Friday 27 December 2013

The day after Christmas

T'is the day after Christmas                                    
And all round the home,
Are glasses with dregs
Of champagne (minus foam).

There are bottles galore,
Metal tops, wires and corks,
Some unwashed-up plates,
And some cake-gooey forks.

A cocktail stick snapped
Into very small bits...
(Was somebody nearing
The end of their wits?)

The table with debris
From crackers is strewn,
There are squashed bits of ribbon...
A now-deceased balloon.

Someone spilled gravy,
The candles dripped wax,
There's the chaos that came from
Two Santa-filled sacks.

There are wrappings
Not yet in the big bag marked "litter";
On the sofa is Play-Doh,
And icing and glitter.

Half-assembled, a castle...
A key (but no lock),
Empty battery packs
And a child's cast-off sock.

The knife we had lost
Has been found by the telly,
The turkey's congealed.
And its juice is now jelly.

There are dishes with sprouts,
(Over-catered of course),
Potatoes, and carrots,
And dried-up bread sauce.

In the carpets are peanuts
In bits and well-trodden,
The tea towels look grey:
They're in heaps and they're sodden.

Our guests all had fun,
The event was informal,
But what we want now
Is to get back to normal.

Tuesday 24 December 2013

The night before Christmas

T'is the night before Christmas
And all round the house
Every creature is stirring,
The hamster... the mouse...
The goldfish are spinning
And must be quite dizzy,
For everyone near them
Is frantic and busy.

"Where is the cheese knife?"
Now somebody shouts.
"I can't help you look:
I am criss-crossing sprouts."
The tree angel's slipped,
And is looking quite quirky.
There isn't a big enough
Tray for the turkey.

There are lagers enough
For a jolly good time,
But someone forgot
Grandma's bottle of lime.
The kids are still up,
(But they''ll wake before dawn),
They've been out and spread
Reindeer food on the lawn.

Those final few presents
Are still in their bags.
"We've run out of paper!
We've run out of tags!"...
The table is laid,
"And we're two soup spoons short..."
But I don't care one jot,
Now I've opened the port!

Merry Christmas everyone and welcome to new viewers from the United Arab Emirates.

Tuesday 17 December 2013

Christmas Truce 1914

Der Kleine Frieden im Grossen Krieg*

They call out, when they are meeting,
A friendly season's greeting:
After all, this is a time of peace on earth.
With alcohol and food,
And cigars, in festive mood,
They are celebrating Christ the Saviour's birth.

It's pleasurable to see,
Every decorated tree,
To play football, to be laughing, to have fun.
To be happy, to be young,
To hear carols being sung:
It's Christmas time, when all is said and done.

'Midst the candles that are glowing.
Each to each, goodwill is showing,
The exchange of gifts by brother unto brother
Is a symbol of humanity,
Which overrides insanity.
Tomorrow they'll be killing one another.

*A small piece in the big war - Michael Jurgs 

Monday 9 December 2013

Writing Christmas cards

Welcome to a new viewer from Algeria. Your flag has been added to "Hello World".

My cards are not done quickly.
They take days and days on end.
I think of the recipients:
Each one of them a friend.

For twelve long months, it's possible
I haven't seen them much.
But now it is December
And a chance to keep in touch.

There'll sometimes be a message
In the cards that I have sent.
"The wedding you were planning -
Please tell me how it went."

"I hope retirement suits you...
...your new job's to your liking...
Tom is doing well at school...
You're still enjoying hiking..."

The wording can be tricky.
Should I ask?- I can't decide -
"How's your mother keeping?"
For the old dear may have died.

Others do things differently,
Of that I am aware.
These folk don't have to agonize.
Don't have to take such care.

Their labels are all printed
(Updated every year).
And now there's a production line
For sending Christmas cheer.

They've stuck on the addresses,
The cards are all the same.
"Best wishes from..." they scribble,

Stuff in any envelope.
These then are stamped and stacked.
No need for thought or effort:
They have got their system cracked!

The cards have now been "processed",
Are impersonal and bland,
And why on earth they bothered
I find hard to understand.

The printed words say everything,
They'd probably insist,
But the greeting merely tells me
That my name is on a list!

Sunday 8 December 2013

New country

New countries will visit us
Now and again.
And now we've the aptest -
Some views from Baah-rain!

Welcome - we'll be adding the Bahrain flag to "Hello World"! Still awaiting viewers from

Friday 6 December 2013

Santa Cams

Ella was shopping with Daddy.
She wasn't behaving at all.
An assistant advised her, 'Be careful!
There's a camera up there on the wall.

It's a Santa Cam. Watch what you're doing.
See the little red light that is blinking?
It means Father Christmas can see you.
"Is she worthy of presents?" he's thinking.'

The tantrum was instantly halted.
Thoughts of Santa Claus watching seemed scary.
Ella was no longer naughty,
But angelic - and ever so wary.

Father Christmas, it seems, has things covered.
There's surveillance in many a street.
And kids who were once quite demonic,
Turn all "Stepford" and perfectly sweet.

When she visited us next, her first question
Was 'Is there a Santa Cam here?'
Then she noted, high up, several sensors,
On which a red light would appear.

Our alarm system thus gained new purpose,
Was the object of many a glance.
She might contemplate hitting her brother,
Then decide she could not take the chance.

Will it work again this year? we wonder.
It seems quite effective thus far.
And Freddie's seen lights on the dashboard,
So he thinks there's a "cam" in the car!

Monday 2 December 2013

Baa Baa Grey Sheep

Welcome to our new viewers in Iran, Sudan and Taiwan. Your flags have been added to the "Hello World" blog (April 2013). 

Baa baa grey sheep,
Why are you so sad?
I've been naughty,
I've been bad.
I pinched my little brother
And I wouldn't eat my tea,
So Father Christmas
Isn't going to visit me.