Christmas Poetry Collection 2017

The Last Sunset

by William Hosie

Shadows settle upon the balcony ivy,

Viridian flickers and honeydew glimmers

Refracting a last warmth against the Surrey air.

Dad reads the papers in his new chequered slippers.


The shadows inhale the last a tired sun

Has to offer after a long, strenuous year.

Twilight descends as we reignite the living

Room fire. Christmas turkey leftover microwaved


For early supper on the eve of the New Year,

And the warm smells of our wooden furniture mix

With meaty smokes and the embers of nostalgia.

I think of those lost, shadows, with every chew.


The shadows, edging their way onto amber hills,

Seem to grow for some – whilst others stoop abruptly.

And these cloaked spectres cloud the forest in darkness,

Effortlessly shrouding previously sun-kissed trees.


Christmas in August

by Jude Cowan Montague

Christmas is never coming unless we play the zampogna

in Luigi Ciccini’s. A whole sheep is the bellows, a hat on the drone

to mute and muffle. Slabs of steak and racks of sausages,

home recipe, and his mother’s ricotta. Matt (Scott) and I,

clutching the book of local tunes, enter. Good morning,

we’re going to play you a song, again. Sing how Jesus

was born once, not very far from you. How his mother

doted on him and sang special lullabies, the great piercing

huge mutton pipes accompanying Mary. Matt’s fizzharmonica

flisp and putters, pog and jutters for the smiliest, friendliest

warmhearted butcher. It can’t be two years since I came to your farm

and stood locked in your shed, flies flipping right up my nose,

sketching curious pigs and the queen sheep in a blue collar;

she outlives her flock as she leads them along the best paths.


Virgin Birth: The Science

by Jude Cowan Montague

A woman can’t produce a son

through virgin pregnancy,

so Mary must have been a man

to reproduce a boy


in that she must have had a Y

for one chromosome.

Maybe secret twins, Mary

was two fused into one.


Pythons, blacktip sharks, komodo

dragons, all of these

have given birth as virgins too,

there’s many such species.


And in the universities,

in the genetic lab,

healthy fertile mice

are being born without a dad.


This means even mammals

can have a virgin birth.

Perhaps it’s not implausible

for women here on earth


to have sons without having sex

without sperm, without Ys,

with chromosomes of only X –

a heavenly surprise!


A Christmas Review

by Flora Blissett

I was a sheep in my first Nativity,

And every one since –

Oh, don’t feel bad for me – it was great!

Who wanted to be an angel, anyway?

Like, sooooo sanctimonious.

Or Mary or Joseph – wearing a tea towel on your head!


I was a sheep.

I had snow white wool, and a hood with a battery charged bleat.

I had character, I had swaaaaag,

Not like the three kings – all one of the same really:

Incest, Frankenstein and blah blahh blaaah.

And mousey-brown Donkey – in fact,

He had no lines at all!

Whereas I had a bleat, and snow white wool;

I sung loud and stood proud on the centre of stage

(Then Miss Dawes dragged me off – said I’d messed up the play) –

But I made people laugh! I was a hit, and a card!

I was The Sheep, and yet,

I was far from a sheep, like Mary and Joseph, the three kings, and dull Donkey,

Who all said their lines as rehearsed and expected

(or not – because Donkey had none – stupid ass).

Gee Wizz!

Everyone knows the nativity;

We want some festivity!

Let us sing, let us dance, let us bake gingerbread;

Deck the halls with boughs of holly,

Fa la la la laaa la la la laaaalalalalaaaa,

Oh don’t sssh me,

We’re secular now – don’t go on kidding,

Admit it, accept it and stop being so silly –

You’re in it for the food, the prezzies and the tinsel;

What’s your favourite choc: Toblerone, Malteser, Oreo or Minstrel?

It’s not blasphemy,

Its honesty,

Calm down and let go,

Loosen your belt,

And buy someone you love something heartfelt;

Relax this Christmas all snug and cosy,

Eat pigs in blankets and crack open the Rosé;

Get boozey with Grandma and stop being PC,

(She doesn’t need much prompting, as it is, believe me);

Turn off that Queen’s Speech, and hit play for The Grinch;

Stir the log fire and switch on the kettle,

And watch out the window as the first snowflakes settle.

What I’m trying to say

(In my roundabout way)

Is that Christmas is merry; it’s jolly and gay!

These traditional lines have been said over and over,

So why not, this year, join me and my drover;

I know that their Shepherd is famous, but he’s had a good run;

Their Shepherd is holy, but My Shepherd is fun!


Why Hate Christmas?

by Lucy Newlyn

What’s the point of hating Christmas?

Aren’t there better things to do

than spit your venom out at Yuletide

now you’ve seen the whole year through?


Yes, the High Street makes a killing

out of suckers who believe

that they have to overdo it.

It’s enough to make you heave.


But for others, modest people,

what’s so wrong with Christmas cheer?

Snuggled warm inside our houses,

round it comes just once a year.


Santa Claus with cuddly reindeer,

tables full of food and booze —

what’s to hate? It’s all indulgence

but it’s tricky to refuse.


How we hate the folk who judge us,

we who like a bit of fun,

and to have our good folks with us

when the long hard year is done.


Grumpy Scrooge is out of fashion,

jollity is here to stay.

Deck the Hall with boughs of holly;

have good fun on Christmas day!