Christmas Cantata 2009

dove

a white dove
perched on the tip of my
blue and gold tree—
a magpie warbles
from the hills hoist

the fire-truck
sounds a hooter—
no bushfire
just the seasonal
lolly-run for the kids

holly and the ivy—
golden-haired choir boys
sing on TV
a wattlebird
ruffles the grevillea

the tell-tale grunt—
we call the children outside
in the dusk
to hunt this sleepy
Christmas Eve koala

Santa on the TV news
in real ice and snow—
tonight
it all seems somehow
less of a fairytale

the eight-year old
not confident to declare
her secret knowledge
goes to bed early
…just in case

a quiet drink
beside flickering tea-lights
and brass reindeer
he eats the plated mince pie
remembering to leave crumbs

Christmas wrapping
into the recycling bin—
for a moment
I consider saving
the gift tags for next year

after presents
we unwrap our pale
bodies and purge
our souls in the crisp
morning surf

rain for Christmas
but no one grumbles—
thinking of farmers
and rivers now
flowing with goodwill

ham and turkey
fruit salad and wine—
some of us wearing
these papers hats
look much older this year

card games and
another cup of tea—
at this rate
will the fruit cake
last until January?

© Julie Thorndyke

First published:  Hecate 2010

 

This Christmas

owl

I don’t want anything new
or different, the latest
style or shade—

I want something old
and familiar, worn and wound
around my heart with strings
of rough wool, tugging
at memories buried beneath
the frost, barricaded by thorns
and brambles laden with blood-red fruit.

This Christmas I want the warm
rush of pleasure being reunited—
the moist eyes of family
remembering way-back-when.

The lopsided handmade star, the chipped
cup and tarnished silver tray; the whisky
cake, cheese ball and crackers; apple cider, lemonade and tinned fruit in the punch.

This Christmas, when I raise a glass
I expect it to twinkle with tears for the lost
and gleam with the reflected glances
of lovers’ god-blessed eyes.

© Julie Thorndyke