Tuesday 20th December…2011 A Year of Change…Poem Christmas Spirits

Wow what a year.  My personal project for 2011 was to embrace change and I’ve certainly been given the opportunity. A few months back I relocated from shaky Christchurch to sunny Nelson. And yes it is sunny but when it rains it sure knows how to do it. Last week the Maitai River became a wide muddy raging torrent. And then the slips began…On Thursday morning,  I looked out my bedroom window and saw the hillside moving toward me!  Fortunately, several cars slowed its path a tad….One came to a rest with its front wheels just below where I stood.  Hmm. We evacuated unhurt though a little wobbly.  I remain in awe of mother nature.

Here is a Christmas poem which I wrote at least twenty years ago.  It was first published in the Golden Bay Weekly circa 1999, ( my poetry publishing debut!), has been published in at least two books, performed in a number of places and even read on the morning programme, Radio National NZ.

Christmas Spirits

Christmas falls just once a year

and by the time it’s come

of goodness cheer and mercy

I’ve used up every crumb.

I thought I’d beat it this time

by starting in July.

I shopped for presents early

and had a ham put by.

I’ve done the things a mother should.

My freezer’s full to bust.

I’ve only got to make mince pies

and give the place a dust.

But now the kids are bugging me.

‘We want to open one!

We can’t wait till Christmas.

It’s now we want our fun!’

Their hi-jinks have so stressed me out

I don’t know what to do.

And so I have a brandy

and then another few.

My eyes are rather blurry now.

My knees are giving way.

But those mince pies need making

before the end of day.

‘Oh children dear it’s Christmas Eve

and Mother’s rather tight.

Please be good for Daddy.

I’m gone out like a light.’

It’s many hours later now

and Santa’s left some treats

but there is no pitter patter

of precious little feet.

My husband wakes me up.

‘Where have the children gone?

Where are George and Sally

and Millicent and John?’

‘Oh hubby dear, I do not know

you see I got quite high.

I might have minced the darlings up

and put them in the pies.’

‘Oh what can you be saying?

What poppycock is this?

How could you mince the children up

and go out on the piss?’

But then the police came knocking.

They had our children four.

I hadn’t minced them up at all.

They’d just crept out the door.

They’d hitched a ride with Santa

and gone off in his sleigh.

And all night long they’d helped him

give out toys for Christmas Day.

But travelling round the world

had made my children see

that unlike lots of others

they lived quite happily.

So the dears behaved like angels

for all of Christmas Day.

They even cooked the turkey

while on the couch I lay.

And in future Christmas seasons

Dad says he will bake the cake

and the kids can make the mince pies

while Mother takes a break.

(c) Helen McKinlay