Day 224 – Its Season Has Passed

Its Season Has Passed

Day 224

Winter Scenes by Karen Stephens

I have

               seen Winter; its cold, grey mornings,

Its frozen mist-drops clinging to yielding tree branches,

Its glass-like tears sparkling in the short noon sun,

I have seen Winter.

I have

               heard Winter; its fast-moving wind noises,

Its sharp voice piercing the solemn quietness of the day,

Its crunch where the crusty snow gives way,

I have heard Winter.

I have

               touched Winter; its frosty whispers on my face,

Its white, wet iciness in my boots,

Its fresh, clean air, breathed in deep draughts,

I have touched Winter.

I have

               known Winter; in its most violent tempers,

Through its placid dreamings,

In its soothing vastness,

I have known Winter.

 I am de-Christmased.  The ornaments are tissued and boxed.  The lights are rolled and bagged.  The tree branches are sorted, bundled and packed away.  My home has a certain strangeness to it now that the clutter and bright lights of Christmas are gone.  It looks naked.  I like the nakedness of the house now, though it could certainly use a bit more stripping.  Now the bleak cold of January can take over.  And that means that Spring is inching ever closer!

(today’s poem is brought to you by my lovely friend, Karen Stephens)

January Will Have its Way...

Day 196 – Big Night in a Small Town

Big Night in a Small Town

Day 196

The Boy Who Laughed At Santa Claus by Ogden Nash

In Baltimore there lived a boy.
He wasn’t anybody’s joy.
Although his name was Jabez Dawes,
His character was full of flaws.In school he never led his classes,
He hid old ladies’ reading glasses,
His mouth was open when he chewed,
And elbows to the table glued.
He stole the milk of hungry kittens,
And walked through doors marked NO ADMITTANCE.
He said he acted thus because
There wasn’t any Santa Claus.

Another trick that tickled Jabez
Was crying ‘Boo’ at little babies.
He brushed his teeth, they said in town,
Sideways instead of up and down.
Yet people pardoned every sin,
And viewed his antics with a grin,
Till they were told by Jabez Dawes,
‘There isn’t any Santa Claus!’

Deploring how he did behave,
His parents swiftly sought their grave.
They hurried through the portals pearly,
And Jabez left the funeral early.

Like whooping cough, from child to child,
He sped to spread the rumor wild:
‘Sure as my name is Jabez Dawes
There isn’t any Santa Claus!’
Slunk like a weasel of a marten
Through nursery and kindergarten,
Whispering low to every tot,
‘There isn’t any, no there’s not!’

The children wept all Christmas eve
And Jabez chortled up his sleeve.
No infant dared hang up his stocking
For fear of Jabez’ ribald mocking.

He sprawled on his untidy bed,
Fresh malice dancing in his head,
When presently with scalp-a-tingling,
Jabez heard a distant jingling;
He heard the crunch of sleigh and hoof
Crisply alighting on the roof.
What good to rise and bar the door?
A shower of soot was on the floor.

What was beheld by Jabez Dawes?
The fireplace full of Santa Claus!
Then Jabez fell upon his knees
With cries of ‘Don’t,’ and ‘Pretty Please.’
He howled, ‘I don’t know where you read it,
But anyhow, I never said it!’
‘Jabez’ replied the angry saint,
‘It isn’t I, it’s you that ain’t.
Although there is a Santa Claus,
There isn’t any Jabez Dawes!’

Said Jabez then with impudent vim,
‘Oh, yes there is, and I am him!
Your magic don’t scare me, it doesn’t’
And suddenly he found he wasn’t!
From grimy feet to grimy locks,
Jabez became a Jack-in-the-box,
An ugly toy with springs unsprung,
Forever sticking out his tongue.

The neighbors heard his mournful squeal;
They searched for him, but not with zeal.
No trace was found of Jabez Dawes,
Which led to thunderous applause,
And people drank a loving cup
And went and hung their stockings up.

All you who sneer at Santa Claus,
Beware the fate of Jabez Dawes,
The saucy boy who mocked the saint.
Donner and Blitzen licked off his paint.

This isn’t the photo that I had planned for the night, however my Michael had a small concert (surprise, Mom!) at Free Church Park here in town tonight to welcome Santa to his little home away from home.  The middle school band played a few songs, the high school choir sang a carol or two and Santa’s helper read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.  Lots and lots of rugrats running around nipping ankles and otherwise behaving like the children that they are – they straightened up the moment Santa came out and told the powers that be to turn on the Christmas lights.  All in all, cold, damp, noisy and satisfying because my baby boy was part of it.

Christmas Lights - Radial Blur and Twirled

Day 166 – Why Didn’t I See it Before?

Why Didn't I See it Before?

Day 166

Flight Of Stairs by A. S. J. Tessimond

Stairs fly as straight as hawks;
Or else in spirals, curve out of curve, pausing
At a ledge to poise their wings before relaunching.
Stairs sway at the height of their flight
Like a melody in Tristan;
Or swoop to the ground with glad spread of their feathers
Before they close them.They curiously investigate
The shells of buildings,
A hollow core,
Shell in a shell.

Useless to produce their path to infinity
Or turn it to a moral symbol,
For their flight is ambiguous, upwards or downwards as you please;
Their fountain is frozen,
Their concertina is silent.

Day 148 – Storefronts

Oh, What Little Things

Day 148

Bric-a-Brac by Dorothy Parker

Little things that no one needs —
Little things to joke about —
Little landscapes, done in beads.
Little morals, woven out,
Little wreaths of gilded grass,
Little brigs of whittled oak
Bottled painfully in glass;
These are made by lonely folk.Lonely folk have lines of days
Long and faltering and thin;
Therefore — little wax bouquets,
Prayers cut upon a pin,
Little maps of pinkish lands,
Little charts of curly seas,
Little plats of linen strands,
Little verses, such as these.

Day 147 – Two Books Later, or How a Book Can Steal a Photo Op.

Two Books Later, or How a Book Can Steal a Photo Op.

Day 147 –

A Clear Midnight. by Walt Whitman

This is thy hour O Soul, thy free flight into the wordless,
Away from books, away from art, the day erased, the lesson done,
Thee fully forth emerging, silent, gazing, pondering the themes thou lovest best.
Night, sleep, and the stars.

Day 142 – On Call

On Call

Day 142 –

The Night-Fire by Claude McKay

No engines shrieking rescue storm the night,
And hose and hydrant cannot here avail;
The flames laugh high and fling their challenging light,
And clouds turn gray and black from silver-pale.
The fire leaps out and licks the ancient walls,
And the big building bends and twists and groans.
A bar drops from its place; a rafter falls
Burning the flowers. The wind in frenzy moans.
The watchers gaze, held wondering by the fire,
The dwellers cry their sorrow to the crowd,
The flames beyond themselves rise higher, higher,
To lose their glory in the frowning cloud,
Yielding at length the last reluctant breath.
And where life lay asleep broods darkly death.

Day 136 – As I Sat Alone

As I Sat Alone

Day 136 – As I Sat Alone

Alone by Sara Teasdale

I am alone, in spite of love,
In spite of all I take and give—
In spite of all your tenderness,
Sometimes I am not glad to live.

I am alone, as though I stood
On the highest peak of the tired gray world,
About me only swirling snow,
Above me, endless space unfurled;

With earth hidden and heaven hidden,
And only my own spirit’s pride
To keep me from the peace of those
Who are not lonely, having died.