We wish all our readers a very Merry Christmas, and a happy New Year. Thank you to the poets who have generously sent us poems, Pie Corbett, Sue Hardy-Dawson, Jackie Hosking, Laura Mucha, Attie Lime, Jacqueline Shirtliff, Roger Stevens, Celia Warren and Sarah Ziman.
Thank you to Sue for our lovely Robin introduction, and to the other wonderful children’s poets who have sent poems for our Christmas blog 2021. We’d also like to thank all those who have supported us by sending fascinating and illuminating blogs this year.
See the shepherds with the sheep,
Not one dares to make a peep,
Tonight, no one will go to sleep,
The angels dance above.
See the trees turn golden, bright,
The hills are flooded with pure light,
And all feel warm this cold, cold night,
The angels dance above.
See the glint in every eye,
No one asks the question why
Heaven has flooded Earth’s dark sky,
The angels dance above.
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
A Christmas Poem
When my Great Aunt Bertha, who was a Quaker, read in the papers of how their boys and our boys gave it all up, put the guns down and climbed over the top to kick the patched leather ball between barbed wire and crater rims, between the two straight dark ditches they lived in, she took it upon herself to head down to Woolworth’s and buy up all the marked down boxes of Christmas cards, lolling on the January shelves.
She spent her war years licking stamps, inking addresses, printing xmas messages in one of a number of different languages, as appropriate, signing her love and visiting the pillar-box at the head of her road. Sacks of the things went off at once, whole stretches of trench filled with spade-handled robins, holly, magi, stockings and snow. The babe of peace arrived in his manger, in the stable, in March, in April, in May, ceaselessly, year on year.
If there had been no calendars, no officers, no orders, no today’s or yesterday’s newspaper in the mess, in the trench, no date on the soldier’s letter from home, then her plan may have worked, assuming the other side were equally ill-equipped and open-mindedly eager to clutch peace as it passed.
But no one was stupid enough to think it might be Christmas every day, no one was fooled by her hand, and besides, the ball needed pumping and a puncture repair kit. Great Aunt Bertha.
I knew then that the world is not an ordinary place
When heaven shone from one small baby’s face.
Baubles fragile, fire-bright hanging, hovering, quivering reflectors of tiny, glinting tints tree treasures
Please try to remember, whatever your age,
That Christmas is spelt with a T
If you try to have Christmas without it
There’ll be gif-s placed under a -ree
For dinner, you’ll have to eat -urkey
With s-uffing and maybe some sprou-s
And there won’t be much glitter or sparkle
If it’s -insel you’ve hung in your house
And when San-a Claus visits at midnigh-
He’ll find it most dreadfully shocking
If, instead of his usual cookies and milk,
He’s met with a right Chris-mas s-ocking!
John H. Rice
A Big Surprise
For my presents, I said I’d like computer games, a mountain bike, an electric train or a model plane but most of all I’d like a bike.
I opened my presents and what did I find there? A hand knitted hat and a squeaky bear, more underpants from my aunts and socks (grey, one pair).
I said ‘thank you’ nicely, I tried to smile but what was I thinking all the while? I was thinking I wanted computer games, a mountain bike, an electric train or a model plane but most of all I’d have liked a bike.
“There’s just one last thing to unwrap,” they said. “It’s a big surprise we’ve kept it in the shed. It’s special, it comes with love from the lot of us…
Now I’m the only kid in school with my own hippopotamus.
Last Christmas we finished our blog year with some festive poems, which were very popular. This year we will have a few each day leading up to our normal blog day – Christmas Eve. Thank you to all the poets who contributed – more poems tomorrow!
The sky exploded
Night turned inside out
and suddenly was all ablaze
across the blue-black sky
like diamonds. It was day,
with rainbows sparkling in salt spray,
or waterfalls of light…
not any sort of night
that anyone had ever seen before
– or since.
the shepherds on the hill
screwed up their eyes against it
– so bright it made them wince.
They heard the singing,
felt the wind of wild wings beating,
– white and gleaming thunder
high in God’s heaven.
All this fanfare-fuss, this mad amazing energy,
on this high hilltop,
this was not the main event.
That happened quietly behind the pub
in a shed they kept the donkey in.
There God was born
not in a palace to be claimed by kings
not in a rich man’s house awash with things.
Not even underneath the angels’ shining wings
but in a shed. With stuff.
For us. For ordinary us.
The Last Mince Pie
Who ate the last mince pie? It was on the plate last night I wonder, was it Grandpa? Did he take a crafty bite?
Who ate the last mince pie? I wonder, was it Mum? Did she sneak into the kitchen And gulp it down in one?
Who ate the last mince pie? Couldn’t Sister Sally wait? When nobody was looking Did she pinch it from the plate?
Who ate the last mince pie? Who, I wonder, could it be? I know – but don’t tell anyone! It was…
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