Archive for December, 2017

Sunday, 31 December 2017

New Year’s Eve by Jessica Wraight

for T & B

The year was ending where the lakes meet the sea.
Small preparations in the weatherboard; fish and lemon
with someone else’s Australian pop collection
as chalk-white boats headed out
through the sunroom louvers.

Adorned peninsula. Chained gates and laurel hedges.
Climbing down to the fishing village, last drinks
and last light disappeared from the lawn
of the waterfront hotel. The seasonal town
had slipped from its mooring posts.

Such unperturbed companions, surveying
empty yards along the street. Claiming
the moonlit lime of the bowling green
to watch stars from plastic blades.

The long night loitered at shop windows
then reached back into the inlet.
It wound the boardwalk,
a slow reverie along black water
to the vacant resort pool; uninvited
and treading beneath its chlorine skin.

As midnight fireworks hammered
wry shapes into the bush land,
we made our assembly to the spectacle
for the crowd over the hill.


Date: 2017

By: Jessica Wraight (19??- )

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Castaway by Margaret Daphne Scott

Sometimes a neighbour’s look, a post-card, a telephone call
will carry you up the shore of another life
and leave you gaping amazed at sudden jungle
a world away from the dolorous desk
the spruce back-yard, the brick-and-tile in Rosebud.
This glimmering shade’s cacophonous with
unfamiliar names of long-dead pets and teachers,
side-streets in distant cities and faithless lovers.
The canopy’s alive with flitting shapes unknown
beyond the confines of this island.
Here is the castaway’s camp, his palisade,
contrivances he’s fashioned year by year,
stores he saved from the wreck of his old ship
before it sank from sight beyond the reef.
Fragments of once-proud sails now patch his roof.
A saw, a pannikin hang by the bed
where every day he wakes alone at dawn
to a view of mountains. Those peaks rise
over the trees in a blue scrawl whose message
you seem to have read from a different angle
on the wall of sky to the east of your own island.


Date: 2003

By: Margaret Daphne Scott (1934-2005)

Friday, 29 December 2017

On the Road by Jenni Daiches Calder

It’s nearly New Year and we’ve loaded the van
with clothes for cold weather, boots and thick socks,
Christmas leftovers, the cat in a box,

and turn to the west. The fields are frozen
but rivers still run to the steely Forth.
The castle at Stirling floats on the carse,

and Ben Ledi’s white head shoulders the blue
of a limitless sky. Ben Lomond borrows
light from the loch. At Rest and Be Thankful

the snow picks out the bones of the rock.
The mountains are darker, the sun at their back.
We’re over the watershed, down to Cairndow.

Loch Fyne is like glass, and shows us the hills,
the curve of the shore and the lines of black trees
feathered in white, clear and still,

and there on the edge of this world, ourselves.
The wheels revolve, we’ve chosen the road.
We have to believe that we know where it goes.


Date: 2006

By: Jenni Daiches Calder (1941- )

Thursday, 28 December 2017

Leftovers by Jack Prelutsky

Thanksgiving has been over
for at least a week or two,
but we’re all still eating turkey,
turkey salad, turkey stew,

turkey puffs and turkey pudding,
turkey patties, turkey pies,
turkey bisque and turkey burgers,
turkey fritters, turkey fries.

For lunch, our mother made us
turkey slices on a stick,
there’ll be turkey tarts for supper,
all this turkey makes me sick.

For tomorrow she’s preparing
turkey dumplings stuffed with peas,
oh I never thought I’d say this —
“Mother! No more turkey… PLEASE!”


Date: 1982

By: Jack Prelutsky (1940- )

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Merry Christmas! Happy Kwanzaa! by Lawrence S. Pertillar

From the shallow shopping days,
Of Christmas spent.
And gifts selected …
To induce an increased seduction.
With the onslaught of ornament productions.
May they take these memories …
And wish those feelings that excited them,
Especially during times …
That find all who cherish these “things.”
Keep within their hearts to discover …
The thankfulness and joy, Others to them bring!
Merry Christmas! Happy Kwanzaa!
And joyous times to those,
Who are grateful and know …
They are among the blessed!
However this tradition is done,
That brings those around the world …
To address their happiness!
And fun shared with everyone.


Date: ?2008

By: Lawrence S. Pertillar (1947- )

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Boxing Day by Julian Stannard

The dogs are going crazy.
I think Mother slipped them
some amphetamines.

A truly enormous ham
is being cooked

and the dogs are becoming idiotic and psychotic.

My ex-wife is late which is good
and not so good. Mother pulsates.

Welcome, ex-wife, have some ham.
I watch Mother slicing slicing slicing.
Two pieces of ham for ex-wife,
and three pieces of ham for me.

O Bethlehem!

O Bethlehem!

In England we eat boiled ham, Mother says.
Do you like boiled ham? Mother asks ex-wife.
Ex-wife says, I have been to West Ham,
I may have taken the wrong line.

After the enormous ham
Mother shouts, Pudding!
and off she walks to the special shed.

I am left with ex-wife.
Shall we dance? No.

Water has flowed under the bridge,
says ex-wife. Not enough, I’m thinking.

Flee whilst you can, ex-wife! Flee!

Mother’s walking back to the house,
the dogs have conked out
in some post-amphetamine afternoon lockdown.

Mother appears with a trifle.
An enormous trifle.
In England, Mother says, we eat trifle.


Date: 2017

By: Julian Stannard (19??- )

Monday, 25 December 2017

The Voice of Christmas by Harry Hibbard Kemp

I cannot put the Presence by, of Him, the Crucified,
Who moves men’s spirits with His Love as doth the moon the tide;
Again I see the Life He lived, the godlike Death He died.

Again I see upon the cross that great Soul-battle fought,
Into the texture of the world the tale of which is wrought
Until it hath become the woof of human deed and thought,

And, joining with the cadenced bells that all the morning fill,
His cry of agony doth yet my inmost being thrill,
Like some fresh grief from yesterday that tears the heart-strings still.

I cannot put His Presence by, I meet Him everywhere;
I meet Him in the country town, the busy market-square;
The Mansion and the Tenement attest His Presence there.

Upon the funneled ships at sea He sets His shining feet;
The Distant Ends of Empire not in vain His Name repeat,
And, like the presence of a rose, He makes the whole world sweet.

He comes to break the barriers down raised up by barren creeds;
About the globe from zone to zone like sunlight He proceeds;
He comes to give the World’s starved heart the perfect love it needs,

The Christ Whose friends have played Him false, Whom Dogmas have belied,
Still speaking to the hearts of men Tho shamed and crucified,
The Master of the Centuries Who will not be denied!

From: Kemp, Harry, The Cry of Youth, 1914, Mitchell Kennerley: New York, pp.

Date: 1914

By: Harry Hibbard Kemp (1883-1960)

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Festivus Celebrations in Room 7 by Jeff Gangwer

In my first year,
I held fast to my silly Festivus Pole—
Not a Rod of Iron,
But a nondenominational Festivus Pole—
Like the one that Frank Costanza held in “The Strike”—
And I stood at the head of my classroom
With a feigned scowl on my face
And aired my grievances—
To each and all

Most of my students laughed,
But poor Mollie Ditty cried because
I told her that I didn’t like her head of curls

I was being facetious—
A word they didn’t know—
And time will heal her wounds….

During The Feats of Strength,
My favorite student,
Jaden Fordham—
The one that I called “Red Wolf”—
This lovely little White trash girl who wrote so well—
Defeated every arm wrestler that stood up to challenge her

Imagine a beautiful, complicated young poet
With bright blonde hair and a “fuck-the-world” attitude
Pinning football jocks and would-be gangsters against the tables….

In my second year,
Our Festivus was equally wonderful…
…but Fordham’s equal never rose to the occasion.

From: Gangwer, Jeff, …to Nowhere but Here. Free Verse Poems, 2014, BookBaby: Oregon, p. [unnumbered].

Date: 2014

By: Jeff Gangwer (1984- )

Saturday, 23 December 2017

The Holly and the Ivy (Roud Folk Song 514) by Traditional

The holly and the ivy,
Now are both well grown,
Of all the trees that are in the wood,
The holly bears the crown.

 The rising of the sun,
The running of the deer,
The playing of the merry organ,
Sweet singing in the choir.

The holly bears a blossom,
As white as the lilly flower,
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ’
To be our Sweet Saviour.

The rising, &c.

The holly bears a berry,
As red as any blood;
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ,
To do poor sinners good.

The rising, &c.

The holly bears a prickle,
As sharp as any thorn,
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ,
On Christmas day in the morn,

The rising, &c.

The holly bears a bark,
As bitter as any gall,
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ,
For to redeem us all.

The rising, &c.

The holly and the ivy,
Now are well grown,
Of all the trees that are in the wood,
The holly bears the crown.

The rising, &c.


Date: c1711

By: Traditional

Friday, 22 December 2017

The Shortest Day by Susan Mary Cooper

So the shortest day came, and the year died,
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive,
And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, revelling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us – Listen!!
All the long echoes sing the same delight,
This shortest day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, fest, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
Welcome Yule!!


Date: 1977

By: Susan Mary Cooper (1935- )