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.

I’d prefer not to die…

Ode Not to Dying

In this poem no one will die
no one is sick or will grieve
it’s not that everyone’s blissful
for that would be a silly lie
but we could use a reprieve
from the funereal hymnal.

This could be about life or joy
pleasant parks, a May flower
yet some don’t love Spring
allergies and rain may annoy
for some it’s love turned sour
or that they’re denied a ring.

Can-do bravery is pleasing
psalms of life, into the valley
when others perish bravely
we’re moved to day seizing
coup de grâce to de foudre
lifely lived, lively not gravely.

But I’m Irish – death’s our theme
the grave the cradle’s twin
gentle Lady silenced by Joyce
Heanley’s Naturalist midstream
Yeats killed off Paddy Flynn
Wilde at the grave’s lost voice.

But I’ve promised no decay
disease, mortality or demise
instead we’ll think of the morn
and life as a grand parfait
beauty we will not despise
nor emote so as to mourn.

So here is the happy end
ever after, fondly, cheerful
hoping you feel better with this
and sleep better, life commend
laughing instead of tearful
and not dying (today) is bliss.

Then there is the miracle
when death is itself done in
but how often does that occur;
hope is fine, gullibility satirical
and none escapes original sin
for death one may not defer.

For the one born blind…

Grace in Mud

They sing,
we sing,
all sinners sing
of grace
that’s amazing,
of grace
that makes
the blind see,
grace that
does what can’t
be done.

Never, they
say, It’s never
happened
ever,
to anyone,
so don’t think,
don’t dream
it can happen
to you,
sinner;
punished,
deservedly, en
utero (what
terrible thing
did your parents
do anyway
that you should
be born…you?)

Grace in this
spit and dirt,
grace in mud
that must be
washed away,
washed to
see what you’ve
never seen;
you’ve never seen,
ever; grace
in mud made
you see.