Today we have no blog, but a feast of Christmas poems, chosen by or written by Children’s Poetry Summit members!
William Shakespeare, Chosen by Allie Esirie, from Shakespeare for Every Day of the Year, edited by Allie Esirie, Macmillan.
on Christmas morning
we got up really early
and took the dog for a walk
across the downs
It wasn’t snowing
but the hills were white with frost
and our breath froze
in the air
Judy rushed around like a crazy thing
as though Christmas
meant something special to her
The sheep huddled together
as if they’d been up all night
watching the stars
We stood at the highest point
and thought about what Christmas means
and looked over the white hills
and looked up at the blue sky
And the hills seemed
to go on forever
and the sky had no bounds
and you could imagine
a world at peace
I give you a wooden gate
to open onto the world,
I give you a bendy ruler
to measure the snow that swirls,
I give you a prestidigitator
to make your woes disappear,
I give you a hopping robin –
he’ll be your friend throughout the year,
I give you a box of mist
to throw over past mist-akes,
I give you a slice of ice
to slide on mysterious lakes.
Chrissie Gittins, from The Humpback’s Wail.
Liz Brownlee, first published in Christmas Poems, Chosen by Gaby Morgan, Macmillan.
Into our home
bring fairy lights
colour to shine
on darkest nights.
On the tree
returned to me.
fills the room
On the table
the pudding flames
all winter long
its fire remains.
It was waking early and making a din.
It was knowing that for the next twenty minutes
I’d never be quite so excited again.
It was singing the last verse of
‘O Come all Ye Faithful’, the one that’s
only meant to be sung on Christmas Day.
It was lighting a fire in the unused room
and a draught that blew back woodsmoke
into our faces.
It was lunch and a full table,
and dad repeating how he’d once eaten his
off the bonnet of a lorry in Austria.
It was keeping quiet for the Queen
and Gran telling that one about children
being seen but not heard.
(As if we could get a word in edgeways
once she started!)
It was ‘Monopoly’ and me out to cheat the Devil
to be the first to reach Mayfair.
It was, “Just a small one for the lad,”
and dad saying, “We don’t want him getting ‘tipsy.”
It was aunts assaulting the black piano
and me keeping clear of mistletoe
in case they trapped me.
It was pinning a tail on the donkey,
and nuts that wouldn’t crack
and crackers that pulled apart but didn’t bang.
And then when the day was almost gone,
it was Dad on the stairs,
on his way to bed,
and one of us saying:
“You’ve forgotten to take your hat off….”
And the purple or pink or orange paper
still crowning his head.