Christmas Poetry

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Submissions courtesy of the members of the Rio Grande Valencia Poets

Christmas Cheer
There’s a pile of pretty presents
all around the Christmas tree,
and the candles on the mantel
smell like pine and bayberry.

There are pumpkin pies and caramels,
spicy fruitcakes, nuts, and nog,
and the fire is brightly burning
an enormous Yuletide log.

All these Christmas treats are lovely,
but, you know, my favorite things
are the special hugs and kisses
that the Christmas season brings.

~ Debbi Miller Gutierrez

Listen to Your Heart
The Earth has grown old
with burdens of care
but at the core of Christmas
LOVE conquers despair.

Soon strife will vanish
and battles will cease
with the birth and longing
for a Prince of Peace.

Christmas is coming
and Divine Love is calling
to burn ONE small light
to prevent U.S. from falling.

Christmas lights brighter
than a blazing noon,
have a warmth greater
than the heat of June.

Christmas bells are lovelier
than a political stage show
when Christmas instills
love and light to U.S. be-low.

~Mary Fogarty

A Visit from San Nicolas
‘Twas the night before Noel, and all through la casa
We would have to say, “Nada,” if you asked “Que pasa? “
Los ninos in bed, the whole bunch of them snoozin’
While mi mujer and me in the kitchen were boozin’.

Tequila and lime, margaritas THIS tall
When we heard a knock-knock at la cocina portal.
Away to the doorway, I weaved my way there,
Opened el portal, then just had to stare.

An hombre stood there, a real strange vaquero
From shiny black boots to his red fur sombrero
Behind him, a wagon with los caballos ocho
With antlers that sprang from their cabezas loco.

He walked right on in, El Senor Muy Happy,
And handed us presents stuffed in his serape.
I offered him some chile verde burritos
Instead, he had leche and dos biscochitos.

Muchachos, you may not believe what I say
But him and those horses, they then flew away,
With “Feliz Navidad!” he gave us such fright,
That mi mujer and me swore off drinking that night.

~Shirley Blackwell

Solace at the Solstice
Through this black December,
I will remember that,
though the light is fading,
and for some may not rekindle,
inevitably a flame
will blaze on the horizon.

Despite this sky of frozen jet, which mutes
the roar of churning furnaces
whose warmth traverses galaxies,
I will recall that even at the universe’s edge,
crystal pinpoints shine in silent promise,
faces turn toward the stellar light of summer.

And in this month of glacial hope,
when nights stretch to a year,
I will carry sparkling candles,
have matches at the ready,
rejoice with the evergreen and the
scarlet cardinal defying the snow.

~Shirley Blackwell

Sonnet for Christmas Eve
The Moon, ecstatic, dances over Earth
and pours her silver radiance on the leaves.
Behind her, stars wheel joyously in flight,
across the mystic skies of Christmas Eve,

Her glow gilds topmost branches of the trees,
caresses clouds, bathes rooftops, blesses sod,
while earthbound twinklings of manmade light
celebrate the infant Son of God.

Emanuel is with us, brings delight,
dwells among the wayward children of His love,
and on this night, this rare and precious night,
we raise our eyes and hearts to skies above.

God came to us when dark was deep and long
and lit our night with hope and angel song.

~Shirley Blackwell

A Child’s Concept of Christmas
A grown-up once told me
that Christmas was all in the spirit.
What did that mean? Was Christmas a ghost?

I thought Christmas meant joy?
It is joyous to give gifts to Mommy and Daddy
as my gleeful eyes fill with elation
when hearing my parents give oozes and aahs
after they open their presents of love.

I thought Christmas meant excitement?
It is exciting to receive toys of yearning.
My heart fills with enchantment and happiness
as I rip open colorful wrappings
and look for another gift under the decorated tree.

I thought Christmas meant fulfillment?
It is deliciously scrumptious meals
served by Grandma, Mommy, and Auntie.
Tasting mouth watering entrées,
and anticipating deserts of cakes, pies and cookies.

I thought Christmas meant merriment?
With laughter and glee in listening to all the stories
by Grandpa, Daddy, and Uncle
as they relate their experiences.
Each story wilder, funnier and some unreal
as the grown-ups try to top their next tale.

I thought Christmas meant amusement?
Playing games with my siblings and parents,
and hearing screams of fun, laughter and cheer;
while children hustle and bustle in playful activities
as I watch my parents savor the precious moments.

I think I understand what that grown-up was trying to say:
Christmas is in the spirit of life—in giving, in sharing and loving.
It is meant for all eternity, not only for just one day.
So, I say Merry Christmas to all
forever and ever and every day.

~ Annmarie H. Pearson

Holiday Greeting
Christmas cheers and Christmas bells
Is our way to send yuletide Noels
And convey our holiday wishes to you
With hopes that all your dreams will come true

~ Annmarie H. Pearson

A New Year’s Resolution
A vow with a toast
On the eve of a new year
To restraint or resolute
Promises with good cheer
But when it comes time
To honor the declaration
Weakness appears

It does not strike
On the first endeavor
No, the Achilles’ heel
Slowly disembarks
Tearing apart
Desired dreams
Of wishes and hopes
For a new beginning

The trick, I believe
In fulfilling this vow
One must respect
The original spark
Where the idea began
And when that moment
Of vulnerability reemerges
Attest to the inspiration
That first created the innovation
And, with steadfast determination—

Believe in a positive outcome

~ Annmarie H. Pearson

Celebration
Celebrate, celebrate
laugh until your belly aches.
Wiggle and giggle
give your body a tickle.
Snicker with a boisterous squeal
make it last with a gleeful zeal.
So don’t hesitate to celebrate
laugh until your belly aches.
Wiggle and giggle
until your body tickles,
then share it with your neighbors
and give them some holiday cheer.

~ Annmarie H. Pearson

My Holiday Blitz
Oh jingle bell
my tummy did swell
with delicious holiday food

I sang a noel in a chorus, I thought, quite well
to old St. Nick, a delightful dude

It was a beautiful day
for I did play
with gifts given with a smile

My husband’s wish
for eating the big dish
was to exercise over a mile

But my favorite part
that I did with graceful art
was drink in the holiday cheer

I tasted the wine
after I dined
and stayed away from the beer

~ Annmarie H. Pearson

The youngest shepherd
…and there were shepherds in the fields…

I must confess that I
do not like sheep. The lambs
kick at the slightest whim, the older
ones turn away
when they should follow,
straying blindly. They
must be constantly herded, pressing
against each other’s flanks, bleating
continuously, for no apparent reason.

I was only a child. It was my
first winter on
the cold hillsides, among
grown men who either
paid me no heed or
teased me unmercifully. I sat
on the outskirts
of the group by the fire.

I was warm enough that night,
next to the sleeping dogs, and tired
from a long day of following lost lambs.

I still do not know how much I dreamed,
what I saw. I
only know the light was
intense, the sound glorious.
The men felt it too.

We left the flocks with the dogs and
groped our way to the
village, the path uncertain
in the torchlight.
By the time we reached the stable
I was wide awake. But I saw only a baby
asleep in a makeshift bed, the straw
poking out in all directions, its mother
Smiling with tired and happy eyes, its
father hushing us
with a finger.

There was no shining light, no glory there.
And yet—long since I’ve had
anything to do with sheep–
still the memory haunts me.

~Loretta Tollefson

Mary at the Manger
…but Mary pondered all these things ….

My mother used to say I
was a lamb and she
the shepherd perpetually
calling me back from
wanderings for grasses no
one else could see.

I have always known
that Jehovah can do
what He pleases. That
He would use me was
another matter.
The wonder of that day still clings
to my heart as I ponder
the tiny tapering fingers, their
fragile nails,
the wrinkled feet. The shepherds
and their tale, the prophesies.

My thoughts are still unruly
at times, straying
into pockets of pasture so high
that the air is too thin
to sustain mortal minds.
Each day
is a gift and I
the recipient
and vessel: This
is all I  need to know.

I lift the baby from
his makeshift bed, breath in
his sweet milk-warmth,
and smooth
the fine dark hair.

Yet even
as the sweet burden
of him lies sleeping
against my chest the
thoughts stray outward, wandering
into hidden depths,
unknown
fissures in the rocks.

What does it mean?

~Loretta Tollefson