;
He was something above the common crowd;
And he tinkled his leaves, as if he would say
To a peddler who happened to pass that way,
"Just look at me! don't you think I am fine?
"And wouldn't you like such a dress as mine?"
"Oh, yes!" said the man, "and I really guess
I must fill my pack with your beautiful dress."
So he picked the golden leaves with care,
And left the little tree shivering there.
"Oh, why did I wish for golden leaves?"
The fir-tree said, "I forgot that thieves
"Would be sure to rob me in passing by.
"If the fairies would give me another try,
"I'd wish for something that cost much less,
"And be satisfied with glass for my dress!"
Then he fell asleep; and, just as before,
The fairies granted his wish once more.
When the night was gone, and the sun rose clear,
The tree was a crystal chandelier;
And it seemed, as he stood in the morning light,
That his branches were covered with jewels bright.
"Aha!" said the tree. "This is something great!"
And he held himself up, very proud and straight;
But a rude young wind through the forest dashed,
In a reckless temper, and quickly smashed
The delicate leaves. With a clashing sound
They broke into pieces and fell on the ground,
Like a silvery, shimmering shower of hail,
And the tree stood naked and bare to the gale.
Then his heart was sad; and he cried, "Alas
"For my beautiful leaves of shining glass!
"Perhaps I have made another mistake
"In choosing a dress so easy to break.
"If the fairies only would hear me again
"I'd ask them for something both pretty and plain:
"It wouldn't cost much to grant my request,
"In leaves of green lettuce I'd like to be dressed!"
By this time the fairies were laughing, I know;
But they gave him his wish in a second; and so
With leaves of green lettuce, all tender and sweet,
The tree was arrayed, from his head to his feet.
"I knew it!" he cried, "I was sure I could find
"The sort of a suit that would be to my mind.
"There's none of the trees has a prettier dress,
"And none as attractive as I am, I guess."
But a goat, who was taking an afternoon
By chance overheard the fir-tree's talk.
So he came up close for a nearer view;
"My salad!" he bleated, "I think so too!
"You're the most attractive kind of a tree,
"And I want your leaves for my five-o'clock
So he ate them all without saying grace,
And walked away with a grin on his face;
While the little tree stood in the twilight dim,
With never a leaf on a single limb.
Then he sighed and groaned; but his voice was
He was so ashamed that he could not speak.
He knew at last that he had been a fool,
To think of breaking the forest rule,
And choosing a dress himself to please,
Because he envied the other trees.
But it couldn't be helped, it was now too
He must make up his mind to a leafless fate!
So he let himself sink in a slumber deep,
But he moaned and he tossed in his troubled
Till the morning touched him with joyful
And he woke to find it was all a dream.
For there in his evergreen dress he stood,
A pointed fir in the midst of the wood!
His branches were sweet with the balsam
His needles were green when the white snow
And always contented and happy was he,
The very best kind of a Christmas tree.
Copyright © Darryl Ashton
Long poem by
Carol Eastman | Details |
A little girl lost her home this year, for her, Christmas wouldn't be there.
Her family was angry from all the troubles, they simply couldn't repair.
Don’t bother us about presents her parents said, they were depressed by their fate.
With bitterness they said, you’d be lucky to have dinner tonight, or even a plate.
Life was harsh, nowhere to go, anger and fear had put their souls, in a terrible place.
The little girl had found no hope or joy, lurking near their old car, of late.
The car was their home, gas money was scarce, and with few places they could park.
Yes, their troubles had slowly extinguished, that precious hopeful spark.
Without that spark, they’d never find their way, from this terrible place of cold and dark.
And life’s darkness grew deeper nightly, as hope vanished under a reality so stark.
Even the very fiber of her family, seemed to be shattering slowly, slowly, apart.
The child felt alone here in this dark car, as sadness tried to engulf her little girls heart.
The future seemed filled with hopelessness, as shame and dread, were leaving their mark.
Embarrassment to be seen and turned away, made it hard for them to reach out, to restart.
But life goes on, and we can’t fear to rebuild, or the future will be hard to impart.
The girl suddenly declared there’s more to life, and she wouldn't let it conquer her heart.
She decided triumphs will come, and all will get better, if she held to that hopeful spark.
Seeing the desolation and anger here, she couldn't stay around, she had to get away…
So she climbed out of the car, and she walked into town, not so very far to stray.
She went and looked at the store windows, where Christmas was being displayed.
The music and people filled her heart, lifting her spirits, deep inside, that day.
She noticed a store, way down at the end of the row, on the next block, where it lay.
No one was there, it seemed lonely, and the darkness was again, spreading it’s decay.
She ran there in time to see an old man closing up, with sadness on his face betrayed.
What use were his goods, if no one would shop, or come down along his way?
The super store down the block, was daily making him lose more and more in the fray.
He could no longer afford to hire people, and the season had very little time, to stay.
As they talked the girl saw that she couldn't let the darkness take another, so she prayed.
Then she told the old man, if he’d open the shop, she’d bring customers down his way.
She added, she’d find reasonable workers, if her family could live upstairs, she portrayed.
First bring the customers, he said, and the rest will be yours little friend, he conveyed.
She had him put his best toys, as a contest prize, and to add lots of lights on the display.
He set a contest, “Winners-the best collectors for families in need” on Christmas Eve.
He put out a bright contest sign, but still nobody came to his end of the block, to survey.
So she had him call the Salvation Army, for a kettle, Bell ringer, and Carolers, who came
Lickety split, their way.
Then she had him call a dear old friend, and farmer, to bring a tractor full of bails of hay.
Another volunteered his horse and sleigh, both, to see the city lights thru New Years Day.
This was a great idea, since the older drivers, could use the help, for their bills to pay.
The girl ran all over spreading the excitement, and to come see the prizes, his way.
The families suddenly started heading toward his door, and to those wondrous rides.
At that moment her parents came, and she explained what her hope, had improvised.
Her father talked a contractor into building a disabled family a home, to help advertise.
He could get a tax break; come to this store for supplies, and hire unemployed workers, he devised, so wise.
In the end, each night grew brighter, because of a girls hope, and heart-warming delight.
And the old man began smiling for the first time, in a long, long, time, starting that night.
All was saved, a home was found, and another built, as a sad little girl taught grownups to smile along the way…
You might say, A Spark of Hope lit a candle, then a raging fire, which was burning bright by Christmas day.
The moral to my story is:
Never give up on Hope; it’s your best friend, as life brings its troubles your way…
Know that with time, a good heart, good will, and friendly ways…
You can find God’s gifts again, if you don’t let the dark take you away…
Copyright © Carol Eastman
Long poem by
Roy Jerden | Details |
T'were the night after Christmas, 'n' the house was all dark
Not much money for 'lectric in the ol' trailer park
Ma waitin' tables at the club on the base
Jist me and my sisters alone in the place
A big ol' blue norther, t'were a hard winter storm
We's all snuggled up close, jist tryin' ta stay warm
The trailer's as cold as a well digger's ass
Cause they come out that mornin' and turnt off the gas
I shore kinda hated to git out of that bed
But ol' Mother Nature made me git up, instead
I'd gotta go out if I wanted a leak
'Cause the toilet had bin all plugged up fer a week
Outside it 'peered warmer, which was a suprise
As I peed on the tree, sumpin lit up the skies
Them lights shined down on the yard, and I froze
Shore prayed it warn't one of them weird UFO's
As I stood thar turnin' round and around
There was white stuff fallin' and coatin' the ground
I grabbed a big buncha it up in my mitts
I thunk it was snow, but turnt out it were grits
I heared a big motor runnin' up overhead
And down come a monster truck painted all red
It bounced on the front 'n' bounced on the back
Then the driver clumb down 'n' grabbed a tow sack
He was white-haired 'n' husky, with red overalls
With ZZ Top whiskers 'n' blood-shot eyeballs
A red John Deere work cap was perched on his nut
And a WalMart white T-shirt half-covered his gut
He look like he just come off'n the farm
'Cept fer them tattoos of elves on his arm
As I stood around there jist like a complete dick
He says, “Boy ain't you gonna say crap to St. Nick?”
“Yes siree Bob”, says I, “I got sumpin to say.
I'd shore like ta know where you was yesterday.
The toilet's stopped up and we's all out of heat.
Ain't got no money and they's nuthin' to eat.”
“I was fixin' ta make it on time”, he then said.
He look kinda sheepish, and hung down his head.
“But I stopped at a bar when I finished my rounds.
And run inna St. Paddy at the Hare 'n' the Hounds."
"Ya know that he's the very best pal of St. Nick.
But there's none who can put 'em away like that Mick.
And the next thing ya know, we's over at Chances
Where that Tooth Fairy is doin' ten-dollar lap dances.”
“The Tooth Fairy a stripper? That done give me the chills!”
“Yessir”, says he, “Where ya think she gits all them bills?”
“Jist a minute”, I goes. “Where's the reindeer and sleigh?”
He turnt even redder, and then looked away.
“Well, we had a poker game goin', I thunk I would win.
I was holdin' four aces and bet everthang in.”
There was a palpable silence, a terrible hush.
“Then that damn Easter Bunny laid down a straight flush.”
“Well, I cut cards with a redneck and won me that truck
But as for the reindeer, they was squat outta luck
They throwed a big barbeque, and cooked 'em up slow
But I must say them reindeer's good eatin', ya know?”
No Dasher, no Dancer, no Prancer and Vixen!
No Comet, no Cupid, no Donner and Blitzen!
For hung on that red-painted monster truck's nose
was eight pairs of antlers, lined up in two rows.
“Anyway, I brung vittles for you and the girls.”
And out of the sack pulled six freshly skint squirrels.
“I jist bagged 'em thar in yer neighbor's back yard
Fry 'em up well, boy, with plenty of lard.”
I goes, “Them squirrels is rilly fine eatin' fer shore,
But ta git past tomorrow, we's gonna need more.”
says he,“Well, I's a bit short on cash fer today.”
And he give me six lottery numbers to play.
Then up drives my ma with bad blood in her eye
Draws out her six-shooter, jist primed to let fly.
Then lowers her arm down and commences to bawl
says, “I love you, you bastard, you tol' me you'd call!”
He says, “Boy, looks like it's not healthy to linger
Sticks his mitt out 'n' goes “Just pull on my finger.
The truck is fer you, son. I bid ya goodnight.”
And on a column of wind, he plumb riz out of sight.
I feels fevered and flushed as I stands there in awe
And I reckons this redneck St. Nick was my paw.
A voice far-off hollers, “Merry Christmas, now, y'all!
Then adds, “Don't fret none baby, jist wait fer my call!”
December 19, 2013
P.S. Them lottery numbers worked out good. We
bought a double-wide on our own lot 'n' a giant
TV and had still had lots of money left over fer
me to go to big rig truck driving school and Ma
to that there beauty college.
Copyright © Roy Jerden
Long poem by
liam mcdaid | Details |
It is not just Santa Claus who we meet in cold December—
There is “Carolina,” and she’s the beauty of a winter picture perfect
With luscious long coal black curly hair far down on her back
As a true fairy princess, Carolina is quite beautiful with beaming
Blue eyes and that certain incandescent glow for all to see and
Dressed in a sparkling white robe made of polar bear skins
With a glossy coat sprinkled with pearls and diamonds . . . .
Out of the woods she comes so quiet in the night’s fresh snow
With a glimpse of two deer and a fox on hunt walking carefully
Carolina hopes the deer will walk around with angelic guard
The secret is that beautiful Carolina talks the animals’ languages
The birds they play in all its splendor fine without sorrows
They fly while Carolina keeps watch carefully on the horizon
Falling snow now dazzling Christmas in a ball circle most brilliant
While there is a frozen frosted sprinkling silver in the mist shining sun
Oh so!! Wonderful to behold as the Spirit of Christmas comes alive . . . .
The Reindeer come alive and begin dancing joyfully together and
Create such a melodic sound almost like bells ringing aloud
And the all the Reindeer are here in their resplendent glory:
Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen,
And Rudolph, with his red nose so beautiful and oh so bright—
And the sounds the Reindeer make stay in the minds of the little
Children just like sweetly wishing little voices wonderful in dreams
With those singing, tunes a dancing light appears so wondrous
While planes from all over the world begin landing with cargo
And one each day with loads of letters from good little children
And Santa Claus begins calling the elfin troops into action while
The Leprechauns do all the heavy work as they are much tougher
But the old fighting Irish in them showing their softer side all the
While with a drop of the old fiery dew to keep them warm smiling
Like the very wee little Devil in them - mischievous and all . . . .
They do all the heavy work for the elves as they have more of a spring
In their step while almost bouncing on the tip of the their toes like
Little jumping springs so full of boundless wonder and energy and
Then day after day the letters keep arriving and landing at the North Pole
And they begin working like mad and very busily in the North Pole factory
While Santa checks the letters of all boys and girls through a secret window
And when he shakes it he sees through the mist in a glass bubble of the
Christmas treats while hurriedly calling together all of his Reindeer . . . .
The sound of hooves on the snow saddles up the sleigh he is very slim
To start off while all his helpers are loading up and he flicks the reins
And the bells start ringing and - in a flash of magic dust in spirit sings of
The ground waving he bade Mrs. Claus a very fond and loving farewell
And off he goes in a flash of light Ho! Ho! Ho! Ho! echoing in the distance
Each chimney sliding down he eats the food throwing some to the Reindeer
Treats left after the night's over he feels so fat eating so much he heads back
Home to the North Pole while smiling so content at the children’s happiness
And ringing in his ears filled with golden smiles and wishing everyone a very
Merry Christmas he falls asleep after Mrs. Claus makes him a hot chocolate
Really tired but easing his weary bones year after year he loves his job very
Much so and all of the sheer delight that his efforts and those of Mrs. Clau
And his elfin helpers and the joy and fun of the Reindeer bring to all children
On this Earth!!
Merry Christmas to All!!
Anne-Lise Andresen, Liam McDaid and Gary Bateman – A Collaborated Poem,
Copyright © All Rights Reserved (December 9, 2014) (Free Verse)
Copyright © liam mcdaid
Long poem by
Cona Adams | Details | . You can read it on PoetrySoup.com' st_url='http://www.poetrysoup.com/poem/handels_messiah_623702' st_title='Handel's Messiah'>
A combination of Prose and Free Verse:
The most thrilling and inspirational piece of music ever to reach my
ears is, without doubt, Handel's Messiah. I've never known anyone
who could experience a performance and remain unmoved by this
stirring composition. There is not a doubt in my mind that Handel
was inspired by God's Holy Spirit while writing the brilliant oratorio.
Since its first performance in 1742, Messiah has remained one of the
most popular works in music. From all accounts, Handel was surely
driven to push himself to the limit in its completion.
George Frideric Handel (1685-1759) was a German-born organist and
composer. He was born in Halle and began taking music lessons at the
age of seven. By the time he was 12, he was assistant organist at the
Halle cathedral. As a youth, he had a typical Lutheran education, and
began his work as a composer at the age of 18. Three years later, he
moved to Italy and worked there for several years, becoming one of
the most popular composers of Italian opera. He composed 46 Italian
operas, over 100 Italian solo cantatas, 32 oratorios, and many other
works. His anthem for the coronation of George II has been used for
all subsequent coronations. As an organist, he was considered without
At the age of 27, he moved to England, lived in London until his death,
and is buried in Westminster Abbey. He was 56 when he abandoned
opera and dedicated himself to composing oratorios. Messiah was the
first, and was presented in a theater in Dublin in 1742. Less than ten
years later, blindness forced him to give up composing but he remained
active. He conducted a Holy Week performance of Messiah the day before
he died. It was told of Handel, that he was so engrossed in his work during
the composition of Messiah, that he shut himself away in his study and
would not come out until it was completed. His housekeeper would bring
his food on a plate, knock on the door, and set the tray on the floor. When
she would return to retrieve the dishes, the food was invariably untouched.
He felt the excitement of true inspiration, and the urgency of recording it.
As he emerged, gaunt and unkempt, his eyes shone with an inner radiance,
and he declared that he had “. . .seen the great God himself.”
The power of this work has inspired millions since its first performance. The
text is a collection of quotations gathered from the Bible by Handel’s friend
Charles Jennens. It illustrates the foundations of Christianity in a series of
musical numbers that parallel the prophecy of Christ’s coming, his birth, life,
death, and resurrection. The main reason for the popularity of Messiah lies
in its glorious choruses, which display a variety of mood and technique.
“And the Glory of the Lord” is a happy dance-like chorus in triple time. In
“Surely He hath Borne our Grief's,” Handel portrayed grief with solemn
rhythms and thick harmony. The thrilling “Hallelujah Chorus” shows Handel
as a master of choral effects.
This poem was inspired by reading about George Frideric Handel's passionate
experience during the writing of Messiah.
What's That I Hear?
The bells are ringing,
The angels are singing,
do you hear?
They are telling the story
The Son is exalted, exalted.
Handel's Messiah is heard
in heaven, as always.
What a gift God gave us
through one man,
willing to listen.
listen with your heart,
what do you hear?
Reference: The Columbia Encyclopedia - Second Edition, 1950
Copyright © Cona Adams
Long poem by
Cynthia Alvez | Details |
I wrote this poems some years ago when I was invited to be on a television program to read a Christmas poem to children as they gathered around me...I had not written a Christmas poem when the invitation was extended and wondered what to write as there were so many Christmas poems already...It was then I decided to write about the day before the night before Christmas...thus this poem which the children and listening audience enjoyed...
The Day Before The Night Before Christmas
It was December the 23rd
And Santa was packing his sleigh
Saying to his reindeer, "We've got
Lots of traveling to do today,
Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and I
Have lots of surprizes up my sleeve!"
The reindeer grumbled and were ill-at-ease,
Santa was worried and asked "
aren't you pleased?"
One reindeer who asked not to be identfied,
Stepped forward and replied,
"Christmas now is just a word!"
The other reindeer joined in,
"There is no peace on earth,
No good will between men!"
"No good will between people!" a liberated reindeer
Santa was aghast and could not believe what he
Had just heard,
It startled him, it made him sad,
Why, Christmas was the time of year to make folks glad.
A time for celebration, for spreading good cheer,
A joyful, happy time of year!
"I'll do some spot checking!" Santa said to Mrs. "C"...
"Christmas has lost its true meaning, this cannot be!"
"This is tragic!"
And with a little Santa magic, he transformed himself
Into a little child with a polka dot face,
This way he could represent every race...
He went caroling the world over and begged
Passers-by, "Please sing along!"
But no one would join him in song.
Santa was cold,
His coat was tattered and torn...
No one offered him shelter,
They looked upon him with scorn.
He stopped at several houses but no one
Would let him in...
Some shouted, "Come back again!"
They were busy decorating and wrapping
But no one would open their door.
Santa saw a family strolling hand in hand,
"What does Christmas mean to you?"
He asked stepping up to the man.
"Presents for one and all said he!
"Trees a glitter, houses in holiday dress!"
"Toys!" said the little one, jumping with glee...
"If you are really good, Santa will bring you a color TV!"
"But he won't find your house on the other side
of the track,
You are poor and ugly with that polka dot face,
I know Santa won't find your place!"
They laughed and scoffed,
"Why you are a disgrace!"
"Christmas means a brand new car!" said the next
The next lady said, "Christmas made me spend every cent!"
Poor Santa was really sad,
No one had said Merry Christmas,
"This is really bad."
He shook his head as he pondered, "Is Christmas really dead?"
No one mentioned the babe in the manger,
Or the wise men who traveled afar.
No one mentioned Mary or Joseph or the
Bright guiding star.
Santa slumped his shoulders
He head beack home,
His heart was heavy, he felt all alone.
The suddenly, bells chimed; it was Christmas eve.
A lone man appeared and took the little child Santa
By his tattered sleve.
"Come child," he said softly, "I'll share my meal with you,
It is not much but it should warm you through and through."
He wrapped his worn scarf around Santa's cold head
Santa thanked him...
"Merry Christmas!" the stranger said, "I am traveling to
Bethlehem" and he was gone again.
Marry Christmas!" said Santa ss the stranger disappeared
From sight..."Christmas lives!" he shouted,
"The reindeer were wrong and I was right!
Carrolers sang in the distance,
Deck The Halls! Silent Night
Copyright © Cynthia Alvez
Long poem by
Joe Flach | Details |
All I remember is going into the garage to get the snow shovel.
I am not even sure how much of the driveway I managed to shovel. Apparently, I was lying in the snow for several hours before one of the neighbors noticed me.
The next thing I remember is waking up from a deep sleep to the sounds of beeping machines with tubes and wires stuck into and on my body.
As I slowly regained consciousness and my eyes were able to focus, I was aware of a young, bald child looking down on me.
“Hi,” said the smiling, angelic face. Given the child’s age and complete baldness, I could not tell whether they were a boy or a girl. And, with the tube inserted in my throat and taped to my mouth, I was in no position to return their salutation.
I tried to remember who this child might be and why they were here with me. I guess my eyes displayed my confusion as the child said, “I'm Elizabeth. They let me walk around the hospital a little. Sometimes I sneak out of the oncology wing and look for people who have no visitors. I like to make sure someone is there when they wake up. I know I always like to see someone when I wake up from my operations.”
She just stood above me smiling. I then noticed she was holding my hand.
“Sometimes it is hard for family members or friends to come visit. Some people just really don’t like hospitals. And, I guess”, she said, “not everybody has someone that close to them. So, I like to become their visitor for them. I hope you don’t mind.”
I didn’t mind. Although it did make me embarrassed to realize that I fit in the latter category; I didn’t have anybody that close to me.
She just smiled at me and petted my hand as the medications worked their magic on me and I started to drift back off to sleep. I heard a nurse come into the room and say, “There you are, Honey. You need to get back to your room now and leave this nice man be.”
The next time I regained consciousness, I noticed a hand drawn picture of a house with a Christmas tree out front with a note that said, “I hope you get home before Christmas” and was signed by Elizabeth.
Each new day, I was welcomed by another drawing of Christmas scenes; smiling faces; reindeer; and, starry skies. All containing a happy note and all signed, ”Love, Elizabeth”.
After ten days of recovery and following the insertion of two stents into my heart, I was well enough to return to my empty home. On my way out of the hospital, I stopped by the Oncology Wing to say good-bye and thank you to Elizabeth. When I asked the nurse at the floor station where I could find Elizabeth, she replied, “Oh I'm sorry, Elizabeth is no longer with us.”
I then said, “Well can you tell me her home address or phone number, I would really like to thank her for visiting me in my hospital room this past week.”
The look on the nurse’s face indicated that I misunderstood what she had meant. Elizabeth was no longer with us.
Sadly, I started walking towards the exit.
Just before I got to the elevator, I noticed an open door with a man lying on his bed, with tubes in his nose and throat and nobody else in the room with him. I went into his room and sat in the empty chair.
When he opened his eyes two hours later, I said, “Hi, I'm Joe. I noticed there was nobody here when you were brought back from your operation and I know how nice it is to see a smiling face when you wake up, so I thought I would sit here with you for a while. I hope you don’t mind.”
He squeezed my hand; gave a slight smile; and, slowly drifted off back to sleep.
Copyright © Joe Flach
Long poem by
Shadow Hamilton | Details |
There was a plantation of fir trees
for some unknown reason, most of them
were three to four years old but one,
it was only in its first year of growth.
When Christmas drew near, the loggers came
and started to cut down some of the oldest.
The little fir asked "What is going on?"
The other trees said its Christmas time.
They will be taken into people's homes
then they will be decorated and lit up.
Parcels at their feet sharing the joy
of Christmas, a real honour to be chosen.
"I want to be a Christmas tree," said the fir.
You are much too young and far too little,
they take most trees when they are four,
you will have to wait and do some growing.
"I want it to be spring, it said not winter
then I will be able to grow big like you".
Soon the loggers had finished cutting down,
now there were large gaps in the rows.
The little fir thought lots of sun helps,
at last the spring came and with it growth.
The little fir stretched as high as it could
filling out as it reached upwards for the sun.
In the morning men came and started to plant
soon there were lots of little trees around.
One worker said," strange there is one little one
should we cut it down". "No leave it to grow bigger".
The little fir grew all through the summer
enjoying the hot lazy days while it could,
it saw many changes over the weeks and months
as autumn passed away the land cooled down.
Then came the snows of winter, a blizzard or two
the snow lay heaped around the little fir's roots.
It will soon be time for the loggers to come
then all us four year old's will be Christmas trees.
"I wish I could be a Christmas tree like all of you".
"You will have to grow a lot more before they take you".
The little tree sighed, it so badly wanted to be one,
next day the loggers came and took the older trees.
Once more the rows looked very bare and also bleak,
the little tree hunkered down to wait for spring.
Then one day a little girl and her dad came
they walked down the rows looking at all the trees.
"That one", she shouted, "dad", pointing at the little fir.
"It is rather small, would you not like a bigger one".
"No, no", said the little girl, "that one is perfect.
I can reach to do most of the decorating of it's branches".
Fantastic thought the little tree, I am a Christmas tree
they gently cut it down and carried it to their truck,
when they got home they put some growth power on the base
and planted it in a great big pot that was a shiny red.
The tree looked around the room in awe struck wonder
there were flashing lights around the snowy windows.
Cards strung over the fire mantle, so very colourful,
streamers hung from corner to corner looking so gay.
Then they started to put baubles, tinsel and lights
and a lovely angel to go on the top it felt so good,
at last the little fir would know what Christmas
was like, it watched all the fun as the presents.
Were passed around and eagerly opened with sighs
and shouts of delight, the tree smiled at their joy.
Now finally they sat down and ate their dinner
with many toasts being passed, at last it was over.
Then next day they took the little fir outside
and put it in a cold frame to protect it for the winter.
oh wow! it thought I will be a Christmas tree again next year
and so the little fir tree got it's dearest wish.
contest Children's Christmas or holiday Tale
Copyright © Shadow Hamilton
Long poem by
Mandy Tams The Golden Girl | Details |
As you peel back one layer you will a bit more of me
Each layer defines parts that the naked eye may not see
The outer layer is tough resistant and seems weather proof
Just one more layer down is where you start to find the truth.
Peel off a third one and that’s where my feelings are hidden
Not on the surface to be played with or abused when bidden
Another layer down is where my tears are caught and held back.
Until the hurt of death and squalor, that layer attack
The last layer you may peel from me, I hold on to so tight
I don’t want you to see my heart naked, in the harsh light.
The layer that covers my heart and keeps it safe from abuse
Life constantly picks at it and it’s not really much use.
I tried so hard to keep that one in place and safe from harm
Then life produces its peeler, which I would like to disarm.
It endlessly peels away at the layers of my protection
Leaving me vulnerable and weak and open to infection.
To fight back at life I have found a small good cure all
And that is what lets me walk on the edge, I totter but not fall.
In times of trouble and death, pain, anger and even love
Look for the silver lining that helps give this life a little shove.
Shove these things aside; they will get dealt with in a while
Knowing that whatever it is, will be behind us - so smile.
The layer that keeps our minds strong and yes even clear
Needs the most attention, it gives us hope, love, and even fear
Good things and bad things all come and go day by day
But we find we always look back on them and so we can say
Another day passed though we never forget the pain
Let me replace that layer now and cover my heart again
A smile helps to build up the layers and keeps me on life’s path
As does love, friendship and forgiveness, and a smile turns back wrath.
When we feel we can never smile ever again in a thousand lifetimes
We will look back and find the memory dims and the sun returns to shine
My layers are there I try to build them and keep them supple and strong
But sometimes they get ripped in a wrench and I think I am wrong
Straight to the point where my heart beats and is exposed to life’s ills
Time to pay the piper, as he comes to collect on life’s bills.
Laughter the best medicine and that I truly believe
But there’s a time to laugh and then there is a time to grieve
Time to think and to fight, love and to perhaps even pray
I hope my layers will keep intact, and get me through another tough day.
© ~GG~ 25/12/2012
My son had to work today, he is a supervisor on a motorway service station. He came home to us at the end of his shift for any comfort we could give him because of a motor accident just past where he works that took the lives of two children and an adult and seriously injured two more. He had to get access for the emergency services and then deal with angry motorists as he had to block them trying to re-enter the motorway, while things were dealt with. His one thought was how the families would now cope, not only with the losses but that fact that it would taint their Christmas celebrations for the rest of their lives.
Although we do not celebrate Christmas he is so concerned for their feelings he is finding it difficult to cope with. My heart grieves not only for them and their horrendous ordeal, but my son whose heart has been laid open to their pain.
Copyright © Mandy Tams The Golden Girl