Archive for December, 2016

O night divine – Jane Burn

December 26, 2016

Abegail Morley

O night divine,

bring to us a settle of wished-for snow. Bring ease
to aches, balm to wounds, calm to heads. I feel them
out there – folk who still watch the sky for Seraphims.
Hassled parents cajole their sky-high offspring to bed –
Santa is watching! They might do as they are told. Some
will get what they wanted. Some will get socks. Some
will get nothing. Someone is sleeping rough in the cold.
Each year goes quicker – January is December in less
than a blink. Superstores train us to think it’s coming
for you! bring it on! Bugger the cost. Some turn their backs
to the madness, remembering what, or who they have lost.
A Nativity of tinfoil wings. Dabbings of tears from cheeks
at the tea-towelled shepherds, lisping Magi, tinsel haloes –
Silent Night sung by Key Stage 1. Spare a thought
for Miss Crombie…

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Winter by Wendy Pratt

December 15, 2016

Abegail Morley

Sheena1Artwork: Sheena Clover

Dog walk on Christmas day

First light, there is the sunrise;
a thin lip of white, warming to colour
in the grey lane. And my dog knows
no difference between this day
and any other. The sheep rumble
in their woolly world, or lay
like granite ghosts along the hedgerows
and the stars fade to blue in a sky
pink enough to warn shepherds.

On main street the delicate magic
of Christmas lights blink against
a new dawn. The village Christmas tree
bows gently in the breeze. The pub
and church are sleeping still,
but some houses are waking,
some children are up, some parents
are bleary, bolstered by coffee.

Other dog walkers raise a gloved hand,
touch their hats, smile and wish
the Christmas day upon us. Any ill will
is drained away with the dark. It is like
love being passed hand to hand in…

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Wild Boar on Christmas Day – Ronnie Goodyer

December 15, 2016

Abegail Morley

Wild Boar on Christmas Day

We walked into the Christmas morning,
shadows of the trees left russet, delaying
the evergreen paths for another moment
in my life-walks with a collie. This time
his chosen offering to Gaia was a yellow
rubber ring that hung from slightly parted
jaws and had done for most of the morning.
Collie grenade.

Along the cornflake leaves and sparkling
mud, crisped by the night before Christmas,
we were just above the M.O.D. fields when
a louder-than-customary rustle heralded
the entrance of a wild boar. Morning patrol,
the male emerging to stand across the path,
just his protecting frame barring us invaders.
Tank pig.

Still, with his impasto red-brown armour,
his spine bristles erect, his regiment
snuffled behind to the camouflage bracken,
three smaller recruits still in their training
uniform of mink stripes. He rejoined them
on their elliptical circuit, semi-ungulate
tracks left on the softer…

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‘Rose Petal Jelly’ by Angela Readman

December 5, 2016