Friday, December 23, 2011

Carol collage.

I have been carrying this idea around while scurrying/baking/cleaning/packing over the last week, and now that we are where we plan to spend the holiday, I am going to finally put it down on paper, so to speak. I learned this in my favorite poetry professor's class; draw from words of established lyrics to create a new work. I will take the titles of a bunch of Christmas carols, stir, and create a poem.

Here goes.

Christmas Carollage

I heard, I saw,
its beginning.

The manger
upon a midnight clear,
a silent night,
o holy breath of heaven.

This child of love come down,
clear joy come to rest,
in the cold, bleak winter
a wonderland.

Little baby king,
wishing all merry,
a snow-white star on high
in Bethlehem.

Silver bells jingle
ding dong merrily.
Angels sing noel,
I'll be home, for Christmas. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Haiku a rama.

I find myself once again behind, so I will resort to some shorter "gems," if you will. :)

Christmas cookies sit
on my plate now twice a day.
SO worth one late night.

Wrapping presents was
a chore when I started, but
now it's a pleasure.

Giving something nice
to people I love so much
is worth some effort.

Christmas cards should not
be a dying tradition,
in my opinion.

I send out a lot
and am always sad to see
so few in return.

I would understand
if there were a modernized
replacement, but no.

I guess people feel
more connected day-to-day
with social networks.

But there is nothing
like seeing handwritten notes
from people I like.

Call me old-fashioned,
but I still greatly enjoy
good old sing-alongs.

This is the season
when I really get a pang,
missing my old choirs.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

What I have learned.

After listening to boatloads of Christmas carols every year (several years ago I even did a pair of blog posts listing my most and least favorites), I have realized that it is very hard indeed to write a good, original Christmas carol these days. Most of the great stuff is already taken and it's very easy to rely on overused metaphors or clich├ęs. I would love to write a Christmas song one day, but I fear I'd fall into the same traps that many of these modern songs do.

Case in point: the other day I taped the new Elf on the Shelf special for my son, as we have an elf and I thought he might enjoy it. Sadly, it seemed rather hastily slapped together, probably hoping to cash in on a new trend without spending too much time or effort on it. There was one song included in the piece that I particularly wrinkled my nose at: I believe the line is "Christmas is a time for forgiveness; that is why we all believe in Christmas." Um, what? And that line is most of the chorus. Wow. At least he doesn't seem to have liked that show. We'll keep playing Charlie Brown Christmas and Rudolph for him, then. They both have their issues (CB is constantly called stupid; Rudolph displays dated sexist treatment of women and a very hasty apology to Rudolph for their treatment of him at the end), but they are both about a million times better than the Elf on the Shelf.

Anyway, maybe I can write a Christmas poem or two in this month that someday I could play with as a lyric.

Christmastime has rolled around
and once again I'm spinning.
First I have to decorate,
but that's only the beginning.

Next I have to bake and shop,
and stress about the extra bills,
worry over perfect presents,
fine-tune all the stocking fills.

Not to mention clean the house,
cooking dinner is a chore,
take care of the children and
run around the grocery store.

But at night when kids are sleeping,
true peace creeps in at the seams,
and I startle to remember
what this season truly means.

While I cling to fading memories
of my precious baby boys,
my heart understands what Mary
sacrificed for Christmas joys.

Thank you, God, for giving us
this most precious gift;
your son lived and died
to bring us everlasting life.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Catch-up time.

More haiku will hopefully catch me up here.

Furious needles
started out haltingly but
now no yarn is safe!

A tango of knots
dance across my fingers as
yarn becomes a scarf.

First I was afraid
I would turn out one huge snarl
instead, this is fun.

Strangely calming click
of metal performing its
standard magic trick.

The best part of all?
Getting to relax with yarn
and meet some new friends.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Hiatus.

Okay, so my grand plans to get ahead for the holiday backfired a bit when I didn't post yesterday. But hey, I feel like hopefully I was able to recoup some of my creative faculties during the interim. Let's hope.

Frost Warning

Stepping outside,
the wind takes the breath away.
Anyone attempting
to leave the house with wet hair
pays for it: it's now frozen.

A few seconds in this chill
is uncomfortable.
A few minutes,
faces feel as if they are so much
plaster, badly set, cracking
and about to fall off.

Extremities develop deep,
bone-pain, as if even that deep
within, bodies resist this weatherly assault.
Even after resigning to Cold's power
and retreating indoors,
bright-red fingers, ears, noses
continue their protests in numbness,
burning, and hypersensitivity.


How do trees manage
to withstand such unreasonable
weather, bearing all things
with the grace nature has?
Only a terrible storm can render
a tree vulnerable to weather.
Otherwise, it stands serene,
oblivious to the weaker humans
attempting to shelter under its
sleeping, snow-laden boughs.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Bonus poetry!

I have time to write today, and the way I see it, that's a good time to get ahead since the end of December always gets crazy busy, what with Christmas and the New Year.

100 Words For

ethereal wisps
softer than whispers

lethal daggers
honing in on their targets

ghostly projections
blink and miss them

invisible darts
digging pits in the flesh

feathers flying
from a celestial chicken

tears so chilled
they hold their shapes

first of the season
greeted with childlike glee

visits in April
met with disdain

when in shelter
any form pleases the eye

but when unprotected
pray nature is gentle

just before Christmas
a storm becomes magic

each moment it lasts
adds to the smiles

rushing out to breathe in the stark coldness,
then trudging back in for some cocoa to share.

Catching up.

I s'pose I should post two more poems since it's now after midnight and I posted four yesterday; that should catch me up to be on pace for my earlier goal of 31 poems in the month of December. Okie dokie then.

Two Autumns 

In carefree days dreamily recalled,
I leapt into deep piles
of autumn leaves, reveling
in the crumbling carcasses
of last summer as they tangled
in my braids, dusting up my sweater
and faded jeans.

Older but not wiser, my task
now changes to trying to tame
the yard that is now
my responsibility.
Wrestling some semblance
of order out of the explosion,
as if an entire tree
committed seppuku on my lawn.


Flurry
Crystalline feathers
making lazy spirals
past the window.
The chill too strong
to take small ones
out to enjoy the show,
at least they can perch
at the sill and admire
the breathless flights
of tiny airships.

Monday, December 5, 2011

As promised.

Autumn/ Winter Haiku series

Raking many leaves
into perfect little piles;
bagging? Nah, no time.

Next weekend: the snow
drifted over solid ice.
Shoveling was a dream.

Powdered-sugar land
after midnight flurries end,
sparkling in the sun.

Nothing can compare
to the light in a child's eyes
by a Christmas tree.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Wow.

Another month has flown by. A few days ago I had the idea to try to post a poem a day for the month of December. Unfortunately, as is the norm lately, time got away from me. And now it's super late, so I will do my best to make up for it tomorrow with a string o' haiku.

Stay tuned!