Yule Not Yet

"Box of old, tangled Christmas lights."


Yule Not Yet

Hold off the tinsel and un-ring the bells,
Don’t hack the holly, at least for a week,
And don’t eat the chocolates or savour the smells –
Endurance, my friends, we are far from the peak
We’ve barely entered December, remember,
We’ve business to busy and bills to be paid.
For awe and excitement need patience and pacing –
It’s not like we’re likely to miss the parade.



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.




sky space dark galaxy
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Let us give our thanks to the universe for hosting us,
Even if it doesn’t even know that’s what it does.
And even if it does, it wouldn’t care that it had made us
When it’s only accidental that its stellar constants aid us;
And anyway, we’re here today – I guess we can’t evade us,
Even though we’re only just-because.
But anyhow, we’re here now, and that’s what really matters:
Neither choked nor gasping, and neither froze nor burned.
But anthro-cosmologic-thought just fills the void and flatters,
For if we ever never were, we wouldn’t know we weren’t.
So thank-you, universe, (not that you care) –
Thank-you just for simply being there.



Armistice Sunday Blues

cemetery christian christianity church
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Armistice Sunday Blues

If this were a day just to celebrate peace,
And the end of the stupidity –
If thenceforth we’d learned and if henceforth we cease
All nationalist hostility;
Then maybe I could be a little less blue,
And not blame the soldiers so much
For orders they only were following through
For empire, oil and such.
And yes, I am fully aware that a war
Is complex, and that leaders are deep;
But still they are all politicians at core,
With pollsters and headlines to reap.
So soldiers get orders and carry them out,
And sometimes civilians die –
But that’s total war, and it’s too late to shout:
We knowingly grabbed for the lie.
They don’t want me carping, but fighting there too,
But I know this war isn’t cricket.
When his country comes calling, the patriot true
Tells his hypocrite homeland to stick it.




backlit black candle candlelight
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It’s Halloween night, and I’m still right here –
Death, you coward, you failed to appear !
Did you send forth your goblins and demons and wights ?
Cos I’ve still got my wits and I’ve still got my lights.
So where were the werewolves, the hairy-scare werewolves ?
And where were the zombies and spectres and sprites ?
Is it really too much to want to believe in
Some un-hallows odd on All-Hallow’s Even ?

It’s Halloween night, and I’m still in the clear
Death, you blackguard, you just ain’t sincere !
Plague and Pollution, Famine and War
Now those are damn scary, and worthy of awe.
Cancer and cold snaps and car wrecks are killers,
Not witches or vampires – they don’t come near !
Vengeance and greed are the stuff of good thrillers,
But I ain’t heard a peep from a banshee all year.

It’s Halloween night, and I’ve nothing to fear –
Death, you pussy, you’ve lost all your sneer !
And a rubber spider or pumpkin grin
Will scarcely scare me out of my skin.
My heart’s barely strumming,
So Death, if you’re coming,
You’d best get a-frighting to stand any chance –
So unleash your devils
And skeletal revels –
Quit tuning your fiddle, and strike up a dance.



Night of the Restful Dead

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Night of the Restful Dead

Halloween, when the dead don’t walk,
The wraiths don’t keen and the sprites don’t stalk,
The shades don’t slink, nor devils prowl,
The vamps don’t drink, nor werewolves howl.

Halloween, when the dead stay dead,
The walls aren’t green and the sheets aren’t red,
And physics’ laws still reign supreme,
We’ve got no cause, yet still we scream.

Halloween, when the ghoul-less roam,
Or sleep serene in their haunt-less homes;
We walk this night with carefree airs,
And won’t take fright, nor whisper prayers.

Halloween, when the kids raise Hell –
It’s always been within their spell –
They may look gaunt, but fake their gore –
They only haunt from door-to-door.

Halloween, when the pumpkins smile,
And folks convene in a gothic style –
With tongue-filled cheeks and boozy breath,
They dress as freaks and laugh at Death.

Halloween, when the graves aren’t stirred,
The ghosts aren’t seen nor the banshees heard.
Yet still we fret by thinking dumb
When we forget how far we’ve come.

Halloween, when the mind plays tricks,
And the silver screen gives us frights for kicks.
For this one night, let’s dig suspense;
Just don’t lose sight of our common sense.