Poem of the Week: Holiday Fatigue

Holiday Fatigue
December 23, 2018

Christmas hasn’t come yet, yet I’m burned out.
All my stamina has been flushed away.
This isn’t what Christmas should be about.

Two days ‘fore Christmas, here I lie and pout,
Wond’ring how my energy went away.
Christmas hasn’t come yet, yet I’m burned out.

Usu’lly by now, I’m up and about
Taking care of things for the holiday.
This isn’t what Christmas should be about.

Alas, I’ve worked so hard to churn things out
That I’ve no energy with which to play.
Christmas hasn’t come yet, yet I’m burned out.

Now when it comes to enjoyment, I doubt
I’ll have any when things get underway.
This isn’t what Christmas should be about.

This season once was all I was about.
Now I’ve lost the drive to enjoy the day.
Christmas hasn’t come yet, yet I’m burned out.
This isn’t what Christmas should be about.

*****

Author Pages: Smashwords.com
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Bonus Poem of the Week: Black Friday

Black Friday
November 25, 2018

Ugh…
Black Friday…
Hunting, scavenging, quarreling…
Thank goodness it’s over!
Resting, relaxing, recuperating…
Commercialism stinks!
Madness.

*****

Author Pages: Smashwords.com
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Poem of the Week: The Purpose of Christmas

The Purpose of Christmas
November 24, 2018

The football games are over, the Best in Show’s been named,
And many are the leftovers from days ago,
But now’s no time for resting, for now we must light the flame
To welcome the Christmas season, don’t you know.

It’s time to frock the house with boughs of holly and twinkling lights
And evergreen garlands everywhere we can.
It’s time to set up the Christmas tree and decorate it just right
In the living room where Mom’s favorite lamp stands.

It’s time to play the Christmas carols upon which we grew up
To lift our moods and fill our hearts with cheer
And figure out which recipes on Christmas Eve we’ll sup—
Dishes we usually don’t eat year-round.

We’ve three to four weeks left, too, to shop for Christmas gifts
To show our loved ones just how much we care.
So many options for each recipient through which we to sift
From electronics to trinkets to underwear…

It’s a once-a-year tradition that comes around each December
Before the old year ends and the new one starts,
Giving us at least one last moment of the year to remember
And hopefully last forever in our hearts.

Alas, not even the Christmas spirit can purge this sad world
Of the evils that corrupt it day after day.
Persistent violence, rampant disease, hatred constantly hurled—
It all comes back to haunt us in some way.

It’s thus up to us to recall just why we celebrate this season,
For material wealth alone can’t be our drive.
How about health, prosperity, and family as worthy reasons
In keeping the spirit of Christmas alive?

What about the lessons once taught to us by He Born in a Manger
Of tolerance and compassion for those whom we meet?
What about showing kindness regularly to both loved ones and strangers
Regardless if the weather is sun or sleet?

How can we call ourselves human if we don’t bear a shred of grace
With or without Christmas to show s the way?
It shouldn’t take candy canes and reindeer popping up ‘round the place
To teach us our purpose on any given day.

Even so, the warmth this season always chances to bring
During days when snow falls and the nights grow long
Can never be denied, for when I hear carolers sing,
I can never help but stand by and sing along.

Indeed, Christmas means a lot to me in more ways than I can say,
And forsaking it for me would be a sin,
For even after the passing of each year’s Christmas Day,
I’m reminded of the state this world is in

And my responsibility as a human being to set things right
No matter what, even in but a small way.
After all, that’s why we exist on Earth: to bear the light
To shine upon others, even past Christmas Day.

*****

Author Pages: Smashwords.com
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Poem of the Week: The Week Before Christmas

The Week Before Christmas
December 19, 2018

‘Tis the week before Christmas without snow on the ground.
I’ve looked all around, but nope—none I’ve found.
No chilly white fluff, just hard grey and brown
With tiny green spikes poking out all around.

To think, too, ‘tis December in Illinois,
Yet there’s no snow around to bring Christmas joy.
What a kick to the teeth for today’s boys and girls
Who’ll never know Christmas as it went in my world!

Back in those days, we’d have at least enough
Snow from which we made snowfolks, snow forts, and stuff;
Upon which we rode our sleds down this and that hill
And that we balled up and threw at each other ‘til

Our parents called for us to come on in from the cold
And have ourselves some soup with flavors rich and bold
And perhaps some hot chocolate as we hunkered down
‘Round the fireplace to listen to the joyous sounds

Of Christmas carols playing on the radio
As the lights all around us twinkled and glowed
With a subtle, supple glimmer that reminded us all
Of the time of year it was—not spring, summer, or fall,

But early winter, and Christmastime, too,
A time where kids could shake off the year’s blues
And enjoy life with friends and family,
Especially with so much to hear and see

As well as do for but a few weeks
‘Fore life elsewhen dares once again to sneak
Back upon us and reintroduce the mundane
‘Til another year passes, when we’d do it all again.

Granted, snow wasn’t the be-and-end-all
When it came to Christmastime great and small,
But it helped us get into a Christmassy mood—
A jolly, serene, and hopeful attitude—

And helped make the season feel all the better,
With or without the notoriously gaudy sweaters.
Heck, even a mere ten, fifteen years ago,
The Holidays felt more natural with snow.

Now, though, the ground’s barren of the chilly white fluff
As if Mother Nature Herself has had enough
Of keeping up with the seasons and stuff,
And by no means does it feel like any bluff.

‘Tis a crying shame, I will not lie,
For this Christmastime’s been passing me by
With a vengeance as I’ve been trying to sort out
So much else in my life that I can’t help but shout

Against the Fates for all I’ve been through,
And with no Christmas snow falling out of blue,
I’ve one less reason to have holiday cheer,
Making Christmas a non-thing for me this year,

Which hurts in that Christmas usually
Is a season that brings out the best in me
And helps me be the best person I can be
In one way or another, but now look at me:

I’m a crabby sad sack complaining about snow
Or the lack thereof it. What a way to go!
Surely there’s something better I can do
To set my mind straight again and see me through,

For truth be told, ladies, gents, boys, and girls,
“Green” Christmases aren’t the end of the world,
So long as one keeps strongly within one’s heart
The spirit of the season. That’s one way to start.

Sure, snow helps set the stage for the season,
But the absence of it alone is no reason
To not spend time with those you hold dear to you,
For only sharing can see you through—

Sharing the kindness, respect, and love
That Christ Himself, who now resides high above,
Had taught us all once upon a time
To have for all people during our time

And instill that same value in those we meet,
Regardless of season or where we chance to meet
Those to whom we pass on this life-long lesson
And share ‘round these times a holiday blessin’.

I guess on that note, then, I still have hope
In having a Merry Christmas even if the slopes
And valleys ‘round me aren’t smothered in white.
Knowing that, then, I can sleep at night

And focus what really matters ‘round this time:
Spending what I’ve left of this life of mine
With friends, family, and other loved ones dear
As per the tradition this time of year.

On that note, Christmas for me just might yet
Be saved, regardless of whether I forget
About how the snow might’ve made matters better,
For really, can I afford at all to be a fretter?

Therefore, snow, fall or not. Take your pick.
My Christmas will be fine, whether or not you’ll stick,
But a sincere thanks for the memories either way
Of when I was young and knew Christmas Day.

*****

Author Pages: Smashwords.com
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Poem of the Week: The Holidays Are Here!

The Holidays Have Returned!
November 19, 2017

The holidays have returned!
The holidays are here,
Here for us to enjoy,
Here for us to celebrate—
Celebrate with friends and family,
Celebrate with food and song,
Song after song on the radio,
Song after song ‘round the fireplace—
Fireplace well across from the tree,
Fireplace where the chestnuts pop,
Pop like edible firecrackers,
Pop like kettle corn.
Kettle corn and deviled eggs,
Kettle corn and cranberries on strings,
Strings of lights on the banister,
Strings of lights lining the entire house—
House that smells of turkey,
House that smells of fig pudding,
Pudding for guests,
Pudding for carolers.
Carolers—winter’s trick-or-treaters.
Carolers—the bards of the season—
Season of joy,
Season of remembering—
Remembering Jesus,
Remembering the babe in the manger—
Manger filled with hay,
Manger where the animals lay,
Lay sleeping ‘neath the starry sky,
Lay until the three wise men came,
Came with gifts for the young Messiah,
Came with frankincense, myrhh, and gold—
Gold that now decorates our homes,
Gold we now dig for from our wallets,
Wallets and purses.
Wallets never full enough,
Enough to help us purchase our party wares,
Enough to help us purchase our gifts,
Gifts for those we know,
Gifts for those we love.
Love is the theme of the season.
Love is the season’s reason—
Reason to exist,
Reason to remind us all,
All about the holidays,
All about the season’s spirit.
Holidays…
Spirit.

*****

Author Pages: Smashwords.com
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Poem of the Week: Christmastime Already?

Christmastime Already?
November 11, 2017

Carols already on the radio,
Trees already strung up with twinkling lights…
Vet’rans Day was just yesterday, but lo
And behold, the season’s come overnight.
Don’t get me wrong, either. Christmastime rocks!
‘Tis a time worth spending with those you love,
But then, so’s Thanksgiving time, and it shocks
Me to know that from somewhere high above,
Someone decided to skip Thanksgiving
So that Christmastime early can descend.
Heaven forbid one day we spend living
‘Fore another day to come ‘round the bend!
Alas, can’t we live one day at a time
To savor each season oh so sublime?

*****

Author Pages: Smashwords.com
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First Poem of Christmas 2016: What Christmas Means

What Christmas Means
November 26, 2016

C
ranberries, turkey, and stuffing on the table,
Helping out the homeless, the ill, and the disabled,
Rings and streams of evergreen decking every hall,
Ink and paper wishing joy and comfort to one and all,
Stockings, bows, and twinkling lights hung with care,
Tunes of merry tidings playing everywhere,
Mending broken hearts, even if just for the season,
Aunts, uncles, and grandfolks over for one special reason,
Snow upon the ground making things crisp and serene…

All these things and more to me are what Christmas means.

*****

 Author Pages: Smashwords.com
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