Another Christmas story ruined…

Misremembering Christmas

It probably started with a story of
orphans on Christmas in a perpetually
cold European city somewhere in
Albania; they each received just one gift
on Christmas Eve and it was always something needed but not wanted until one year the heroine received an array of
colored pencils which she treasured
because she dreamed of becoming
an artist, but the nuns woke the orphans
early on Christmas morning and
told them it was their turn to give to
those even poorer, so along with
their own breakfasts to offer they
trekked to a wooded hovel to bless
gypsy children with food and presents
undeserved; the gypsy children
were subdued, I think I recall,
unaccustomed to grace and the
orphan sacrificing her one treasure
was nonplussed and altruistically
virtuous and that bothered me
immensely so I chose to misremember
and in my version the desperately
poor gypsy child hastily and tastelessly
ate the orphan’s breakfast and had those
colored pencils tossed on a dying
fire to keep it lit on a cold Christmas
morning, and the gypsy child couldn’t
care less about the colored pencils
and our orphan girl wept because
she couldn’t understand how the need
for a fire outweighed her selfish dream
while the nuns scolded her tears as they
marched the orphans away under the
shroud of another graceless Christmas morn.

Christmastime should be one word…


Look closely – christmastime is there

Or, it could be two words–one or two, but that’s it.

Successful Writing

Writing like this was once a joy
which came easily and early, excitedly, freely
as Christmas morning’s new toy
dreamed and hoped for, wished, ideally;

with Pollyannaish tones on parade,
words dancing and gliding, mating and meeting
like the way of a man with a maid
a romance and affair, tender, fleeting;

now lonely lines trouble the mind
pages toneless and joyless, lifeless, pointless
wondering wordless and unkind
no address to access, just success to transgress.



Free, is one of the good words,
of all the burdensome nouns and verbs
demanding so much of their import,
insisting as they treat us as sport;
but this one is careless and pure,
surprising to most, to some unsure,
unaccustomed to such freedom,
at liberty to be or even become;
for gifts are seldom gotten or given
without force, carelessly forgiven,
sailing at ease, running and forsaking,
all not’s and un’s there for the taking.

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