Rolling Out The Pastry - Jenny Hamon

When I was young
And just a child
I loved to bake with Mum
We weighed the flour
And greased the tins
Oh, it was such fun

Buns and cakes
We would make
The bowl and spoon licked clean
And pasties and pies
All golden brown
Were the best I’ve ever seen

My favourite part
Of baking with Mum
Was rolling the pastry out
I spent lots of time
Making shapes out of mine
And was a curious grey when done

It puzzled me though
When Mum rolled hers out
Why she made a clicking sound
But when I rolled mine
There was never a noise
And the answer I never found

But now I have grown
With kids of my own
And we’re doing the pastry thing
And the answer I found
To the curious sound
Is of course my wedding ring!

Jenny Hamon

Rage Against My Machine - Ian Renouf-Watkins

My body is telling me I’m old, older still at least
Because bits don’t work and some, so full of metal
That bone has gone amiss somewhere...elsewhere
Awry, around, through and down, it bloody hurts!
Warmth, not anymore, not felt, seen or even heard
Anyway, I feel absurd; irascible in fact, so much
So, knowing I should have given up, but years ago
When my body told me to stop, no, that’s enough!
Is enough, enough? I want more, don’t you?

To breathe easy, walk easily, run… don’t laugh
At me, it isn’t funny… is it really that uncanny
To dream of such simple pleasures, quietly?
It’s a bastard, a git, a complete shit storm of feelings
Coursing through me, as my legs still refuse to work
Properly, righteously angry, I want to scream loudly
But no one will hear it tumble, only, a useless mumble.
From my lips, slips the tip of something lost
Not found again, not ever retrievable, or even able
To really articulate how I’m feeling. Lost perhaps?
But, mostly, dog tired, stretched and horridly feeble.

Ian Renouf-Watkins

Romantic Nihilist - Andrew Barham

Highlights golden in brilliant sunlight
Glow softly in your chestnut hair, a memory
As I wait outside these grey-stone walls ...

Acting on an impulse,
I grasp a handful of fallen leaves
Scattered on the cracked paving at my feet;
Gently, I toss them to the wind
And they are gone,
These wisps of amber and crimson.

Crystals of frozen water,
Glittering like tiny diamonds,
Gust up from the wall,
Swirling motes of light
That billow and eddy about my face
As they drift ground-wards
To settle at my feet.

The wall crumbles into ruin
With the passing of ghosts and time,
And soon, the snow reaches above my knees
To cover me completely
As the seasons revolve;
Until, one day, there is a wisp
Of chestnut hair, streaked with blue,
Scintillating with golden highlights
As the sun bursts through the skeletal ruins
Of the grey-stone wall;
Liquid snow seeps into the gullies and fissures
Formed by cracks in the jagged paving
Where new flowers bud
And spread wide their vivid inflorescence
Redolent of a rainbow,
As a hand, soft, gentle, and warm,
Touches mine, caressing away the wintry chill
Until I'm warmed through,
No longer frozen to this spot,
As we walk away
Into the brilliant sunlight ...

Andrew Barham

Competition Winner - December 2013
A Universal Truth - Ian Renouf-Watkins

A bubble so clear, a small roundel of tear
Glass-like yet fluid, it shimmers and slides
Dripping and dropping it’s so full of light
Sliding down gently, it’s the water of life.

Ian Renouf-Watkins

The Man from Mars - John E. Blaise

From outside of society
the man from Mars stares agape
At our play now pay later life style.
Run by money driven capitalistic,
bourgeois, fascist hypocrites
who donate small amounts of money
from large corporate funds
to appease the silent majority.

Fat cats skimming off the cream
Sitting on millions.
With ego's the size of hot air balloons.
World run on currency
Environmental decisions made to fill wallets
By self-opinionated bigots
Everything contaminated and polluted
Apart from areas surrounding their domains
Their warm insulated castles.

Eyes closed, noses raised firmly upwards
Oblivious of any real poverty
Caused by corrupt third world governments
Backed by Western money
Laundered through offshore Islands
By shady illegal gangster firms
Dealing in tainted drug money
Helping to sustain monopolies and empires
All set up for future generations to inherit.

John E. Blaise

You Shouldn’t Have… - Janet

Oh you really shouldn’t .
you are just too kind.
I don’t know how you knew
or where this gift you’d find.
It’s just what I always wanted.
A kilt like Auntie Gert
and these yellow wellies
are just like Uncle Bert’s.
How did you know I needed
a Disney pink toothbrush
and a matching mug?
It really is too much.
I know, I used to watch Bambi
so a jumper you have made,
and bought me flashing antlers.
I’m like a fashion parade.j
What’s that Gran? You bought this on
the charity blue cross day and
you had to queue for hours
I don’t know what to say.
This jacket is quite lovely
with shades of brown and grey.
Oh, and there’s something in the pocket.
It is my lucky day.
It’s a hard boiled sweet
with just a bit of fluff.
I think I’ll save it for later
as I’ve eaten so much stuff.
Oh Auntie Jean you shouldn’t,
to my eye you bring a tear.
I’m sure I’ve seen this before
Ah yes, I gave it to you last year.
So let’s just raise a glass
and everyone stand tall.
Give thanks for the Queen and Ebay.
Happy Christmas to one and all.


Merry Christmas - John Buchanan

Merry Christmas everyone.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank two special groups of people who will not be with their families today. Please bear a thought for them as you sit down with your families or friends.

For all those serving with the Armed Forces, whether at home or abroad thank you, my thoughts and prayers are with you.

I would also like to thank all those serving with Sea Shepherd’s Operation Relentless in the Southern Ocean.

The following poem is an account of one of the best demonstrations of what can be achieved at Christmas; I would like to reiterate the sentiments of the last two lines.

Once again, happy Christmas and peace and goodwill to all.

A Carol From Flanders - Frederick Niven (1878-1944)

In Flanders on the Christmas morn
The trenched foemen lay,
the German and the Briton born,
And it was Christmas Day.

The red sun rose on fields accurst,
The gray fog fled away;
But neither cared to fire the first,
For it was Christmas Day!

They called from each to each across
The hideous disarray,
For terrible has been their loss:
"Oh, this is Christmas Day!"

Their rifles all they set aside,
One impulse to obey;
'Twas just the men on either side,
Just men — and Christmas Day.

They dug the graves for all their dead
And over them did pray:
And Englishmen and Germans said:
"How strange a Christmas Day!"

Between the trenches then they met,
Shook hands, and e'en did play
At games on which their hearts were set
On happy Christmas Day.

Not all the emperors and kings,
Financiers and they
Who rule us could prevent these things —
For it was Christmas Day.

Oh ye who read this truthful rime
From Flanders, kneel and say:
God speed the time when every day
Shall be as Christmas Day.

Frederick Niven (1878-1944)

The Shadow - Rod Ferbrache

Long time ago in Bethlehem so the holy Bible say
Mary’s boy child Jesus Christ was born on Christmas day.
A lovely song we know so well, but does it make you wonder-
If there was far more truth than this, and maybe we should ponder
About poor Mary and the things she could’ve seen that night,
That made her heart uneasy, that didn’t seem quite right?
As she lay the baby down upon that rough old manger,
Did she see its legs had crossed, was that a sign of danger?

Then later on as Jesus grew into a fine young lad,
And learned to fashion wood beside his ageing dad.
Did Mary ever stop and stare upon the things he made?
Perhaps a stool or table, or a handle for a spade?
Did she ever marvel at his affinity with wood?
Were the alarm bells ringing, had she understood?
A carpenter he is right now, but would he always be,
The words that kept repeating, was simply these, “a tree.”

The years went by so quickly, Jesus was now a man,
He began a ministry, said this was the Father’s plan.
Crowds seem to follow him no matter where he went,
So he stepped into a boat that'll James and John had lent.
As they launched off from the shore out across the lake,
Did Mary see a future sight that made her poor heart break?
For as the boat went further out she felt a sense of loss,
Was it a coincidence that the mast had formed a cross?

A few months on the crowd had turned into an angry mob,
The sight that Mary looked on just made her sob and sob.
There was a cross before her, in fact not one but three.
Her son was on the middle one yet no one heard her plea.
She heard him cry for water, but vinegar they gave,
She saw him hang and die there, and no one came to save.
Then all those signs that she had seen throughout his life on earth
Made sense to her, and she could trace them from his birth.

We celebrate at Christmas the coming of God’s son; .
At Easter time we’re thankful for all that he has done.
But stoop into the stable; look at the manger bare,
There is a shadow of a cross that you can make out there.
For even though we celebrate, with joy that well loved story,
We can’t ignore the fact that when he left his glory -
He knew what he was coming to, what price he’d have to pay.
Make sure that you remember him this year on Christmas day.

Rod Ferbrache

The Christmas Season - Jenny Hamon

Christmas is coming, so much to do
The shopping and cooking and cards to write too
There’s presents to buy and parcels to send
The tree to decorate, write letters to friends

I’m rushing, I’m dashing to get it all done
There’s mince pies to make before I have won
The fruit cake to stir and the wishes to make
The cleaning to do and house to decorate

On top of all this there’s a party and fun
Friends and relations have been invited to come
I have to be bright and cheery to all
With a kiss under the mistletoe in the hall

I am exhausted, the job is complete
I’ll just sit and relax in my comfy seat
But I’ve overlooked the real reason
For the celebration of this festive season

The birth of a child on this holy night
Is the reason we remember that star so bright
It shone over the stable and the manger bed
Where this baby, our saviour, laid his little head

Now lest we forget in the rush of the morn
The reason for all this, Baby Jesus is born

Jenny Hamon

Mirror - John E Blaise

I saw an old school friend and had a shock
I had not seen him for at least forty years.
His harsh appearance brought on the tears.
He was bald, hunched and wrinkled,
Had middle age spread and could hardly see.
So he didn't recognise me.

John E Blaise

It Doesn’t Count at Christmas - Diane Scantlebury

Don’t know about the goose
But I’m getting fat,
A thick rubber ring
Around the middle
Resistant to exercise or effort,
The spread that comes
With middle age,
One more sherry?
Another mince pie?
Continue to indulge
It makes no difference,
The midline shift continues
No matter what excuse,
Breathe in and hope
The sequins will disguise,
Distract the eye from the little black dress
That now fits like a sausage skin,
Mmm, but those sausage rolls look tempting
Surely one or two won’t harm,
Another slice of festive cake?
Go on then,
Not going to feel guilty
It’s Christmas so it doesn’t count!

Diane Scantlebury

The Nativity Play - Jenny Hamon

The time has come for the Nativity Play
The children have practised their lines to say
Songs have been learnt, and dances too
Ready to perform for me and you

The scene is set, rehearsals are done
The final dress rehearsal has run
With tinsel and tea cloths ready to wear
And makeup put on, and a comb through their hair

The children file in, there’s shepherds and sheep
And camels and donkeys and a baby asleep
There’s Mary and Joseph and kings so grand
Although one is so small and he needs a hand

A mum has been spotted, a smile and a wave
He will try not to cry, he was told to be brave
The performance begins with a well rehearsed tune
But the singing’s interrupted all too soon

Little Johnnie announces he wants a wee
The audience laughs with tears of glee
He is quickly removed from the sweet stable scene
Before there’s an accident that was unforeseen

The play carries on, distractions aside
The stars and the angels shine with pride
The donkey is restless and gives a yawn
About the time the baby was born

Now the cast are excited, the baby is here
They sing and they dance and they all give a cheer
A Christmas wish is sung to all
Before the final curtain call

I’m sure we’ll remember for many a year
The excitement and tinsel, the joy and the fear
The first time that we performed on a stage
Oh yes, we’ll remember, no matter our age

Jenny Hamon

Will The Revolution Be On Facebook? - Andrew Barham

The Revolution will not be televised
But it will be on Youtube
For our continued entertainment.
We will tweet it widely
Proclaiming its progress daily
Perhaps even hourly as it unfolds.
You'll confront it face on
In our status updates
And you won't need to google it,
Because it will be all over MySpace –
But, you Reddit here first!
And when it's all over
You'll be able to read about it
In Wikipedia.

Andrew Barham

Bane-Herbs - Chris Hudson

Witch me a herb, which herb is which?
Whether grown in a greenhouse, or in a ditch
Toxins that repel, ward off, or give grace
These herbs are all banes, where they leave a trace

Dogbane, known as Indian Hemp
Grows in many different places
Fibrous cord and herbal tea
To the heart it gives the races

Other forms, well known, of hemp
Their user’s minds t’entrap attempt
Best left well alone I know
Or to a shrink you then must go!

Fleabane, more seldom found, does insects repel;
Henbane, from Eurasia, sends senses all to hell
Witches use’t, to make them fly
Giv’n to animals, it makes them die

Witchbane, sometimes known as Rue
In southeast Europe, there it grew
For upset stomachs with bitter taste
In pregnancy to babes lays waste

Wolfsbane also known as Monkshood
Poisoned tips of arrows made good
Skin penetrating alkaloid
Wolves and werewolves to avoid

To get rid of fleas use fumigation
Witch posers suffer ridicule
Wolves not found within this nation
Believe in werewolves- you’re a fool!

Chris Hudson

Christmas Came Too Early - Diane Scantlebury

Christmas is coming
It’s getting earlier every year,
And from his HQ deep in the far North Pole
I’m sure I heard Santa swear,

Harrods had sent him an email at the end of August
A fact that struck him as weird,
For he’d just got back from Barbados
It was hot so he’d shaved off his beard,

They’d already started building his grotto
Festive cards and wrapping were on the shelves,
If he’d any chance of meeting the deadline
It meant more overtime for the elves,

Christmas had come too early
And Santa’s tan barely had time to fade,
He was stressed and under pressure
There were toys and gifts to be made,

Santa wasn’t feeling so jolly
In fact he felt rather flat,
He’d had a great time in the Caribbean
The rum punch had seen to that,

Whose idea was it to start Xmas in August?
It must have been one of the TV admen’s ploys,
But Santa was a true professional
He’d never disappoint all the girls and boys,

Christmas may have started too early
But Santa was determined to keep things on track,
Amidst all the spoilers and cynics
He’d make sure the magic was back,

For he knew the true meaning of Christmas was lost
Overtaken by profit and greed,
At least the children should be happy
In a world still racked with hunger and need.

Diane Scantlebury

Christmas - John E Blaise

Christmas time,
agnostics are attracted to the church.
The spiritual quietness at this Holy time of year,
And all the religious imagery of Christmas;
In the bleak mid winter,
Carols, choirs, Jesus, Mary and Joseph
Cattle lowing, wise men, Angels and shepherds fear,
Then there has to be deep crisp snow
Large Christmas trees with flashing fairy lights,
Blazing log fires, holly wreaths and mistletoe,
A happy jovial plump Santa Claus.
Children shouting, screaming, easy to excite
Ready to open their bulging sacks of toys.
Tables laden with mountains of food
And happy, warm inside, that's how we are supposed to feel.
But let’s get down to earth, let’s get real.
Weathers always mild, damp, usually drizzle.
Christmas starts in mid October ends in January
I've spent ten pounds on Peter only eight on Paul
What do I buy to make up the shortfall.
Shocked to receive cards from friends long forgotten.
The hypocrisy of smiling, eating with people you loathe.
How may people actually enjoy Christmas day?
Tired from over indulgence, financially ruined.
The average person just plain poor
Exploited by the blatant greed of shops and stores.
Yet we still celebrate oblivious of any other nation.
As though Christmas is the same the whole world over.
Just pause for one second or even a minute
While the small children amuse themselves with the wrapping paper
Forgetting the toy inside the parcel.
Think of the starving hungry child
Abroad and then on our doorsteps.
People who can never seek sanctuary, peace of mind.
The old, the frail, the sick, the lonely.
People who dread the mere mention of Christmas
And even the birth of Christ.
Say a prayer for all of them.

John E Blaise

No Idea - Andrew Barham

Have I exhausted my muse,
Worn her out with my rambles
Through the inferno
Of poetic inspiration;
Or has the World of Man
Merely caught up with my poetry?

I ramble through ancient verse
Laid down long long ago
By the Poet of the Greenwood
Standing up for the Understory
Against the sheriffs
Of this mercantile age.

The world has indeed
Caught up with my poetry:
Those mercantile monarchs and lords
Who promised so much
As they accumulated everything
For a handful of bright beads;

I am no Little Sir John,
Though I chronicle our own hundred year war
Against these mercantile imperialists
As we skirmish and turn about
Winning a battle here and there
While we lose the war.

Just as it seems all hope is lost
And the new mighty evil empire
Is about to proclaim itself
Rulers of Earth for all time,
A tiny glimmer of sunlight appears
And steals through those dark massing clouds.

Sir John, patronised by
The kings and lords of his war,
Through access, gained a deeper insight
Into his own troubled times –
I am not Sir John, for I have no access,
But I am the Froissart of our age.

Andrew Barham

The Changing Scenes of Christmas - Rod Ferbrache

Christmas has changed don’t you think?
From the ones when I was a lad,
Those times were special, simple and good,
Just my brothers, and me, Mum and Dad.
The ceiling was covered in paper chains,
There was holly and ivy – no tree,
Dad found a branch of evergreen oak,
Was as good as the real thing to me.

We’d go to bed early on Christmas Eve,
Made the night go quicker we thought,
But every so often I’d creep down the bed,
To feel what Santa had brought.
One of Dad’s socks did the trick every year,
Was amazing how much it would stretch,
We’d jump in their bed at the crack of dawn,
And our stockings we’d one by one fetch.

Christmas has changed don’t you think?
From the ones when I was a teen,
There were all sorts of decisions to make,
Like where to spend Christmas – I mean
Should I go to my girlfriend’s house?
Or should she come over to us?
What a difficult job to please everyone,
Yet we managed without too much fuss.

I remember one year on Boxing Day,
The party was held at my Gran,
It had snowed overnight but the roads were clear,
To drive Judy home was the plan.
But as evening fell so did the snow
Twas too deep to drive into town,
So she came home with me, and much to my glee,
From my parents not even a frown.

Christmas has changed don’t you think?
From the time when my children were small,
There were wish lists and hints dropped,
And the hope was that Santa would call.
It was their turn to jump on our bed in the dark,
“Can we get up, is it time?”
Didn’t matter that Dad worked a hundred hour week,
“Oh please can we get up?” they’d whine,

I loved Boxing Day; we’d play with their toys,
There was always something to make,
Lego was great; we’d build something big,
Like airports and towns with a lake.
My Little Pony, the Care Bears and Flumps,
Sylvanian families were fun,
The hours we spent on the floor with these things,
Just to think makes my throat grow a lump.

Christmas has changed don’t you think?
Now the girls have got boyfriends in tow,
Yet there’s a tradition that stays with us still,
You’ll not guess, so I’ll let you know.
Christmas Eve walks – they’re precious to me,
We’ve been doing them now twenty years,
We go out at three and come back in the dark,
During which we have faced many fears.

We can’t go on roads only farmland they say,
So through all the mud we trot,
There’s been chases with bulls, electrified fence,
And sometimes we’ve even been shot!
You’d think they could tell the difference between –
A rabbit, and humans times three,
But we still had to run across open land
And shelter behind a stout tree.

Christmas has changed don’t you think?
From that first Christmas long ago,
But has it? Or is it the things we have done
That has caused the occasion to grow.
We still celebrate the King who was born
In a stable so cold and bare
We sing of the Wise Men, who came from so far,
To worship, and give, and stare –
Into the eyes of the Christ child so small
A child who was destined to die,
We still praise His name and trust in His cross,
That was given for you and for I.

The story of Christmas remains the same,
The response is for us to give,
We either accept or reject this gift,
We can choose to die or to live,
Christmas can change from the one that you know,
The one that is never the same,
Just come to the Saviour, He beckons to you,
Listen, He’s calling your name.

Rod Ferbrache

Whatever the Season Throws - Diane Scantlebury

What is that strange light
In distant yonder
Punctuating the dark?
What sound on the breeze
Makes a rabbit’s back arch and stiffen
At a barely audible canine bark?
When did the dawn slink in?
It was pitch black
A moment ago,
Now with red rimmed eyes
It blinks awake
To put nature’s beauty on show,

But the day it brings is cold and sullen
The horizon is smudged with grey,
Winter firmly hauls down its shutters,
Keeping any hope of warmth
At bay,
Yet one bold bird stands defiant,
No escape for him
To the south and France,
Surveying the world
From his bare branch perch,
Whatever the season throws
He’ll bravely take his chance.

Diane Scantlebury

A Death In The Life - Lyndon Queripel

It was a cold December morning
I woke up and started yawning
I didn't want to get out of bed
When I heard John Lennon was dead
A voice low said over my small radio
Someone had shot the working class hero
I turned up the volume, it must be wrong
And then on came a Beatles' song
In disbelief I slowly dressed to wait
For another New York City update
When it came to confirm my fears
My eyes just filled up with tears
And somewhere deep down inside
I felt a part of me had also died
"It seems so strange," said a friend
"How men of peace meet a violent end."
Nineteen Eighty was the year
Do you remember where you were?
But then you see how I forget
You may not have been born yet.

Lyndon Queripel

My New Car - Jenny Hamon

I’ve bought a new car
All shiny and bright
It’s not quite new
But it’s certainly alright.

It replaces the old one
That’s on its last legs
Been round the clock
And attention it begs

Well, I’m all excited
I collect it today
So while I’m getting used to it
Get out of my way

The car is automatic
No clutch on the side
And to indicate I’m turning
Well it’s on the wrong side

I think that this means
In the next coming days
I’ll take things quietly
And re-programme my brain

So if you see me approaching
At a moderate rate
With wipers madly wiping
I’ll be turning in at this gate

Jenny Hamon

In Memoriam - Madiba (1918-2013) - John Carré Buchanan

African Statesman
dies peacefully in his home.
This time the world mourns.

John Carré Buchanan

Wunderkind! - Chris Hudson

I am a serious poet, and also a serious headcase
Some days now I seldom show it, but I was once hit with mace!
Yes I want it, yes I need it, I bleed regret but I can’t feed it
I hardly know it but I’ve put a spanner in the works of Man
I never knew of the substance of the master plan

I’m such a hard worker, you know, even though my life is finished
Before it had even began, the red stamp on the rejected chip.
Opposing slings and arrows; fortunes became ever so diminished
Trammel up outrageous consequence, liberate companionship

A maid’s rumour inopportune? Hopes and dreams of every nation?
Here, set clear, and set in motion, we, set free, birth our foundation
With cheery glow in every soul, demonstrating our devotion

Then that became my beauteous fairy creature- Let me kiss your hands,
I kiss your forehead, clasp you to me, come my love, forget the rest,
Completely naked… I squeeze you to my breast while traffic gyrates…

Slowly to and fro, stop, go, jam on the brakes, obstruct the traffic flow
All over Town, drive around real slow! It’s the same wherever you go.

Said emaciated yoga practitioner as he opened the door:
“I ain’t gonna go on the astral plain no more,”
I’ve put my money where my mouth was
My middle-age where my youth was.

Chris Hudson

When the Words Come - Diane Scantlebury

Image Source: Buchanan

When the Words Come - Diane Scantlebury

When the words come
You have to go with it,
Flow with it,
No point in fighting
The voices,
They’ll nag you,
Drag you back
Until you write them,
Empty your head
Or lose them,
Only then are you released
Spent and drained,
Another hour gone.

Diane Scantlebury

(The Quandary Of) A Painful Loss - Ian Renouf-Watkins

Fire burned inside his head
Stole any rational thought
Flames leaving only dread
His pulse would fall to nought

Muscles tensed eyes closed
Draining his last reserves
A painful and final choke
Delivered his craved dessert

Hot tears so openly shed
Though not for very long
As many were glad he’s dead
When they heard he’d gone

Light faded from his sight
A vacuum shut out sound
Losing in his final fight
And sent to the burial mound

Many came wept to mourn
And a few they lingered on
All were cut, so badly torn
Not seeing right from wrong

We watched his awful pain
Sobbed quietly out of sight
But now he’s thrown his chains
We can celebrate the light

Ian Renouf-Watkins

The Snow Dragon - Kathy Figueroa

Part I

The days grew short
The cold grew nigh
And the air was
Rife with chill
The Earth's retort
Was to longingly sigh
And the wind swept
Down from the hill
Colder, yet
And colder, still
Grew the clasp
Of the Season's embrace
And the great, grinding
Wheel Of Time
Turned to show
A sombre face
Gone were the greens
Of summer and spring
Gone, the merry flowers
Tame and wild
Quiet lay gardens
Where no creature stirred
Forsaken.. by cold, defiled
The Sun, source of light
And creator of days
That were luxuriantly
Long, warm and clear
Along with the blue skies
Almost seemed
To have fled
Which caused dread
Comprised of
A particular fear:
"If there's not enough sun
To keep this area
Warm and bright
..Then the Snow Dragon
Will soon appear"

Part II

Legends say
That, long ago
The last dragon
Had been slain
But now it's whispered
In the Canadian North
"A dragon roams
When the sky
Is a dark void
Vast and deep
And all wild creatures
Are asleep
Then, from the Arctic
Bursts a raging gale
That rises with
An unearthly wail
And moves across
The frozen land
Like the sweep of
A Titan's hand
But the turbulence
Is really the lashing
Of a mighty tail
And the sound
Is the howl
..Of the Snow Dragon
As it starts to prowl...

Sceptics exist, everywhere
And some have been known
To openly declare:
"Though supposed evidence
That the Snow Dragon
Traversed this area
Has abounded
We can neither prove
Nor disprove
That reports
Of its existence
Are either founded
Or unfounded
If we venture to surmise
That this creature's
Existence is real
Based upon
Empirical observation
We, presently, feel
That, to date, perhaps
This Snow Dragon's
Most notable feature
Is that it's a most shy
Retiring and
..Elusive creature"

Part III

"By Grace"
It's said that
People are saved
But this also lets
Some people see
It's Grace that lets folks
Have visions of realms
Of magic and mystery
Thus, artists, writers
And poets exist
As architects of dreams
They know that
The everyday world
Isn't always as it seems
Hence, those who
Only accept truth
From a scientist's lips
Believe the following
About a lunar eclipse:
That the Earth
Casts a shadow
On the smaller
Circling sphere
And, at other notions
They'll likely scoff or jeer
But weary disbelievers
Might one day 'whistle
A different tune'
(If, by tedious banality
They're not driven
To complete ruin)
When they discover that
A lunar eclipse is really
The Snow Dragon's shadow
Cast on the moon
And the showers
Of shooting stars
That pierce the
Winter night skies
Are really sparkles falling
From the Snow Dragon's eyes
When it turns its gaze
To the mortals, below
And the land it has covered
With crystals of snow.

Kathy Figueroa

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