written by: Stephen Kingsnorth
Annual visit to the loft, tentative on attic steps,
shining torch to search above, clear dust, cobwebs, shading far.
Labelled clearly, felt-tip pen, heave, retrieve, when, if, required,
drag old case to living room, corrugated, flexible –
know my Xmas, down to earth, kitchen sink and then the doze.
Christmas tree of plastic pine, toilet brush turned upside down,
angel, fairy for the top, both our myth until some death.
Baubles, tinsel on the top, stable, crib of olive wood
underneath, that tourist gift, Palestine, made refugees.
Flex is worn, those strung out lights – tinkle bright then blackout crash;
easier to buy new set than sort the problem, check our wires.
Carrot stick by chimney stack; how’s the coming, thermostat?
Red nose of the sleigh reindeer; red wine stain on grandpa’s face.
Midnight altar rite for some; ‘even Christmas’, church cash-in.
Watch your words in front of kids – what’s truth, magic – who’s to know?
Of this season, Mum’s Luke-warm; crooked necks toward the stars,
lion, bull and bear on site, woolly jumpers, counting sheep.
Then that train, punctual this time; eastern standard, Westward Star.
Light, sounds, signs and symphonies; ELO has broken through.
They saw more than others view – birthrights blind the eyes you see –
and there beyond their narrow fields, dung revealing scented air,
they saw real power in helplessness, all that offered, needing love.
Mistletoe and kiss me quick, short-term fun in long-term pain,
unwrapped baby, rapt unseen, rolled in newsprint yesteryear.
Santa’s beard sent packing, up to its boxed space, dark, aloft.
- Drop in The Ocean - June 8, 2023
- Wore Weary - April 26, 2023
- Sculpted Stance - April 11, 2023