Advent 25 – the Big One!

Christmas Day

In the great rush and fuss,
In the sound of the bells,
In the heat of the kitchen,
And those good cooking smells,
In the handful of chocolates,
The glass of cool fizz,
The rustle of paper,
The mistletoe kiss,
In the wreath on the door,
And the cards that you sent,
And that awful round robin
You winced as you read,
In the brandy’s blue flame,
And the nice glass of red,
In the terrible jokes,
The magnificent spread,
In the gifts that you give,
And the gifts you receive,
In the carols  on softly,
The lights on the tree,
Don’t forget to just pause,
And to look around, too,
At the people you love
Who are there, loving you!

It’s the last door on the advent calender. Thank you to everybody who has supported this, and to all the poets who let me use their work. Have a very merry Christmas full of love and joy.


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Advent 24

The Christmas Hare

 

In a snowy field one Christmas Eve

I spied a windswept hare

leaping and gambolling

in the frosty air.

The tawny coat beguiled me,

framed by the dazzling white

of the wintry blanket

spread out for the night.

As I watched the hare cavorting,

the sun began to sink

and the backdrop to its dance

flushed a bashful shade of pink.

The creature turned and saw me,

its eyes of amber sparked,

and with that the snowy field

vanished in the dark.

 

This poem is by Kim Russell, who Writes in North Norfolk. She is a lovely poet, and I particularly admire her attention to detail, and the beautiful and exact images of nature she evokes. 

Advent 22

Christmas Truce

It seems impossible
that in the middle
of all that war –
that blood, pain, mud, fear, hate –
football could break out –
that one man could trust
the Christmas spirit,
hope, faith, love,
enough to stand exposed
and take others with him
out onto the hard ground
of no-man’s-land,
that those men could rise up
Lazarus
from those living graves
and the net woven by
peace, joy, love
could be strong enough
to hold them:
that someone could produce
a ball –
as if this was a
factory outing to
Bridlington, or some
Sunday school picnic
on a green meadow
leading down to a
brown river, where there
might be trout –
and those young bodies,
curled and cramped –
blood, pain, mud, fear, hate –
could run and kick,
and their shouts be heard
up and down the line
until the end of Christmas.

 

December 22 – it’s getting really close now! I hope you’ve finished your shopping, and wrapping, and are getting ready to hunker down for the duration. This is a reminder of what Christmas can mean. 

Advent 21

 

 

img courtesy ~ http://www.megandowntherabbithole.com/

 

Come The Light

this parabolic transit arcs to a still-point

a reflective moment

among cycles of time

we watch for the return of the sun

or the son perhaps?

either way there is hope

a glimmer

an ember

a spark

long buried in the heart of winter’s icy repose

this pregnant darkness

 

and it was always so

 

the Holly King’s demise

seeding future birth

we must be devoured in darkness

before being born to the light

the crone is glancing over her shoulder now

the scent of the maiden comes slowly

but inexorably

the wheel turns

 

from our Earthed North

held deep in Gaia’s bosom

borne East on the wind

breath of life

South into the fire of transformation

and then West to the healing waters

 

Mistletoe strikes at the heart of all of our Baldour’s

fills us with deep foreboding and dread

but we know he will come again

reborn vital and full of joy

 

so it is

 

embrace the darkness

fill your cup with soulful gratitude

look to that which sustains you

speak a blessing for family

for friends

for nature herself

and drink to the coming light

 

Written for Sarah’s advent calendar of poems.

A huge Thank You to Megan Manske at downtherabbithole for the use of her beautiful Winter Solstice Mandala.

Please visit her amazing site. Not too late for that last minute Christmas/Solstice gift right?

Thank you so much to Paul who scribbles here: https://paulscribbles.wordpress.com/ He’s got a direct line to the dark gods, I think. 

 

Advent Day 20

When wanders the moon

When wanders the moon in winter sky,
It lingers above the branches bare,
Of skeleton trees where shriek owls cry.

Boughs raised, the darkness to defy,
They scratch the icy coping there,
When wanders the moon in winter sky.

Beneath the trees, fox sidles by,
Between the shadows long and spare,
Of skeleton trees, where shriek owls cry.

The wind so cold, its breath a sigh,
That turns to ice the still dark air,
When wanders the moon in winter sky.

They glitter bright, the stars so high,
Caught in the tangled, midnight hair
Of skeleton trees, where shriek owls cry.

This longest night of darkest die,
Draws out the grey wolf from his lair,
To howl beneath the winter sky,
And skeleton trees where shriek owls fly.

This poem is by Jane Dougherty who writes strange and fantastical poems, that glitter like dark jewels. This seemed particularly appropriate for these darkest nights of the year. I am so pleased to have her here!

Advent Day 18

Fox’s Christmas Dinner

All we saw at first
was a glint of russet
flickering behind
the criss cross scritch scratch
winter hedge. A vixen
sniffing her way down
the hedgeline,

hungering.

Later, we went out to look,
found her prints
deep and dainty in the snow,
followed them down
towards our neighbour’s house,
lost them in a flurry –
a fistful of feathers, and
a red stain, darkening the snow.

Picked them up again, then –
a long diagonal, arching
up towards the top corner.

Pheasant feathers,
if you’re wondering.

Hard to begrudge.

And as an additional treat, another picture from Fay Collins. You can find more of her wonderful work here: http://faycollinsart.co.uk/

Image may contain: cloud, sky, outdoor, nature and water

Advent 17

Earth Song

 

Listen – there is a low humming

coming from deep within

the ground, a rumbling

through the darkness

of the earth.

 

All the holy wells

are singing out for joy,

the hidden caves are opening,

spilling their dark secrets

into the light

 

of a new dawn.

The earth is breathing

again, rising and falling,

spinning on the axis

of her delight.

 

This poem is by Siobhan Mac Mahon 

She is not only a fantastic poet, she is also a wonderful performer, and a great person to hang out with. She’s based in Dublin at the moment – look out for her workshops. She’ll be at the Brigid of Faughart festival next year.

Advent 16

 

Nutcracker dreams

The sleeping girl is dreaming
Of a handsome prince (of course)
With a chocolate soldier uniform
And a candy-coloured horse.

She’s dreaming about snowflakes
Pirouetting through the sky,
Scattering silver bon-bons
As they go whirling by.

She’s dreaming of a palace
Built of love, and licorice
Where is a sleeping girl is dreaming
Of a prince, and true love’s kiss.

Advent 15

‘Twas

the wiznos and gizmos

guffawing and pawing

their whimsical ways

with fanciful dancing

and hullabalooing

chimney dust dusting

we’re afeared to fire

up the fire should the logs

singe his trimmings

and damp’ner our

gramp’ner and frighten

the grandmommer

right into the night

before our sparkling

de’light awakens

the chillins from this

nightmarish sight

This poem comes from Jill Lyman who blogs at
https://jillys2016.wordpress.com/. There are two versions of Jilly – the silly, and the serious. I like both sides of her writing very much, and I’m pleased that she has let Silly Jilly out to play with us today. Though there’s something a little bit unsettling about this poem, as well.