The Poetry Place

Christmas Wrapping

Friday, 16 December 2011 16:18:14

Friday, 16 December 2011 16:18:14
Christmas Wrapping

tree lights, tangled,
baubles, bangles
streamers stretched
across at angles
tarnished tinsel
thrown away
paper angels on display
balls and bells
cards wishing well
noel noel
turn and twist
roll your wrist
hold the roll
in your fist
fix the end
with drawing pins
use sticky tape
to mend the bits
of coloured shapes
tired and torn
but still admired
when silver draped
on Christmas day
still far away
but we’ve got
tree lights, tangled,
baubles, bangles
streamers stretched
across at angles
some new-fangled
flashing bulbs
stars and fairies
like you’ve never seen
our fairy queen
is stuck on top
straight out of
the Oxfam shop
there’s holly berries
and holly leaves
in front door wreaths,
Christmas cards
and Christmas wishes
little treats and
special dishes
magazines with
festive issues
and we’ve got
tree lights, tangled,
baubles, bangles
streamers stretched
across at angles
brightened up
with things that dangle
all around
there’s flashing lights
sparkling through
Christmas nights
with glitz and bling
it’s busy busy
everywhere
…it’s all too much
I’m feeling dizzy
think I’ll just
go and rest
upstairs

Had to end it somehow - either with a bang or a whimper. Chose the whimper. Happy Christmas. 









Xmas Trinklements

Thursday, 15 December 2011 15:00:45

Thursday, 15 December 2011 15:00:45
...
some new-fangled
flashing bulbs
of red and green
Stars and fairies
Like you’ve never seen
Our Fairy queen
Is stuck on top
Straight out of
The Oxfam shop
There’s holly berries
And holly leaves
In front door wreaths,
Christmas cards
Building up and….

Phew... I feel like I'm running out of breath - but it is fun. One more effort and I'll be done.


Decoration Rap

Friday, 9 December 2011 14:55:50

Friday, 9 December 2011 14:55:50
… using a bit from the beginning as a chorus later on and then using that as something to take off from again on a slightly new direction – though I don’t yet know where it’s going.  So much for planning your writing!

tree lights, tangled,
baubles, bangles
streamers stretched
across at angles
tarnished tinsel
thrown away
paper angels on display
balls and bells
cards wishing well
noel noel
turn and twist
roll your wrist
hold the roll
in your fist
fix the end
with drawing pins
use sticky tape
to mend the bits
of coloured shapes
tired and torn
but still admired
when silver draped
on Christmas Day
Still far away
But we’ve got
tree lights, tangled,
baubles, bangles
streamers stretched
across at angles
some new-fangled
flashing bulbs
of red and green

Dreadful title though



Christmas

Wednesday, 7 December 2011 11:36:12

Wednesday, 7 December 2011 11:36:12
I'm going for the random rhyming bit-of-a-rap style:

Lets make a start with some nice obvious rhymes - tangle, angle bangle - and then see what the ideas we've already got suggest:

tree lights, tangled,
baubles, bangles
streamers stretched
across at angles
tarnished tinsel
thrown away
paper angels on display
balls and bells
cards wishing well
noel noel
turn and twist
roll your wrist
hold the roll
in your fist
fix the end
with drawing pins
use sticky tape
to mend the bits
of coloured shapes
tired and torn
but still admired
when silver draped

I think this has got possibilities


Christmas decorations

Monday, 5 December 2011 12:41:02

Monday, 5 December 2011 12:41:02
...have a lot of regional variations. Trinklements, trimmings, streamers...

Memories...
Balancing on chairs
and dropping drawing pins
first, from the loft
cardboard boxes of rolled streamers
tree lights, tangled,
delicate baubles.
tinsel and
tarnished tinsel thrown away
painted pine cones
familiar shapes and colours
that will do another year
no one roll long enough
to stretch from corner to corner
pins to join
balloons sometimes
by twelfth night
a little sad and saggy
... and feelings: excitement, this was the start of Christmas, these were special - things I had grown up with, never knew where they came from. Other people might buy them - we new friends or neighbours who came out with flashy new designs which I envied but still thought wasteful.

What shape will this poem take? 






Christmas

Friday, 2 December 2011 16:10:13

Friday, 2 December 2011 16:10:13
I've been thinking about this a lot.  There's a temptation to go for those things which have characterised many Christmases -  kids, parents, games, food... but they quickly became, in my mind, too general. On the other hand, can I choose one Christmas out of all the many? What would be special or typical about it? 
So many images trotted through my memory banks. There are Christmases in Zambia, Singapore, Hong Kong. Even one in Brittany. Ones that were full of people, others quite quiet.  I never minded - I've been lucky and (almost) always enjoyed Christmas.
After a while the memory of putting up decorations recurred several times and I wonder if there's enough there for a poem? It doesn't have to be a long one, after all.
My dad and I were the decoration putters-up or putter uppers as he would have said. We had a box full from up in the loft. Pretty old most of them and where they'd come from I don't know. You didn't buy them if you could avoid it - that was such extravagance in a household which didn't have much spare cash.
Most of the decorations comprised long rolls of coloured crepe paper sewn somehow so that it was crinkled.  These were unrolled, one end fixed and then the whole thing was twisted so that there was a nice curled effect along the whole length. Then you fixed the other end. These would criss cross the living room, held half way by the central light fitting and then have strings of tinsel hung over them. OTT was the effect we were going for.
Other items, very much subsidiary, would be bells and balls magically opening out from a flat pack. 
The Christmas tree was a separate thing altogether and I think my mum and dad - maybe my sisters too - tended to do that.
I loved putting up the decorations and hated taking them down. Apart from the lengthy business of untwisting the streamers and rolling them up neatly, fixing the end with a pin, the room looked so bare! It took a while to get over it.  It tended to coincide with going back to school. Enough said.


December

Thursday, 1 December 2011 15:34:47

Thursday, 1 December 2011 15:34:47
Talking to some students the other day, I asked what I should write my next poem about.  Suggestions ranged from 'Bob Marley' (really?) to 'Life'. Someone said 'Christmas', which I at first thought was no-go but on reflection, I wonder if I should have a go. 

As soon as I think about Christmas as a topic I feel enormous sympathy for those pupils being asked to write on generic themes: spring, autumn, war, love...   Impossible.  But if I am going to try and write a Christmas poem I'll have to practice what I preach: the personal and the precise (probably).

That means, rather like the previous, now archived, poem, I'll have to accumulate some images and memories and see what rises to the surface. Not just scum, we hope. Perhaps some bubbles.


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