Christmas at Our House

How can we have Christmas at our house?

The rooms look like there was a riot

the table’s strewn over with gas bills

and the reindeer are all on a diet.

.

How can we have Christmas at our house?

The tree is hung over and wonky

our turkey ran off with the tinsel

and we never did order the donkey.

.

How can we have Christmas at our house?

It’s too cold to put out the fire

so Santa will struggle to reach us

and so will the heavenly choir.

.

How can we have Christmas at our house?

but wait, well then maybe we can

there’s a bucket of love up our chimney

and hugs in the fridge and the pan.

.

There’s sweet figgy pudding and music

our voices are merry and bright

we’ll hide nuts in a massive red stocking

and drink ginger wine late at night.

.

So let’s all have Christmas at our house

we’ll cook up a magical banquet

and after the games and the laughter

we’ll cuddle up under our blanket.

.

We all know the New Year is waiting

and we have to work hard and dig deep

but beautiful friendships will give us

the gift of this Christmas to keep.

Cake

Let’s do it while the early light is pale and cold,

when our soft and slippered feet still ache with sleep,

before the awesome day grows in its wisdom, old,

and we no longer can each other’s company keep,

I’ll go down stairs and turn the oven hot and high,

mix sweet with cocoa, rich with buttered love,

you follow, rubbing sleep from night time eyes,

drawn by morning’s promise from the room above,

we’ll sit together with our cups of steaming tea,

til when we feel the waiting world can’t do us harm,

with half a chocolate cake for you, and half for me,

a slice of happiness to keep us safe and warm.

Caged – buy free range

If feather-bare we toured our plight

round Britain’s eleven thousand and seventy two

wire free mile circumference bringing eggs to you

we wing-clipped osteoporosised amputees

struggling along in twos and threes

to bring you scrawny chicken stew

we wouldn’t make a pretty sight

we know you wouldn’t like to see

so we’ll crouch in A4 cages without light

to lay those guilty eggs tonight.

Cake and eat it!

This weekend in the perfect weather
we went to a boot sale all together
the stalls were selling standard fare
from books to jam to things to wear

We bought some clothes for a few pounds
and spent some time just wandering round
then when it got to half past three
we were tempted inside by thoughts of tea

St Anne’s in Arscott is a church
so pews are the only place to perch
As we were sitting with our cups
our twelve year old came wandering up

He looked concerned and ate a scone (pronounced sconn)
and then he ate another one
the question that he asked us next
revealed just why he seemed perplexed

Dear parents (he can be quite formal)
I’ve discovered something quite abnormal
Tell me why do grandmas make great cakes
when no-one under sixty bakes?

We scratched our heads and drank our tea
it seemed we had no answers see.
Will our dislike of messy flour
or too much supermarket power
or evolution or education
leave us soon a cakeless nation?

(answers on a prayer book)

September in Shropshire

In our English country garden
morning arrives for breakfast
clothed in misty vagueness
to find arachnid market traders
already skilfully threading
silver baskets between bushes where
a snail’s early yawning turns the head
of a song thrush hoarse from dawn
dew drying in the wan sun smiling
weakly at Fuchsia drunk on rich ruby pallet
who bow to orange Montbretia and ageing
Buddleia bracing itself for the arrival
of those blooming butterfly and bee
bounders regardless of a definite
chill we sit thin jacketed drinking
coffee and eating bread spread
with cherry plum jam ruminating
on the day ahead and the need for
autumn preparation and repair.

Cherry Plum Wine

Squeezing lingering succulence from sun’s evening bloom
our ripe orange fruit falls fragrantly, dripping juice
licked in sinuous strings from stinging fingers.

Language of late summer bounty streaming between us
sipped ginger whets autumnal anticipation
whilst we reap sweet nectar, wild and stolen.

Kiss

This is not your kiss

I give you not my kiss

this kiss is our shared dish.

It begins with a small solo voice

early in the morning

with sleep on our lips.

It rises to become a melody

at breakfast time

with marmalade.

By soup at twelve

it is a symphony

with crashing crescendo

leaving us bewildered,

needing afternoon tea

and cake.

When we meet for supper

our kiss puts on slippers

and plays a soothing serenade.

At 23:23 we surrender

to its Nocturne Adagio

and feed our kiss with love.