Christmas Cheer

I remember Christmas
With an intensity that tugs at my heart,
Fills it with joy and longing
And brings fond tears.

I remember my Dad,
Wrestling the reluctant tree into the pot,
Filling the room with forest smells
And our minds with anticipation.

I remember the lights,
Wayward and willful at first,
Filling the tree with magic at last,
And our hearts with joy.

I remember pillow cases
Waiting at the foot of the bed, in the dark,
Full of presents long-imagined
And fervently hoped for.

I remember a cold house
Warmed into riotous life by Dad’s determination,
Filling the grate with dancing flame
And our lives with contentment.

I remember the Christmas baubles.
Winking in glittering glass,
Full of flickering firelight
And twinkling mystery.

I remember my Mum
Weaving through the steaming tapestry of her kitchen,
Filling our plates with a splendid dinner.
And our bellies to busting.

And I remember the Christmas story,
Wonderful and unquestioned.
Filling our young lives with certainty
And our young hearts with hope.

I remember the brilliance of that beacon
Which, even now, a cynical world cannot quite extinguish.
Warming my hesitant soul with the glowing embers of faith.
And I am comforted.


Touching Lines

“Let me make my own mistakes.”
The boy said to his father.
“ I want to go and do my thing,
Although I know you’d rather
I had got a proper job,
Like Engineer or Surgeon,
But I must go and try my luck,
And let my ideas burgeon.
So Dad, although I know you care,
You really must release me,
And now that I am twenty-two,
You can no longer police me.”
“Alright then, Son”, the father said,
“Go on and fly the nest then,
But don’t forget that my concerns
Were always for the best then,
For you will find mistakes to make
I never even thought of.
I’ll keep a watch until I know
There’s nothing you are short of.
Remember, Son, when you were small,
I watched you playing soccer,
Through wind and rain we shared the pain
When other teams were Cock-a-
Hoop at having yet again
reduced your team to ashes,
And still I shouted “Come on Lads”
To fuel your futile dashes
I see you still upon that  pitch,
Though you may have a wife, Son.
I’ll always be there, shouting,
From the touchline of your life, Son.”