Advent Day 14

Snow in the night
Silence spreads like ice on a lake,
Snow in the night
The world is now gift-wrapped in white
I’m gloriously glad I’m awake
To see the snow soften its shape
Snow in the night

Frost in the night
The air has a tingle like fire
Frost in the night
The earth mirrors back the starlight
The moon is a thing of desire
And the stars seem a little bit higher,
Frost in the night

Because one rondelet is never enough.

 

Image may contain: outdoor, nature and water

 

 Because it’s supposed to snow at Christmas. The image is by Fay Collins. She paints the most wonderful landscapes. You can find more at her website: http://faycollinsart.co.uk/

Advent 13

Dark Night Candle Light

 

Faith is needed when the night’s

So dark we fear the day

Will not be able when it comes

To show the truer way.

 

Hope stays open though its flame

Is all that’s looking bright.

Star shine flickers in the sky

Like candles bringing light.

 

Love turns faith and hope around

To dance these two as one,

Keeping feet on sacred ground,

Enchanting silence with the sound

Of praise as day’s begun.

 

Today is St Lucy’s day, so this lovely, light bringing poem by Frank Hubeny seemed very appropriate. Frank is a master of rhythm, rhyme and form, and writes deceptively simple poems that mean more the more you think about them. Frank blogs at https://frankhubeny.blog/.

 

Advent Calender – Day 11

School Christmas Fair

My daughter is dressed as an elf.
She can’t quite believe it herself –
My daughter is usually quite cool,
But tonight she is acting the fool.

My daughter is dressed as an elf.
She can’t quite believe it herself.
She’s hanging round outside the shed,
Where Santa is dressed all in red,
And she’s joking with all these small kids,
And finding they do as she bids –
My daughter is usually quite cool,
But tonight she is acting the fool.

My daughter is dressed as an elf.
She can’t quite believe it herself:
She’s wearing a pair of green tights,
And a hat that’s a little too bright.
She normally dresses in black,
But tonight she is cutting some slack,
And she’s usually really quite cool,
But tonight she is acting the fool,

And somehow that’s cooler than cool.

 

Advent 10

Oh

Christmas Tree

Christmas is coming.

Outside I see the gaunt

trunk and brittle branches

of a forgotten Christmas tree,

planted in the garden years ago

in between the wanton wiry willows,

silently clamouring for weak winter light.

Instead

of                                           tinsel

frost

glitters

instead

of                                       baubles

icicles

tinkle

instead

of angels

tiny birds

peck at

cone

buds

and a

single

fat ball

swings

 

This is by Kim M Russell, who writes in North Norfolk. Christmas isn’t Christmas without a tree, and I love this tree, dressed by nature itself. Kim has an amazing eye for detail, and lets you stand next to her and see what she is seeing. She is a true nature poet. 

Advent 7

Midnight murmurings on Christmas Eve

 

I do like the story

that all the world’s creatures

wake up at midnight

and find they are speakers.

I wonder a little

at what they might say –

“Snuggle up and get warm”

“Are you loving this hay?” –

but maybe that night

at the start of it all

there were donkeys and

oxen and cows in the stall,

witnessing then

that a baby was born

a clear light, a star,

a fine midnight dawn,

and the whispers might come

as they watched a girl rest

with a smile on her face

and a babe at her  breast,

and a man who had laid her

his cloak on the straw,

and watched her and the babe

from his seat on the floor.

What would they have murmured?

What would they have said

to the lord of the world

lying there, in their shed?

Would they whisper of peace,

or of sleep, or of love, or

just breathe their warm breath

on the child and his mother?

Did they know for an instant

that evil had fled

in the face of this child

lying quiet in their shed?

 

There is a legend that animals can talk at midnight on Christmas Eve. Wouldn’t that be interesting? 

 

Advent 5

I am stirring up magic,

A warming magic

Of nutmeg, and ginger,

And the crisp smell of oranges,

 

And my incantations

Are songs of sunlight

And firelight, lanterns,

And candles, all the dancing lights.

 

I am weaving spells

Against the dark – twining

Together the rich scents of

Cinnamon and apples and cloves.

 

I am calling up

All the spirits of the house,

Setting them to keep out

The dark and the cold,

 

To stir the hearth embers

The flames leaping up, making,

This home itself a lantern

Spilling welcoming warmth.

 

 

Advent 4

Census night again

wonder how many donkeys

are wending their way toward Bethlehem

with heavy loads to be counted

 

if we had to return

to the place of our ancestors

we would trek

halfway around the earth

a massive movement

that would rock the globe

 

but perhaps not as much

as that donkey trek

to Bethlehem

 

This poem, reminding us that we are all a long way from home, is by Maureen Sudlow, who blogs at www.kiwis-soar.com. It was first published in her book, Antipodes, and I’m delighted to share it with you. It’s one of those small poems that gets bigger the more you think about it. If you fancy a quick trip to New Zealand, without the airfare and the jet lag, just pop over to her site and feast your eyes on her lovely photographs. She paints, too. What can I say?

 

Advent Day 3

Dublin, December 2010

We pulled into Dublin
As if it was a foreign city,
A dream city,
A nutcracker city, woven together
From sugar and ice,

and the snow was soft
and heavy as a broody hen
on all the roofs in Dun Laoghaire.

We had brought Christmas with us,
stuffed into bags,
crammed into gaps and cracks,
spilling out of our pockets,
all red and gold and green,

but Christmas had arrived
before us.

A wreath on every door.

We don’t often get a white Christmas. This is the last one I can remember, and we travelled to Ireland for it. It was glorious!

December 2 – Pantomime

Crash, bang, show us what you’ve got –
Make us laugh and make us sigh –
Stip, step, flash a bit of leg –
Hit us in the face with a custard pie!

It’s behind you!

All your tales are rags to riches,
Handsome prince just happens by,
Boys are girls in velvet britches,
Pretty maidens catch the eye!

Crash, bang, show us what you’ve got –
Make us laugh and make us sigh –
Stip, step, flash a bit of leg –
Hit us in the face with a custard pie!

Oh, no you didn’t!

If you sprinkle it with sequins
We will think it’s fairy dust –
Rhinestone crowns and nylon dresses,
All of it so glamorous!

Crash, bang, show us what you’ve got –
Make us laugh and make us sigh –
Stip, step, flash a bit of leg –
Hit us in the face with a custard pie!

Oh yes, you did!

Evil barons spreading rumours,
Children sing and dance along,
Burly dame in naughty bloomers,
Happy ending with a song!

Crash, bang, show us what you’ve got –
Make us laugh and make us sigh –
Stip, step, flash a bit of leg –
Hit us in the face with a custard pie!

Ah, the pantomime! Probably the first experience of theatre for most British kids, at any rate. It’s brash, it’s bold, it’s cheesy. Traditional stories stretched an pummeled to include a cross-dressing dame, a slapstick routine, and an all singing, all dancing finale. When I was a child the Principal Boy was a girl in tights – a throwback to the Victorian age, and an excuse to ogle a pretty girl’s legs. Nowadays it’s more likely to be a young soap star or a very minor pop singer.

It’s behind you!