Christmas Eve!

I’m making my way home for christmas, with memories swirling around,

Passing carollers, couples and families, making their way to midnight mass near Muswell Hill;

Some of the parishioners have the distinct whiff of pub-crawlers who’ve been turned out at last call!

An eclectic mix to be certain celebrating a common bond,

While I am not of this faith, I find my natural cynicism washed away by a wave of optimism in any case,

Fuelled by a shared heritage that’s crept up on me unexpectedly  over time-

I may not be a wide-eyed child any more, my fondest memories tend to still surround:

Turkey, gravy, crispy roast potatoes and stuffing with extra sage please!

Minced pies, Christmas pudding, doused with brandy, and set alight to a gentle blue flame-

Voraciously gouged down with generous dollops of clotted cream!

Accompanied by mulled wine and appetisers, until your stomach literally strains to keep it all in!

Watching the Queen’s annual message at 3:00pm feeling more uncomfortably full than civic;

Followed by the Christmas Movie and the Eastender’s Double Bill, joining in with a collective mock-gasp at the inevitable shocking end!

No, it’s not the food (though, I can’t help but look forward to it);

Or, the memories (which are a mixed bag, if I am honest!);

Or, even, the veneer that comes from reflecting through rose-tinted spectacles, at greener pastures, that weren’t truly green at all,

What I am truly looking forward to this christmas is: to spend some time with my family, and not a mention of work, if I am lucky!!

Lost at Sea

Myth is a mystic;

She washes her waves over me;

Freezing cold, I shake like a rattle snake in my dreams,

Only to wake to find, life is not a dream;

I cautiously stand on a half-submerged float, amidst an intemperate sea;

Uninterrupted, in every direction, as far as one can see save for sky and sea,

Empty pails in every available space to collect fresh water, from a threatened rain that has yet to descend;

Keeping my footing, I climb the make-shift mast and shape my body into a crucifix facing the sky,

You could almost mistake the sound of lapping water, for the applause an acrobat receives at performance’s end;

Dark clouds and faint wisps of light mingle and compete for supremacy and dominion overhead,

While despair and loss are twin cruel cherubs, tormenting my gnawing hunger ‘n’ thirst for sport,

I close my eyes at hearing the rumble of thunder, signalling an end to the drawn-out competition above,

‘Please, some water…’, a cherished plea… too precious to be spoken aloud,

Lest it give sucre to my tormentors, and leave my already-ravaged will defenceless against their onslaught!

An exhaustion-ridden smile escapes my lips despite my extremity, as the first droplets of rain splatter across my cheek;

A clap of thunder and a downpour at a tropical, frantic, pace-

Like evenly-paced applause turning by ear alone to a standing ovation in an instant,

A sea of a million water sprouts: like a storm of needles, striking a sea of translucent bubble wrap, bursting in unison, ad infinitum, in-near muted silence:

I open my mouth, dehydrated to parchment, to receive this precious gift to prolong this life a little longer than expected,

A fragile grace in this hostile landscape, perhaps not enough to find landfall or rescue,

And, I may find myself repeating this exhaustive dessolate battle in a few days yet again,

Whatever happens, this gives me hope and that is nearly as sweet as swallowing this fresh water to nourish my innards, for a day longer at least!