Tag Archives: Christmas

List Season: a catalog poem

It is the season for great lists
of gifts, and guests, must not forgets,
of menus, meals and seating charts,
of who sits where and who gets what;

of when to this and when to that,
of great logistic strategies
for if I cans, and oh I shoulds,
and definites and wish I coulds;

of obligations, scheduled tasks,
address labels, greeting cards,
of days off, of overtime,
of who eats what, who won’t drink wine,

of wishes, dreams and memories,
of moments lost, of used to bes,
of blessings, friends and relatives,
of those who get, and those who give,

of resolutions and regrets,
of things that haven’t happened yet,
of what it is, what it could be,
of births and deaths, and family,

of friends who don’t, and friends who do,
of what’s important most to you,
of those who never have enough,
of everything that’s left to do.

02 DEC 2010

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Snow in New Orleans

It started out as hail this morning, but has turned to snow
Which happened last here in New Orleans fifteen years go
Those who came south for sunny climes are in for quite a shock
To see the trees decked with the real stuff instead of fake flock

Perhaps Heatmiser struck a side deal with his brother, Snow,
And somewhere further to the North are suntanned Eskimos
The children are all fascinated by the flakes of white
And burn up cell phone minutes squealing in peals of delight

While parents look outside in wonder at their cars and lawns
and at their poor thermometers, whose red has all but gone
Of course, it being Christmas day, the city’s all shut down;
but had it been a weekday, you can bet that in this town

there’d be a halt to everything except the drinking halls
’cause no one here knows how to deal with sleet, and the snowballs
they’re used to seeing are shaved ice with flavored syrup in,
and driving is peril enough — wait ’til the ice begins

to set and fill the potholes. Then we’ll see a wondrous sight:
folks who can’t drive well normally out skidding Christmas night.
And it’s a Christmas snow — it happened only just today;
But it’s New Orleans. Blink, and it will quickly go away.

25 DEC 2004

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Mixed Messages

You’d better not pout, you’d better not cry
You’d better be good — I’m telling you why:
Santa Claus is coming to town.
He sees you when you’re sleeping
He knows when you’re awake
He knows if you’ve been bad or good —
so be good, for goodness’ sake.

I just today realized the problem with the commercialization of Christmas. The point of the above song is that IF you’re good, you will be rewarded. Conversely, if you’re BAD, your actions will be noted, and your stocking will be shorted accordingly.

Yet, at the same time, we are admonished to “be good, for goodness’ sake”.

If we apply logic to this, that’s the same as saying “art for art’s sake” — or that art is worth making simply because art is worthwhile.

That means that the song is saying that being good is its own reward. That it is the right thing to do. That’s why one does it.

NOT FOR THE REWARD, or because someone is watching who’ll provide some payoff.

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Waking Early

In the early hours of morning, the dawn
barely come upon the still sleeping world,
there is a quiet peace that lays upon
the earth; and before its axis has hurled

the sleeping planet into warm sunlight,
when the last remnants of night still linger,
its cold darkened grip of frost grasping tight
(you can see the mark left by its fingers)

before even the first sparrows arise
to greet the new day with their voices in song,
the balance of things shows itself to me.

Filled yet with sleep, I look with tired eyes
and see each thing in its place; I belong
in this space, and I can hear harmony.

25 DEC 2002

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Pre-Holiday Musings …

Our across the street neighbor has erected his gaudy display of ever-blinking lights – to the dismay of all those whose significant others are epileptics. He is quite proud of his achievement, and says he just isn’t filled with the spirit of the season without this external manifestation and its subsequent drain upon his wallet thanks to the spike in the electric bill.

In other news, we are out shopping for a Norford Pine today to fill the lonesome corner of the house and fill it with aromatic goodness. Ah, so the decorations slough off their mothballs and rejoice for a season of dust-free interaction 🙂 Lydia, the ever-vigilant tape, photo and shiny object hunting cat, will be quite pleased with the increase in her potential prey. Our Yuletime shopping is almost complete, believe it or not. With a mere six days of shopping remaining 🙂

a haiku

Cough sneeze sniffle cough
Must bad colds always mar the
holiday season?

In other other news, we are mere weeks away from a long distance voyage to Kalifornica. There is much trepidation in the Dances household about meeting with the relatives (mine) and spending a week in a foreign country. As we are New Orleanians, we have our cross-cultural visas in order, but there is much worry about how to co-exist peacefully with these “Othercoasters”. It will be interesting, at the very least; I hope, enjoyable.

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