We had five truly great poems in our Christmas Carol poetry contest. Thank you all so much for participating -- it was a joy to read your work!
Our distinguished judge, Rolley Haggard, has made his ruling, and the winners are . . .
"Prequel" by Rheanna Macias
"Belle" by Marian
"There is no glory in death . . ." by eavis
Congratulations! I'll contact you and get your addresses so I can send out the prizes!
I'm republishing all the poems below the cut. I'm also including one by Selenia -- hers was submitted but somehow got lost in the system. She's e-mailed it to me now, so I'll publish it here, with my sincere apologies.
by Rheanna Macias
With all the homage of exiled Adam saluting in surprise
He felt the cold that winter, the winter where visits and visions
Routed him, rousted him, forced him to decisions
By the shocking of them open and glass-polish in his eyes:
With only Confusion, for companion; and past Sins, for provisions,
He shivered in the grey-blind blasts, blinked the flurries from his eyes.
It stung him like the stinging of the stingy stinging words
That were the bits of broken net strung togethe, badly sewn,
And madly, by the keepers of his airtight childhood home;
Words warmthless as half-skeletons, words brief as the edge of a sword:
And yet, he was no child now, and a man so "sharpish" as he was known
Could see them now as drunken rabble (but once they passed for lords).
Then those blessed-cursed Voices (Voices near as anything they were)
Shook out water from the hot rock of him, all sun-fired in the heat,
Made him drop ten thousand cares, left hiw the more complete--
Showed him the murmur of his daughter, her timid tiptoe on the stair,
Fastidiously un-creeted when she was only made to be discrete--
All left of the mother who'd left him not willing -- much less her!
And not least did that winter chill him like the knowledge given him
Of what it would be if he went a score more winters in like despair:
A hunchback crone dressed like a man, contemning the skin he must wear,
As skim, as flint, as miserable… (yet, horribly, not him!)
He took up at last the neglected care, and all the more embraced the air:
He could bear himself but not his own to bear that phantom limb.
The searing of a soul; ah, Friend Regret! ah, Master Pain!
But the trembling of joy is worth every tremble of fear.
Before he could see horror as horror, his whole vision was not clear;
Before he could feel the cold, he could not enjoy a flame.
"Fan, my dear, come and sit by me; I want you here,
I want your hand in my hand, I want your tiny head against the same!"
I have no cause to grieve;
no, not if this pursuit of wealth
replaces us, as now I leave
this distant Christmas Eve.
Happily, perhaps you'll share
your aspirations dear with her,
a Muse with shoes too great to wear,
with whom I can't compare.
You scarce recite, can hardly say
our Christmas past's forgotten vows
old promises from hopeful days
our humbler, kindred ways.
And you have made us two.
I watch you, as a shadow might,
lock all the doors to never lose
shut in this life you choose.
"There is no glory in death . . ."
There is no glory in death
no honour to be found
in the feeble cry of a child, cold and alone
in the weeping of a mother, son lost, husband gone.
in the struggle to breathe, borne down by grey cloud.
There is nothing that savours much of youth
in the empty eyes of a child, hope long crushed
in the timid hand, held out for bread
in the anguished eyes, clouded by the scorpion's sting.
if one knew
and, forewarned by kindly spirits
ventured to ask yet one favour more
back to the beginning, to a Christmas so long ago
There is a man who lives
he lives in London town
in a house, open to all and glowing with warmth
in a room with bustling mother, father, and halting son.
in a place where cares are lifted and burdens shared.
There is a man who dared to change his fate
in the choosing of a differing path
in the giving of himself to serve
in the laughter of bright-eyed children
And above, the spirits are content.
Peace to You
Peace to you,
yellow, and blue
skidding and peaking
the snowy arborvitae.
Peace to you,
with hockey sticks
Oh, pooh! There goes
your gliding puck
in gooey berry
the snowy arborvitae.
Peace to you,
calling to each other
behind the fresh pine
as chimney clouds go sailing
through icy white sky.
Peace and praise to you,
Hallo! Whoop! There goes the puck
gliding and flying again.
Peace to all Your falling,
this snowy Christmastime!
"Peace on earth, good will to men . . ."
by Linda Hoyland
“Peace on earth, good will to men,”
“Christmas joy to young and old.”
Scrooge shut out the joyful song,
All he cared about was gold.
On Christmas Eve, he felt annoyed,
So very early sought his bed;
Suddenly a ghost appeared,
Filling up his soul with dread.
Three spectres more appeared to him,
Reminding him of happier days;
Showing him his future grim
Unless he learned to change his ways.
When Scrooge awoke on Christmas Day,
His heart was filled Christmas cheer;
To others he showered peace and love
Then in all hearts, was held dear.
I have seen him
Walking around the town
More than once
I have reached out
almost grabbing his shoulder
And he never knew it
Tonight is the night
We will meet
So tired am I
As he denies
So frustrated I become
And so angry
To see him hold
As he walks swiftly
From his counting house
In the dark of the night
He turns his head
Away from the poor
The needy that hide
In the shadows
That they are
On this earth
He is separated
By his riches
He will learn
Makes no such