Friday, December 3, 2010

The woman who heard too much

The woman who heard too much

She woke suddenly in the dead of night,
terrified by the clamour outside.
Tearing back the velvet curtains,
she recoiled at the sound of giant snowflakes
crashing to the ground like cluster bombs.
On the far horizon,
below the steel grey bank of bulbous cloud,
a thin lemon slice of a moon
screeched around its rusty track
like a tin duck at a fairground.
Hands over ears, she swung around
to the plumped pillow on the far side of the bed,
remembering too late the storm
that followed the half-heard
whispered phone conversation in the kitchen.

Snow in Ireland

Snow in Ireland

There’s a blanket of snow down in Ballinasloe
with a valance of ice underneath.
There’s a duvet of hail now smothering Kinsale
and a flat sheet of sleet up in Meath.

The snow’s thundered down on Donegal town
and covered it like a bedspread.
There’s a white drifting mattress o’er Ballymacatras –
I think that I’m going back to bed.

Spoiling the landscape

Spoiling the landscape at Christmas

This is a time for goodwill and for peace
as we remember friends and fatten geese,
a time for Silent Night and midnight mass,
a time for thoughts of poverty to cease.

I do not want to see you when I pass,
sitting, bowl outstretched upon your ass.
It serves to spoil the joyous atmosphere
by making me feel guilty of my class.

Around this time of Christmas and good cheer,
the warmest and the coldest time of year,
when stress and money worries just increase,
would you, for just one month, not disappear?

Blocks of ice

Blocks of ice

Whenever there’s a hint of nippy weather,
I dread the way that it affects my feet.
Despite three pairs of socks,
they become two icy blocks
and no matter how I bang the two together,
they always lose all vestiges of heat.

We always shop December twenty-third
but the fridge is far too small to take our turkey.
My wife says to me, “Pete,
can we rest them on your feet?
That way, we’ll ensure the festive bird
stays at a temperature that’s cool and perky.”

I do the social rounds throughout the year
and never have refused an invitation.
I go round to people’s houses,
chat to everyone and their spouses.
Despite all this, I’ve really no idea
why people say I’ve got bad circulation.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The three kings

Reading, ‘riting, ‘rithmetic -
The three wise kings weren’t pushed.
“Give me bright stars
O’er those three Rs,”
King Balthazar once gushed.

Of course, they’d other interests
Aside from astral plotting,
Yoghurt making,
Yeast-based baking
And yes, a bit of yachting.

Yoghurt, Yeast and Yachting?
‘Twas not surprising then,
The trio came
To lasting fame
For being three Ys men.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Little robin redbreast

Little robin redbreast
sitting on the fence,
chirruping his tuneful song
though the snow is dense.

Hark! His song has altered
to a plaintive bleat –
little robin redbreast
cannot move his feet.

Last Christmas

Last Christmas, I gave you my heart
But the very next day, you gave it away.
This year, to save me from tears,
I’ll give it to someone special.

It’s true last year you gave to me your heart, George.
Though frankly it was really quite unpleasant.
It was a soggy, gooey mess
In a Tesco bag, no less.
Earrings would have made a nicer present.

On Stephen’s Day I gave your heart away, George.
We still had half a turkey and some ham.
Did you expect that I
Would go and put it in a fry?
What kind of person do you think I am?

The dog’s home was so grateful for your heart, George.
They seldom get a chance to taste raw meat.
Does it not hold some appeal
To know they ate a ‘hearty’ meal?
(Though your kidneys would have been a nicer treat)

There’s no-one special this year, Georgie, is there?
Else why not write a song to her, not me?
Ok, last year I was miffed
By your bloodied Christmas gift –
So this year, choose a bit more carefully.