At Christmas

Christmas is my time of year
I can get drunk on the scents of clementine and clove
I like to sing along with Bing & Bowie, Wizzard & Wham
dance around the tree tryIng not to trip
over well-wrapped gifts and tins of roses
I get hypnotised by the shimmering of baubles
against twinkling lights and tinsel
every year I sit and lose myself in the magic of the snowman
like it’s my first time seeing it.

Get me round the table on Christmas day
pulling crackers with prizes I never win
a toast and then a race for the pigs in blankets
and last roast potato
smiles of happiness, wine and champagne
from all the faces,
leaves the best taste.

Does it really matter to you,
if the odd day, my breakfast is Bucks Fizz, coco pops and orange matchmakers
and afternoon hot chocolates
sometimes have Bailey’s in, sometimes not?
We celebrate in our own ways.

I’ve always enjoyed Christmas
ever since I watched letters with burnt edges
float up the chimney as a child
when Dudley Moore was a runaway elf
and presents spilled from tree to settee
and the whole family was happy and together.

Christmas is my time of year
let’s celebrate together
all in our own ways.

————

Thanks for taking the time to read my poem.

Take It Easy

Paul

Bobby’s Wake

The pitmen gather around the empty hearse,
standing like Davids around Goliath,
some with roll-up cigs burning,
a glowing tobacco-fuelled pyre for,
another brother lost to history.

The colliery band are gearing up,
it’s good to see them still looking strong,
a shame some of the brass looks dull,
but the sapphire and gold thread of the banner,
is still resplendent in the tender summer drizzle.

Bobby’s family give their thanks to the vicar,
with a handshake and bottle of whisky;
his widow unsteady from grief
– and a brandy she’d drank for his honour and her nerves –
is weightless in the arms of her daughters,
the sorrow they’re carrying is a heavy enough burden.

Some of his friends from the village,
wander around the nearby graves,
hunching over the headstones and fading flowerheads,
making empty apologies they aren’t there more often.


Everyone congregates at the roadside when the band begins,
ready for the march to the pub;
tubas and trumpets blowing out the tune to
‘The Bonny Pit Laddie’
a reminder of the man,
just returned to the earth;
close to the coal he used to dig.


At the pub – we all raise a ‘Percy Special’ in toast,
and the tales and tankards come thick and fast;
like pick-axes on silver-black mine walls,
did only a couple of years ago;
the only hush comes from the opening of the buffet table.


These ageing men who’ve fought the police and government;
legends in their own lifetimes;
know that they’ll be together again soon enough,
wondering if they’ll be the missing face, lying in the dirt;
some have a fleeting sadness on their hard faces,
quickly burnt away by the furnace behind their eyes,
and then songs break out with soft smiles

this is a celebration.

Thanks for taking the time to read this poem.

I really appreciate all your support.

Take It Easy

Paul