Noël ~ Anne PorterWhen snow is shaken
From the balsam trees
And they're cut down
And brought into our houses
When clustered sparks
Of many-colored fire
Appear at night
In ordinary windows
We hear and sing
The customary carols
They bring us ragged miracles
And hay and candles
And flowering weeds of poetry
That are loved all the more
Because they are so common
But there are carols
That carry phrases
Of the haunting music
Of the other world
A music wild and dangerous
As a prophet's message
Or the fresh truth of children
Who though they come to us
From our own bodies
Are altogether new
With their small limbs
And birdlike voices
They look at us
With their clear eyes
And ask the piercing questions
God alone can answer.
Anne Elizabeth born November 6, 1911, in Sherborn, Massachusetts, Ms. Porter grew up with a love of poetry. Her mother always read poems to her children, which “gave us the idea that poetry was perfectly natural,” Ms. Porter said in 2006. Before she could write or spell, her great-uncle Laurence Minot would write down her poems and illustrate.
Trio ~ Edwin Morgan
Coming up Buchanan Street, quickly, on a sharp winter evening
a young man and two girls, under the Christmas lights -
The young man carries a new guitar in his arms,
the girl on the inside carries a very young baby,
and the girl on the outside carries a Chihuahua.
And the three of them are laughing, their breath rises
in a cloud of happiness, and as they pass
the boy says, "Wait till he sees this but!"
The Chihuahua has a tiny Royal Stewart tartan coat like a teapot-holder,
the baby in its white shawl is all bright eyes and mouth like favours
in a fresh sweet cake,
the guitar swells out under its milky plastic cover, tied at the neck
with silver tinsel tape and a brisk sprig of mistletoe.
Orphean sprig! Melting baby! Warm Chihuahua!
The vale of tears is powerless before you.
Whether Christ is born, or is not born, you
put paid to fate, it abdicates
******************************under the Christmas lights.
Monsters of the year
go blank, are scattered back,
can't bear this march of three.
-- And the three have passed, vanished in the crowd
(yet not vanished, for in their arms they wind
the life of men and
beasts, and music,
laughter ringing them round like a guard)
at the end of this winter's day
Born Glasgow, Edwin Morgan lived there all his life, except for service with the RAMC, and his poetry is grounded in the city. He was Glasgow's first Poet Laureate 1999-2002, and the first to hold the post of 'Scots Makar', created by the Scottish Executive in 2004 to recognise the achievement of Scottish poets throughout the centuries.
This seasons joy to one and all from The Parrish Lantern.