Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A Season’s greeting to one & all from The Parrish Lantern

This is theoretically my 5th year of wishing one & all a merry & festive yuletide, normally done looking out over the English countryside, tucked away from the multitudes, glass of something warm and golden (preferably Ardbeg), snug as the proverbial bug. This year I keep finding myself bumping into that word – but; but this is only your second post of the year, but why start again now, but how can you expect people to find time to read this, when you are aware of all the constraints that impinge on ……….., but here I am second post of the year, no longer living in the countryside, now a fully-fledged? Urbanite, still wishing to raise the glass, still haunting the periphery of the blogosphere, still here – Wishing you all the best that this time of year can grant you & that next year exceeds those expectations. 

Christmas Sparrow
The first thing I heard this morning
was a soft, insistent rustle,
the rapid flapping of wings
against glass as it turned out,

a small bird rioting
in the frame of a high window,
trying to hurl itself through
the enigma of transparency into the spacious light.

A noise in the throat of the cat
hunkered on the rug
told me how the bird had gotten inside,
carried in the cold night
through the flap in a basement door,
and later released from the soft clench of teeth.

Up on a chair, I trapped its pulsations
in a small towel and carried it to the door,
so weightless it seemed
to have vanished into the nest of cloth.

But outside, it burst
from my uncupped hands into its element,
dipping over the dormant garden
in a spasm of wingbeats
and disappearing over a tall row of hemlocks.

Still, for the rest of the day,
I could feel its wild thrumming
against my palms whenever I thought
about the hours the bird must have spent
pent in the shadows of that room,
hidden in the spiky branches
of our decorated tree, breathing there
among metallic angels, ceramic apples, stars of yarn,

its eyes open, like mine as I lie here tonight
picturing this rare, lucky sparrow
tucked into a holly bush now,
a light snow tumbling through the windless dark. 

William James "Billy" Collins (born March 22, 1941) is an American poet, appointed as Poet Laureate of the United States from 2001 to 2003. He is a Distinguished Professor at Lehman College of the City University of New York and is the Senior Distinguished Fellow of the Winter Park Institute, Florida. (Wikipedia)

The Boy Who Laughed At Santa Claus

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 rumour 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 neighbours 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. 

Ogden Nash
Frederic Ogden Nash (August 19, 1902 – May 19, 1971) was an American poet well known for his light verse. At the time of his death in 1971, The New York Times said his "droll verse with its unconventional rhymes made him the country's best-known producer of humorous poetry".[1] Nash wrote over 500 pieces of comic verse. The best of his work was published in 14 volumes between 1931 and 1972.
This season's joy to one and all from The Parrish Lantern.

   pomes  ALL SIZES 
If you have a Poem/ Poet, you admire please introduce them to me.



Bellezza said...

It is a gift to see you back, for however long that may be! It is a great joy to blog with you, and I have missed you more than I can say. So many people whom I loved blogging with needed to step away for awhile, and I understand that, but at several points this year I was wondering why I's only worthwhile when you blog with people you care about, whose opinions and thoughts matter. Such as yours.

Merry Christmas, dear Gary, to you and your family. Congratulations on all you accomplished in 2014, and may 2015 be everything you wish and more.

Anonymous said...

Happy Christmas, Gary!

Brian Joseph said...

It is nice to see you checking in!

I also liked the poems that you posted.

Happy Holidays and Seasons greetings to you and your family Gary!

@parridhlantern said...

Hi Bellezza I had a great family Xmas, hope yours was equally wonderful.

Hi Judith hope you're having a great Xmas

Hi Brian hoping you're having a wonderfully festive season and glad you liked the poems

Rise said...

Gary! So nice to hear from you. Merry Christmas and a wonderful year ahead!

@parridhlantern said...

Hello Rise, Thanks and here's hoping your new year is as good as you'd wish it to be

Violet said...

Happy New Year, Gary. I hope things are going ok with you. Islay must be behaving herself better these days! Molly would have eaten all the decorations. :) Best wishes for 2015, and I hope you start blogging again. xo

@parridhlantern said...

Hi Violet, Islay is now 3 years old & deems her earlier behaviour beneath her nowadays except when she gets excited & reverts to her inner puppy. As to eating the decoration any bauble that could be construed as edible was placed up high the parcels underneath were added on mass not giving her the chance to get in and eat them. We still have to beat her to the front door so as to guarantee the post is in one piece and not a jigsaw puzzle, but she doesn't scare our new postman now, sO that's an improvement. Have a wonderful New Year & hopefully Molly won't have eaten to much of the festive decor.

James said...

Welcome back! Great poems.

Happy Holidays,


@parridhlantern said...

Hi James thanks