Miss Penny - Tony Gardner

The pre dawn light is filtering through
And wakes still drowsy minds
Though others sleep and dreaming lie
I'm up and feeling fine
The dog's awake and once she's fed
She's looking for a run
I find her lead, put on my coat
And face the rising sun
Then blindly walk up to the Ring
Where through the sunless trees
She sniffs and gruffs and pokes around
Chasing things that I can't see
I'm now awake and feeling fine
Full of Get up and Go
I s'pect she'll soon want walks again
Can't I just let her go ?
But no, my Life would be so drear
Without Miss Penny's shine
Always showing, always proving
She's the the truest pal of mine

Tony Gardner

The Bells In Town Talk Of Snow Coming Down - Adam Clayton

The bells in town talk of snow coming down
I heard the clunk of tills’ metallic sound
Black Friday: shopping season begins
Within this tight stampede, nobody wins
Piled up with bags, rest in a discount chair
Escape the crush, look up and breathe fresh air
Frenzied Friday now, nearly Christmas day
Last minute attachments, promise to pray
Now, lights on the tree speak only to me
Tinsel-tied trance sings perfectly in key
Resting high, let’s float together in wine
Watching Jimmy Stewart: we’ll see him shine

Adam Clayton

Twelve Days Of Christmas - Ian Duquemin

On the twelfth day of Christmas
The sky was turning black
The winter wind began to blow
Its chill upon my back

On the eleventh day of Christmas
I watched some children play
The snow they threw while laughing
Made a winter scene cliche

On the tenth day of Christmas
A beggar raised his hand
I gave a word of sympathy
He didn't understand

On the ninth day of Christmas
A choir sang aloud
But no one even listened
They were lost within the crowd

On the eighth day of Christmas
The bells began to chime
Celebrating something
From a long forgotten time

On the seventh day of Christmas
The shops were nearly clear
While many would awake with gifts
Some would wake with fear

On the sixth day of Christmas
The bombs began to fall
Beneath the pile of rubble
Was a frightened child's call

On the fifth day of Christmas
While gun shots filled the air
Others wrapped their presents
Not a thought and not a care

On the fourth day of Christmas
The wine began to pour
While blood flowed freely somewhere else
In someone else's war

On the third day of Christmas
A star hung in the sky
But no one even noticed
What it came to signify

On the second day of Christmas
While many mourned their dead
Crackers pulled, exploded
And the corny jokes were read

On the first day of Christmas
The celebration starts
Before you fill your stomachs
Take the time to fill your hearts

Ian Duquemin

Christmas Morning - John Carré Buchanan

Giggles erupt from the huddle.
Excited nudges, toothless smiles.
The air fills with high pitched chatter,
as children talk all at once; no one listening.
Too much fun.

Shiny paper torn asunder, thrust behind.
Fingers break into cardboard boxes
to grasp treasures within.

Hovering in the background,
camera flashing,
parents revel in the joy before them.
A Christmas scene played out
in a thousand living rooms.

It won't be long before little voices everywhere plead;
Daddy, please can I have a go?

...... IT IS MINE !

John Carré Buchanan

Christmas 1914 - Richard Fleming

Out of the trenches stepped one man,
a truce flag held above his head,
then from the other side was waved
a cloth and word was quickly spread.

From blackened ground, like seeds, they grew
to cover those disputed lands:
a khaki crop mingled with grey,
cautious at first, then shaking hands.

Gifts were exchanged, tobacco, smiles.
Creased photographs were shyly shown.
Then, from a trench that frosty day,
a leather soccer ball was thrown.

The goalposts were four bayonets.
A match was played in friendly style
by muddy boys, for boys they were.
War was forgotten for a while.

Richard Fleming

No Escape for Santa - Diane Scantlebury

Father Xmas was back in Barbados
On a sun lounger by the pool,
With his rum punch and dark glasses
He thought we’d all be fooled,

In a green hat, with beard shorn short
His disguise was oh so thin,
For his round, brown belly shook
When he dived in for a swim,

There was a hearty ho, ho, ho as he laughed
When his swim trunks wriggled down,
His jolly cheeks with embarrassment flushed red
It was an unmistakeable sound,

Away from the pressures and arthritis
Incognito he’d hoped to have slipped,
For a bit of winter sun
And his toes into the warm Caribbean to dip,

Alas he’d been spotted
By a smart Alec with a smart phone,
Who tagged him in on Twitter
His cover had been blown,

Santa’s now back in Lapland
In his thermal vest and long johns,
Any chance of a peaceful winter break
Like his tan, had long since gone,

Poor old Santa
He’d really tried his best,
But when you’re a world famous celebrity
There’s no escape or rest!

Diane Scantlebury

George Torode (Part 3) - Tony Bradley

George was such a popular guy, when we were all in his truck
almost every oncoming driver would wave, or hoot
He'd often be too engrossed, to acknowledge them
planning charity stops, into our route .

So we started doing all the waving for him
but, so much, it ended up a laborious feat
so we devised a cunning plan
at the Yard, we called into 'Polystyrene' Pete.

Next day, we were set up, the game's afoot
on the dashboard, a big polystyrene mitt
stuck on a wire, so it permanently wobbled
greeting anyone, who waved at it !

Tony Bradley

Doctor, Doctor - Richard Fleming

Tracey has translucent skin
but her focus is adrift:
got a split lip, shattered nose,
and it seems her next-of-kin
gave these to her as a gift
when she could have had a rose.

Right eye’s black, her left one’s closed:
she’s been knocked around the house
but she swears she simply fell
when the vital question’s posed.
She protects her cruel spouse.
Tracey’s house is Tracey’s cell.

When a weapon strikes soft skin:
plate or bottle, fist or boot,
skin will break or skin will bruise,
it depends if skin is thin.
Some men never give a hoot
if they’ve drunk sufficient booze.

Richard Fleming

Bang - Trudie Shannon

There was an angel
She was small and insignificant
Dressed scantily in an old spotted nighty.
Her wings cygnet coloured
Her voice not good enough for the heavenly choir.
She spent a lot of time on the move
Criss crossing continents in the blink of a humans eye.
The first time, she just lifted a missile and hid it, under his throne.
She didn’t ask, just waited till he was required elsewhere
He was all seeing and everything so she guessed that if he’d minded
He’d have said.
After the first thousand, seeing as there was still loads of room
She became bolder, lifting whole nuclear missile installations.
She scrambled after submarines and aircraft, swept beneath the ground,
Gathering, gathering, even the chemical and biological stuff.
After that it was the small stuff, the mortars, mines, grenades
And then every kind of gun and knife.
Soon she’d managed to lift every kind of weapon known to man
Out of human harms way and stashed it carefully with all the rest
Under his throne.
She was amused at her own cheek.
He’d said nothing, though lately she’d noticed
He couldn’t rest his feet upon the ground,
His throne having lifted a little.
Obviously on earth the disappearance of life’s essentials was noticed

And the people were suspicious, each suspecting the other and fist fights broke out.
In the meantime, from where our angel stood, things were looking up for humanity.
That’s when he summoned her.
She flew as fast as cygnet wings can fly
And stood before him, head bowed at his majesty.
I’ve watched over your collection long enough, he said.
Now it is your turn to do something with it.
That flummoxed her, as far as she was concerned, it had been sorted.
He wasn’t angry or anything, just offering her an opportunity, he said.
Okay, she said, I’m on it.
So from beneath his throne she started lifting, carefully,
So he wouldn’t come down with a bump,
Every piece of weaponry that she had stashed.
It took a few trips.
Where to now she wondered?
Then remembered the black hole just outside of nowhere
And she took everything there, throwing it in recklessly
And then something she hadn’t considered happened.
There was the most enormous bang.
The biggest bang since last time, things exploding imploding
Clouds and gas and colours she’d forgotten she remembered.
This whole thing lasting forever and she watching the whole time.
And when time stood still and the flashing was over
She saw a sphere floating where once there had been a black hole
And she guessed that may be she’d inadvertently used her opportunity
To a worthwhile end.
On the earth, several scientists marvelled at the new star

And wondered if it were a portent, beyond scientific explanation.

Trudie Shannon

The Face In My Dreams - Lester Queripel

I know that face, I really do.
but I can’t quite put my finger on it.
it’ll come to me in a minute.
I know that face, I really do.
I think I know you.
I know where you came from.
I think I heard you in a song.
I think I saw you on the street.
I hope one day we meet.

I know where I saw you.
it was in a dream.
we were drinking champagne.
eating peaches and cream.
we were licking our lips.
eating giant marshmallows on sticks.
but when I woke up…………… my pillow was gone.
plus, I had a mouthful of feathers.

Lester Queripel

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