Poem of the day

Christmas gift

by Richard Bonfield

What are the geese pulling

Through the frosted air?

 

They are pulling the tides

And Autumn's hair.

 

They are coaxing the moon

From its yawning lair.

 

They are sweeping the snow

From the starlit stair,

 

And escaping the jaws of the Polar Bear.

 

What are the geese pulling

Through the frosted air?

 

They are pulling Winter

On her painted sledge.

 

They are leaving cobwebs

On a frosted hedge.

 

They are sweeping eastwards

Leaving Springtime's pledge

 

And a glass of moonlight

On your window-ledge.

 

13 December

Angel Song

by Clare Pollard

This fir-tree point could impale.

I balance on it, praying for still skies.

Fingertip bulbs in cracked coloured cases

Fuse, and threaten to burn my skirts.

 

Shiny red apples decompose on nooses.

Pine cones are sprayed with crunched-mirror glitter.

Sometimes it is thrilling,

This sparkle, this lack of roots.

 

Only the others hate me. Cry out

That I am no better than them,

It’s just my wings are sprayed with old gold

And a halo on a pin skewered through my scalp.

 

But I earned that jet of golden paint!

I suffered as the pin pierced my soft plastic head,

And unlike them, I cannot make mistakes.

An imperfection and I will be torn from this tree.

 

I cannot be bitter like a gift of myrrh,

Or they’ll say: “Who does she think she is?

Tied to a spike as if it’s a crucifixion.”

I am a seasonal decoration,

 

Pretty - but I will not bring salvation.

Tinsel is not real silver, you know,

Just foil that moults off in strips;

And nobody can join me up here.

 

What am I but a detail in this small beige room?

An afterthought in an outfit made of

Someone’s old wedding dress. These needles

Bring not sleep, just little hurts.

 

O, to have a Bethlehem to go to.

To be deep filled, like a mince pie.

Father Christmas, give me wings that work.

I am so tired of trying to rival snowflakes.

 

12 December

the computer's first christmas card

by Edwin Morgan

11 December

Emmonsail's Heath in Winter by John Clare

by David Constantine

9 December

Half-caste

by John Agard

8 December

The Whales in Paris

by Pia Tafdrup

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