Archive for December, 2021

Friday, 31 December 2021

Promise by Jacqueline Margaret (Jackie) Kay

Remember, the time of year
when the future appears
like a blank sheet of paper
a clean calendar, a new chance.
On thick white snow
You vow fresh footprints
then watch them go
with the wind’s hearty gust.
Fill your glass. Here’s tae us. Promises
made to be broken, made to last.

From: https://poemsontheunderground.org/promise-2

Date: 2005

By: Jacqueline Margaret (Jackie) Kay (1961- )

Thursday, 30 December 2021

The Snowfall is So Silent by Miguel de Unamuno

The snowfall is so silent,
so slow,
bit by bit, with delicacy
it settles down on the earth
and covers over the fields.
The silent snow comes down
white and weightless;
snowfall makes no noise,
falls as forgetting falls,
flake after flake.
It covers the fields gently
while frost attacks them
with its sudden flashes of white;
covers everything with its pure
and silent covering;
not one thing on the ground
anywhere escapes it.
And wherever it falls it stays,
content and gay,
for snow does not slip off
as rain does,
but it stays and sinks in.
The flakes are skyflowers,
pale lilies from the clouds,
that wither on earth.
They come down blossoming
but then so quickly
they are gone;
they bloom only on the peak,
above the mountains,
and make the earth feel heavier
when they die inside.
Snow, delicate snow,
that falls with such lightness
on the head,
on the feelings,
come and cover over the sadness
that lies always in my reason.

From: https://allpoetry.com/The-Snowfall-Is-So-Silent

Date: 1922 (original in Spanish); 1976 (translation in English)

By: Miguel de Unamuno (1864-1936)

Translated by: Robert Bly (1926-2021)

Wednesday, 29 December 2021

Perhaps the World Ends Here by Joy Harjo

The world begins at a kitchen table. No matter what, we must eat to live.
The gifts of earth are brought and prepared, set on the table. So it has been since creation, and it will go on.
We chase chickens or dogs away from it. Babies teethe at the corners. They scrape their knees under it.
It is here that children are given instructions on what it means to be human. We make men at it, we make women.
At this table we gossip, recall enemies and the ghosts of lovers.

Our dreams drink coffee with us as they put their arms around our children. They laugh with us at our poor falling-down selves and as we put ourselves back together once again at the table.
This table has been a house in the rain, an umbrella in the sun.
Wars have begun and ended at this table. It is a place to hide in the shadow of terror. A place to celebrate the terrible victory.
We have given birth on this table, and have prepared our parents for burial here.
At this table we sing with joy, with sorrow. We pray of suffering and remorse. We give thanks.
Perhaps the world will end at the kitchen table, while we are laughing and crying, eating of the last sweet bite.

From: https://poetrysociety.org/features/readinginthedark/dean-rader-on-joy-harjos-perhaps-the-world-ends-here

Date: 1994

By: Joy Harjo (1951- )

Tuesday, 28 December 2021

A New Law by Greg Delanty

Let there be a ban on every holiday.
No ringing in the new year.
No fireworks doodling the warm night air.
No holly on the door. I say
let there be no more.
For many are not here who were here before.

From: https://poets.org/poem/new-law

Date: 2010

By: Greg Delanty (1958- )

Monday, 27 December 2021

Lightning Bolts by Heather Sager

the ghosts of my mind
abandoned me

I can never
unite
with the drifters

while the sun is shining
and blue daisies sing
I bear castles of ruin
on my shoulders

From: https://brieflywrite.com/tag/issue-4/

Date: 2021

By: Heather Sager (19??- )

Sunday, 26 December 2021

Just Doing My Job by Clare Bevan

I’m one of Herod’s Henchmen.
We don’t have much to say,
We just charge through the audience
In a Henchman sort of way.

We all wear woolly helmets
To hide our hair and ears,
And Wellingtons sprayed silver
To match our tinfoil spears.

Our swords are made of cardboard
So blood will not be spilled
If we trip and stab a parent
When the hall’s completely filled.

We don’t look very scary,
We’re mostly small and shy,
And some of us wear glasses,
But we give the thing a try.

We whisper Henchman noises
While Herod hunts for strangers,
And then we all charge out again
Like nervous Power Rangers.

Yet when the play is over
And Miss is out of breath
We’ll charge like Henchmen through the hall
And scare our mums to death.

From: https://www.panmacmillan.com/blogs/literary/our-favourite-christmas-poems

Date: 2004

By: Clare Bevan (19??- )

Saturday, 25 December 2021

A Christmas Letter from Australia by Douglas Brooke Wheelton Sladen

’T is Christmas, and the North wind blows; ’t was two years yesterday
Since from the Lusitania’s bows I looked o’er Table Bay,
A tripper round the narrow world, a pilgrim of the main,
Expecting when her sails unfurled to start for home again.

’T is Christmas, and the North wind blows; to-day our hearts are one,
Though you are ’mid the English snows and I in Austral sun;
You, when you hear the Northern blast, pile high a mightier fire,
Our ladies cower until it’s past in lawn and lace attire.

I fancy I can picture you upon this Christmas night,
Just sitting as you used to do, the laughter at its height:
And then a sudden, silent pause intruding on your glee,
And kind eyes glistening because you chanced to think of me.

This morning when I woke and knew ’t was Christmas come again,
I almost fancied I could view white rime upon the pane,
And hear the ringing of the wheels upon the frosty ground,
And see the drip that downward steals in icy casket bound.

I daresay you ’ll be on the lake, or sliding on the snow,
And breathing on your hands to make the circulation flow,
Nestling your nose among the furs of which your boa ’s made,—
The Fahrenheit here registers a hundred in the shade.

It is not quite a Christmas here with this unclouded sky,
This pure transparent atmosphere, this sun midheaven-high;
To see the rose upon the bush, young leaves upon the trees,
And hear the forest’s summer hush or the low hum of bees.

But cold winds bring not Christmastide, nor budding roses June,
And when it’s night upon your side we ’re basking in the noon.
Kind hearts make Christmas—June can bring blue sky or clouds above;
The only universal spring is that which comes of love.

And so it’s Christmas in the South as on the North-Sea coasts,
Though we are starved with summer-drouth and you with winter frosts.
And we shall have our roast beef here, and think of you the while,
Though all the watery hemisphere cuts off the mother isle.

Feel sure that we shall think of you, we who have wandered forth,
And many a million thoughts will go to-day from south to north;
Old heads will muse on churches old, where bells will ring to-day—
The very bells, perchance, which tolled their fathers to the clay.

And now, good-night! and I shall dream that I am with you all,
Watching the ruddy embers gleam athwart the panelled hall;
Nor care I if I dream or not, though severed by the foam,
My heart is always in the spot which was my childhood’s home.

From: https://mypoeticside.com/show-classic-poem-27515

Date: 1885

By: George Brooke Wheelton Sladen (1856-1947)

Friday, 24 December 2021

Model-Train Display at Christmas in a Shopping Mall Food Court by James Arthur

These kids watching so intently
on every side of the display
must love the feeling of being gigantic:
of having a giant’s power
over this little world of snow, where buttons
lift and lower
the railway’s crossing gate, or switch the track,
or make the bent wire topped with a toy helicopter
turn and turn
like a sped-up sunflower. A steam engine
draws coal tender, passenger cars, and a gleaming caboose
out from the mountain tunnel,
through a forest of spruce and pine, over the trestle bridge,
to come down near the old silver mine.

Maybe all Christmases
are haunted by Christmases long gone:
old songs, old customs, people who loved you
and who’ve died. Within a family
sometimes even the smallest disagreements
can turn, and grow unkind.

The train’s imaginary passengers,
looking outward from inside,
are steaming toward the one town they could be going to:
the town they have just left,
where everything is local
and nothing is to scale. One church, one skating rink,
one place to buy a saw.
A single hook-and-ladder truck
and one officer of the law. Maybe in another valley
it’s early spring
and the thick air is redolent of chimney smoke and rain,
but here the diner’s always open
so you can always get a meal. Or go down to the drive-in
looking for a fight. Or stay up
all night, so tormented by desire, you can hardly think.

Beyond the edges of the model-train display, the food court
is abuzz. Gingerbread and candy canes
surround a blow mold Virgin Mary, illuminated from within;
a grapevine reindeer
has been hung with sticks of cinnamon. One by one, kids
get pulled away
from the model trains: Christmas Eve is bearing down,
and many chores remain undone.

But for every child who leaves, another child appears.
The great pagan pine
catches and throws back wave on wave of light,
like a king-size chandelier, announcing
that the jingle hop has begun,
and the drummer boy
still has nothing to offer the son of God
but the sound of one small drum.

From: https://poets.org/poem/model-train-display-christmas-shopping-mall-food-court

Date: 2018

By: James Arthur (1974- )

Thursday, 23 December 2021

Live With Me on Earth Under the Invisible Daylight Moon by Milton James Rhode Acorn

Live with me on Earth among red berries and the bluebirds
And leafy young twigs whispering
Within such little spaces, between such floors of green, such figures in the clouds
That two of us could fill our lives with delicate wanting:

Where stars past the spruce copse mingle with fireflies
Or the dayscape flings a thousand tones of light back at the sun—
Be any one of the colours of an Earth lover;
Walk with me and sometimes cover your shadow with mine.

From: https://canpoetry.library.utoronto.ca/acorn/poem5.htm

Date: 1973

By: Milton James Rhode Acorn (1923-1986)

Wednesday, 22 December 2021

Summer Solstice by Vanessa Page

Mango trees
wear fruit bling
like two-bit hookers

top-shelf drunk
backs turned
on the lawn

lorikeets
arrive like rain
tearing at the pulp

a sweet rot
rises in this
sex-sweat heat.

From: https://webarchive.nla.gov.au/awa/20140723141004/http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/41815/20140724-0003/www.foame.org/Issue11/poems/page.html

Date: 2014

By: Vanessa Page (19??- )