Three Christmas Poems

Poem

There’s nothing under the tree
Nothing for you and nothing for me
At least not a thing that I can see
Since Santa fell down sizewell b

Rudolf has got the night off
And donner and blitzen have a nasty cough
The sleigh is now wrapped around a tree
And Santa fell down sizewell b

A large concrete chimney silhouetted against the sky
Santas dodgy tummy from a bad mince pie
He’s run out of tea and he needs a wee
And now he’s fallen down sizewell b

To the boy in the window who waved
To the elves in the factory who are all enslaved.
A Christmas elf dreams of liberty
And santas fallen down sizewell b.

The sleigh is all covered in tinsel.
The cars and the houses are covered in tinsel
I can’t think of anything to rhyme with tinsel
And now santas fallen down sizewell b.

Marjorie wants world peace
Dave wants an end to starvation
Gemma wants less underrepresentation in the media
Francis wants a more transparent banking system
Lisa wants a respite from the crushing oblivion which awaits us all
Jim wants a cheap pair of socks
But none of them will get what they need
Cos santas fallen down sizewell b

He’s down there!
He’s down there!
You can just make out his face a glower
From the bottom of the cooling tower

Poem

Amid the tinsel of a November Weatherspoons
A cold air nip as the log fire cracks
Alone at table 67, traditional breakfast
No one to share the superfluous hash brown with.
You can’t put tinsel on loneliness.

Twenty years of solo meals and microwave Christmas puds
And naps in party hats and texts from exes
And pondering on paperwork to pass the time
Or at least the polishing or painting of skirting boards
You can’t put tinsel on loneliness.

You can’t put fake snow on despair
You can’t hang angst on a tree
You can’t parcel up and shrink wrap disappointment
You can’t fill a stocking with ennui
You can’t put tinsel on loneliness.

A mardy face sneering under a felt red Santa hat
Randy nights of crackers pulled, curtains drawn and candles snuffed
Christmas Eve spending the day at your mothers, as a ‘friend’
Unwrapping just the one present and finding its a tea towel
It’s the thought that counts
You can’t put tinsel on loneliness.

Here he comes now, Josh, duty manager,
Yes everything’s all right with my meal, tell me how you’d feel
These cold mornings just expose the emptiness of the galaxy
And the dichotomy between companionship and the briefness of our existence,
Yes, everything’s all right with my meal, but
You can’t put tinsel on loneliness.

Table for one, sir?
Leave a coat on the chair so that
Some other loner doesn’t nab your seat
While you’re ordering at the bar
The all day breakfast is only served till eleven
You can’t put tinsel on loneliness.

Back amid the tinsel of a November Weatherspoons
Flimsy cardboard card advertising overpriced turkey
And the promise of not having to do the washing up
We timed our orgasm for the stroke of midnight
Rhythmic with sleigh bells like a radio jingle xmassified
You can’t put tinsel on loneliness.

Poem

The bus driver is wearing a Santa hat
So that’s alright, then.
He’s as surly as ever, bless him,
Drums his fingers on the steering wheel,
A sea of red tail lights matching
The red of his Poundland felt hat.
He’s made the effort.

The teenager in the supermarket
Didn’t know if they had any more Utterly Butterly.
He looks nervously, left to right,
Light a rabbit in the headlights, like it’s all a test,
And I want to reassure him, but it’s ok,
Because he’s wearing a Santa hat.

The genial geography teacher
Drones about longshore drift,
And the formation of spits.
There’s something vaguely creepy
About the way he always picks on Kyle
And makes Kyle the butt of every joke,
But it’s ok today because, gosh,
He’s wearing a Santa hat, and so is Kyle.

There’s a doo wop choir in the high street
Singing up tempo versions of Christmas classics
As shoppers stress over single use bags,
A gust of wind and their felt Santa hats
Flip up into the air like a red and white wave,
At the exact moment they belt out the final note
Of Santa Claus is Coming To Town.
Be good, for goodness sake.

I’ve never owned a felt Santa hat.
They make my forehead itch and I’m really
Not as jolly as the sort of person who could
Pull it off,
But there are those who aspire to joviality
And others who wear them because it’s what you do,
Isn’t it?
Every night I go home to an empty flat.

The lady behind the counter in the coffee shop
Has just cocked up an order and her boss
Is explaining company procedure right there,
In front of everyone, while Christmas songs play
On the speakers, and wouldn’t you know it,
But both of them are wearing felt Santa hats,
So that’s ok, then.

Author: Robert Garnham

Performance and spoken word artist.

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