The Advent Carol



The Advent Carol

Who’s behind the first door ?
The solstice is behind the first,
The time the winter Sun is at his least.

Who’s behind the second door ?
The Sun again – the Sun reborn,
Who ushers in the great midwinter feast.

Who’s behind the third door ?
The Holly and the Ivy are,
The evergreens who never drop their cloaks.

Who’s behind the fourth door ?
The Mistletoe !  The Mistletoe !
The green and living soul of sleeping oaks.

Day-by-day, let us remember –
            These are the days of December.

Who’s behind the fifth door ?
Osiris, Mithra, Herakles,
And Zarathustra – ancient gods and myths.

Who’s behind the sixth door ?
The same Gods and their Virgin Births –
And each is born upon the 25th.

Who’s behind the seventh door ?
The ancient and be-sandal’d Greeks,
Engaged in boozy Bacchanalia.

Who’s behind the eighth door ?
The ancient Roman copycats,
Engaged in likewise Saturnalia.

Day-by-day, let us remember –
            These are the days of December.

Who’s behind the ninth door ?
It’s Nicholas, the bishop-saint
Who secretly leaves presents for the poor

Who’s behind the tenth door ?
White of beard and furred of robe:
It’s Odin !  God of gifts and God of war.

Who’s behind the eleventh door ?
It’s Yuletide, when the Wild Hunt charges,
Through the sky and through the feasting halls.

Who’s behind the twelfth door ?
That’s Sleipnir, Odin’s flying steed,
Who lets him drop down chimneys when he calls.

Day-by-day, let us remember –
            These are the days of December.

Who’s behind the thirteenth door ?
It’s Father Christmas, dressed in green,
And feasting heartily, and draining beer.

Who’s behind the fourteenth door ?
Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen,
Comet, Cupid, Dunder, Blixem – Reindeer !

Who’s behind the fifteenth door ?
The Ghost of Christmas Present shows,
That even bustling London has its pause.

Who’s behind the sixteenth door ?
It’s Haddon Sundblom, illustrator,
Painting Coca-Cola’s Santa Claus.

Day-by-day, let us remember –
            These are the days of December.

Who’s behind the seventeenth door ?
It’s Prince Albert’s Tannenbaum –
He’s bringing back the good old the Christmas Tree.

Who’s behind the eighteenth door ?
It’s lots and lots of Christmas Cards,
Showing scenes of seasonality.

Who’s behind the nineteenth door ?
It’s Oxford Street illuminations,
Well-dressed window-shopping costs us nothing.

Who’s behind the twentieth door ?
A Turkey !  Waiting for the chop
With roasties, Yorkshires, bread sauce, sprouts and stuffing !

Day-by-day, let us remember –
            These are the days of December.

Who’s behind the twenty-first door ?
It’s robin redbreasts in the snow –
Though never three together, as a rule.

Who’s behind the twenty-second door ?
A Crib from a Nativity,
As seen on stage in ev’ry prim’ry school.

Who’s behind the twenty-third door ?
Her Majesty, with speech in hand,
Addressing all the little folks to carry on.

Who’s behind the twenty-fourth door ?
It’s Christmas Number One !  Our song !
We know the words, so once more sing along:

Day-by-day, let us remember –
            These are the days of December.

And finally, the twenty-fifth,
So open up and see –
Why look, it’s Mum and Dad, and Gran,
And You, and You, and Me.



In Finity

landscape nature sky person
Photo by Pixabay on


In Finity

“I’d rather believe in an absolute something
Than trust in an absolute nothing at all.
And thus I choose faith in an undefined coming,
Than ponder the empty and chanceful and small.”
But how can an absolute anything be
In a finite and singular universe host ?
And as for an absolute nothing, well see,
That nature abhors of a vacuum the most.



Area 42

Ufo by süleymanakçay


Area 42

Aliens, aliens,
Somewhere they’re out there !
The odds are so great,
And the physics agrees.
They just need a planet
With temp’rature fair,
With water that’s liquid,
And low stellar breeze.
And who would have thought it,
But when we went looking,
There’s thousands of planets
Just lurking all over.
So down in their oceans,
What might they have cooking ?
Alas, they’re too distant
To send out a Rover.

Ah, but imagine if we could !
Just grab our towels and jelly beans
And stride our cosmic neighbourhood !
If only we could learn the means.
Until such time, it might be wise
To doubt the news, and watch the skies.

Forget about greys
Or a buxom blue femme,
We know they’ll look nothing
Like anything here.
For they’ll be as strange
As must we be to them,
From opposite ends
Of the final frontier.
So let’s not be too harsh
On yoofoo believers
For who knows what’s lurking
Beyond our ken  ?
But things are too distant
For radar receivers
To show us the saucers
Of little green men.

Ah, but imagine if they could !
Above high clouds, they’d scrutinise
Our quaint provincial neighbourhood.
Alas, I must dispute your cries.
The only people up there, guys,
Are far outside our lonely skies.



Two-Tone Margarets

magpies 1
Magpies by maineexile


Two-Tone Margarets

Magpie, magpie, all upon your lonely,
Have you an omen or an auspice to portend ?
Tell me, oh magpie, perched all one and only,
What do you impart, my fortune-casting friend ?

Magpies, magpies, twosome in my setting,
Have you an omen or an auspice to bestow ?
Tell me, oh magpies, the pair of you abetting,
What do you impart – am I set for joy or woe ?

Magpies, magpies, thrice upon my vision,
Have you an omen or an auspice to enprime ?
Tell me, oh magpie, a trio on your mission,
What do you impart for my future-coming time ?

Magpies, magpies, four of you here gathered,
Have you an omen or an auspice for my mood ?
I tell you, oh magpies, I think your signs are blathered,
You’ve nothing to impart – you’re too busy finding food.



Armageddon Hedonism

Pandemonium by John Martin


Armageddon Hedonism

All aboard for the End of Days,
When kingdoms drown and cities blaze.
See stars burn out and worlds collide,
As the dead shall walk and the damned shall ride !
I’ll see you all at the bitter end,
When gods take arms and fates entwine.
We’re six-six-six for nil, my friend,
Let’s party like it’s ninety-nine !
The long goodbye, the last farewell:
I’ll see you all on the Road to Hell !

Fires to the north and fighting to the south,
The time has come, the Walrus said, and gently dabbed his mouth.
Famine to the west, and plague upon the east –
The Quick comingle with the Dead, the Angel with the Beast.
Penitents shall weep and moan –
Some prayers pleaded, others hurled.
We’re all for one and all alone,
So step right up for the End of the World !

Roll up !  Roll up for Ragnarok !
For hark !  There raps the Reaper’s knock.
Our days are short, our time is come,
I hear the trumpet and the drum.
I’ll see you all on Judgement Day,
When gods lay bets and futures mix.
We’re thirty-coins-per-soul, they say –
Keep tuppence back to cross the Styx.
We’re three-score-ten before the tomb:
I’ll see you all at the Gates to Doom !

Chaos to the left and jokers to the right,
The wind of Thor is blowing cold, the Morningstar is bright.
Shouting to the front and screaming to the rear –
The Saved shall ally with the Sold, the Comrade with the Clear.
Penitents shall beg and curse –
Some prosaic, some sublime.
It’s goodnight to the universe,
And set your clocks for the End of Time !