It's that time of year again. Here, as my Christmas greeting to everyone is a brand new poem about the strange places that I have spent some of my previous Christmasses. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah or generic seasons greetings to one and all.
Ghosts of Christmas Past
I remember that Christmas day When, squeezed around a table set up in a tent High in the Himalaya We ate “Christmas Cake” - “Merry Kyismoss” in jam; And roasted goat, the Christmas scent; When we heard carols in an unfamiliar tongue But to familiar tunes Off-key renditions - And yet charming - Those voices raised in song.
I remember that Christmas day When we left the guide who was telling his tales And went into the rain Where the children sang In Cambulo village Echoing down mountain trails; Where we had just this afternoon made our way Along rice field rims, Through muddy fields, Up steeper paths To where the village lay.
I remember that Christmas day When Cusco’s square was filled with stands and stalls From cathedral steps To bar-room doors To alleys and arches And ancient stones in newer walls; Where we played backgammon on the balcony and drank beer And watched Santuranticuy Saints sold and bought And Niño Manuelito Blessing us at our festive cheer.
I remember that Christmas day When, unbelievers both,- against our protests - Seated In the front row At the carol service - The foreign friends; The honoured guests. With Chinese sermons intent - if not meaning - clear And Over The Sea To Skye Was the tune to one carol And we were made to sing But only knew Rudolph The Red-nosed Reindeer.
And I remember that Christmas day When the children ran from Santa’s terrifying stance With his bare legs His white and slit-eyed mask His decorated stick His animalistic dance; How they crept back between the hotel’s table rows To receive their presents, In trembling hands From this apparition In his unconventional pose.
And I remember best those Christmas days When Dad had gone for a Christmas morning drink; When Mom prepared our lunch - Checked the turkey, Boiled and baked potatoes, Peeled sprouts above the sink; When we moved the table to the centre of the room Spread the table cloth, Laid out the cutlery, While all the while the TV Dispelled the winter’s gloom.
(Bob Hale, December 2021)This message has been edited. Last edited by: BobHale,
"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.