Category Archives: Christmas

Friday Poem: Journey of the Magi

“A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a long journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.”
And the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory,
Lying down in the melting snow.
There were times we regretted
The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,
And the silken girls bringing sherbet.
Then the camel men cursing and grumbling
And running away, and wanting their liquor and women,
And the night-fires going out, and the lack of shelters,
And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly
And the villages dirty and charging high prices:
A hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night,
Sleeping in snatches,
With the voices singing in our ears, saying
That this was all folly.
Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley,
Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation;
With a running stream and a water-mill beating the darkness,
And three trees on the low sky,
And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.
Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,
Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,
And feet kicking the empty wine-skins.
But there was no information, and so we continued
And arrived at evening, not a moment too soon
Finding the place; it was (you may say) satisfactory.
All this was a long time ago, I remember,
And I would do it again, but set down
This set down
This: were we led all that way for
Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly,
We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different; this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.

By T S Eliot

Friday poem: The Oxen

Christmas Eve, and twelve of the clock.
‘Now they are all on their knees,’
An elder said as we sat in a flock
By the embers in hearthside ease.

We pictured the meek mild creatures where
They dwelt in their strawy pen,
Nor did it occur to one of us there
To doubt they were kneeling then.

So fair a fancy few would weave
In these years! Yet, I feel,
If someone said on Christmas Eve,
‘Come; see the oxen kneel,

‘In the lonely barton by yonder coomb
Our childhood used to know,’
I should go with him in the gloom,
Hoping it might be so

by Thomas Hardy

Friday Poem: little tree

little tree
little silent Christmas tree
you are so little
you are more like a flower
who found you in the green forest
and were you very sorry to come away?
see i will comfort you
because you smell so sweetly
i will kiss your cool bark
and hug you safe and tight
just as your mother would,
only don’t be afraid
look the spangles
that sleep all the year in a dark box
dreaming of being taken out and allowed to shine,
the balls the chains red and gold the fluffy threads,
put up your little arms
and i’ll give them all to you to hold
every finger shall have its ring
and there won’t be a single place dark or unhappy…

 

by e e cummings

Friday Poem: Talking Turkeys

Be nice to yu turkeys dis christmas
Cos’ turkeys just wanna hav fun
Turkeys are cool, turkeys are wicked
An every turkey has a Mum.
Be nice to yu turkeys dis christmas,
Don’t eat it, keep it alive,
It could be yu mate, an not on your plate
Say, Yo! Turkey I’m on your side.
I got lots of friends who are turkeys
An all of dem fear christmas time,
Dey wanna enjoy it, dey say humans destroyed it
An humans are out of dere mind,
Yeah, I got lots of friends who are turkeys
Dey all hav a right to a life,
Not to be caged up an genetically made up
By any farmer an his wife.

Turkeys just wanna play reggae
Turkeys just wanna hip-hop
Can yu imagine a nice young turkey saying,
ÒI cannot wait for de chopÓ,
Turkeys like getting presents, dey wanna watch christmas TV,
Turkeys hav brains an turkeys feel pain
In many ways like yu an me.

I once knew a turkey called…….. Turkey
He said “Benji explain to me please,
Who put de turkey in christmas
An what happens to christmas trees?”,
I said “I am not too sure turkey
But itÕs nothing to do wid Christ Mass
Humans get greedy an waste more dan need be
An business men mek loadsa cash’.

Be nice to yu turkey dis christmas
Invite dem indoors fe sum greens
Let dem eat cake an let dem partake
In a plate of organic grown beans,
Be nice to yu turkey dis christmas
An spare dem de cut of de knife,
Join Turkeys United an dey’ll be delighted
An yu will mek new friends ‘FOR LIFE’.

 

Merry Christmas Everybody (lyrics)

The ultimate song  about a British Christmas:

 

 

Are you hanging up a stocking on your wall?
It’s the time that every Santa has a ball
Does he ride a red nosed reindeer?
Does a ton-up on his sleigh?
Do the fairies keep him sober for a day?

So here it is Merry Christmas
Everybody’s having fun
Look to the future now
It’s only just begun.

Are you waiting for the family to arrive?
Are you sure you got the room to spare inside?
Does your granny always tell ya
That the old songs are the best
Then she’s up and rock and rollin’ with the rest?

So here it is Merry Christmas
Everybody’s having fun
Look to the future now
It’s only just begun.

What will your daddy do when he sees
Your mama kissin’ Santa Claus
Ah ah

Are you hanging up a stocking on your wall?
Are you hoping that the snow will start to fall
Do you ride on down the hillside
In a buggy you have made?
When you land upon your head
Then you bin slayed.

So here it is Merry Christmas
Everybody’s having fun
Look to the future now
It’s only just begun.

 

IT’S CHRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIITSMAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAS!!!!!!!
With love to Noddy Holder and Slade, for my favourite Christmas song (although for my sons, The Beach Boys Christmas Album reigns supreme, and we always play it when decorating the tree).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autumnal Slide

Autumn leaves colour lawns orange
Litter roads red
The long slide into the cold begins
Advent madness beckons
Like a siren
Calling us onto the rocks
Of family festivities, hidden lonelinesses, retail greed and envy
Soon rooftops will grow neon reindeer
Tinsel will be worn around necks at office parties
All too soon
It will be Christmas

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

 

I’m in Amsterdam this week, and so have left you this poem which rather captures my feeling about the next few months I’m afraid!

Winter reveals

Winter reveals

The structure of  trees
Stark against the sky
Showing signs of hard pruning
Or scars of storm damage

Sunlight shafting through leafless woods
Illuminates gloomy roads
Reveals which are wild seeded
And which are straight lined plantations

The dark days of November
The artificial brightness of December
January and February chill
All uncover different weaknesses of the human heart

 

Copyright © 2017  Kim Whysall-Hammond