Three Santas

My thanks to Nuala who sent to me


This little snip of Christmas glee


Twenty Twenty has nearly gone

 
I send you all Three Santas for the price of one

As with The traditional London Bus
I wait for hours then three come along at once

What the Dickens!

WhatTheDickens

What the Dickens!

 

Yes, that’s me,
I’m straight from a Fairy Story,
So don’t “Bah! Humbug” me.
Why not, instead,
Wish me a “Merry Christmas? “

I’m not given to Fluffiness,
Or Cheesiness.
I don’t attempt to Flummox people,
Even those who give me The Creeps;
No! I’m a straight guy,
Maybe a bit of a Doormat.
Never going on the Rampage;
No, Not me….

Suffering Boredom from time to time,
And a bit of a Butterfingers
When it comes to relationships.
Oh, yes, I’ve suffered …
And how!
Straight from the Casualty Ward of Life
Via its discarded Egg Box,
Straight Into its everlasting Dustbin

. . .  Sad, but, the Story Of My Life.

 

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Dickens

My Christmas story – above – is based on an Article by Gyles Brandreth in the ‘Daily Telegraph’ on Xmas Eve – 24/12/19.  He notes that Dickens helped popularise many words and phrases which are now in common usage. Overall Dickens is credited with coining 258 new words, including:

‘Merry Christmas’;  ‘Bah! Humbug!’
Doormat (when used to describe someone who gets walked all over by other people);
Boredom;  Cheesiness;  Fluffiness;  Flummox;  Rampage;
The Creeps (as in, to give someone the creeps);
Dustbin;  Casualty ward;  Fairy story;  Butterfingers;  Egg box.

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Christmas – Three Haiku of Hope

 

round brown wooden lanterns

Photo by Pradipna Lodh on Pexels.com

Christmas brings good cheer
But not to all God’s children
Pray time will change that.

Long has it been said
Hope came down at Christmas time
May that be true now

May Christmas bring love
As once it brought Lord Jesus
This Hope still remains.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your Country Needs You

raf_ww2_wings_king_s_crown_cloth_badge

Doug, a dear friend of mine, died recently at the age of 95.  In 1943, at the age of eighteen, he was drafted into the Royal Air Force and trained as a pilot. In the latter stages of World War Two he was posted to the Cocos Islands in the East Indian Ocean from where he carried out several missions.  At the end of the Far East War in September, 1945, he took part in the relief of Changi prison, the notorious Prisoner of War camp in Singapore where the Japanese interred many of their prisoners.

I have written this poem in an attempt to understand something of the situation which he and many other young men faced in those precarious times.   

TO  DOUG

Given a bomber at twenty one
A young man’s coming of age
Told to use it wisely
On the far east’s war-torn stage

A Lancaster
A lethal gift
To war’s sad sorry tale
An airborne killer
Sky high thriller
Death following in its trail

You grow up quickly in a war
No marking time
No second thoughts
Prevarication precluded
No time for rage
Get on with it
With reality engage

This his introduction
No subterfuge
With minimal instruction
No simulation
Taught to deliver destruction
Reality games now

Yes, young man,
Your country needs you
To fill the gaps left by those
Who bought it
– For their country –
Before you do the same

But, chin up
Soldier on
stiff lip and all that
Who knows
You may be home by Christmas

 

1945-Cocos-EndOfWW2inFarEast

Ground crews of No.356 Squadron RAF based at the Brown’s West Island, Cocos Islands, celebrate on hearing the news of the surrender of Japan.  (Published under the terms and conditions of the Imperial War Museum Non Commercial Licence, including use of the attribution statement specified by IWM. For this item, that is: © IWM (CI 1557)

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A.E. Housman – ‘Bredon Hill’

[  No.69 of my favourite short poems  ]

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‘On Bredon Hill’ . . .  Sketch – WHB: 1991

Bredon Hill is in Worcestershire, England, in the Vale of Evesham.  This poem of A.E. Housman’s, which he called ‘Bredon Hill’, is taken from his collection of poems, ‘A Shropshire Lad’ published in 1896.

Housman (1859-1936) was an English poet and scholar, whose verse exerted a strong influence on later poets.  The tone of this particular poem shows a preoccupation with loss and, as such, mirrors the tone of many of his poems.   It tells of lost love, contrasting powerfully the ‘happy noise’ of the church bells which brought joy and happy memories of youthful exuberence at the start of the poem, with the single tone of the funeral bell with which the poem ends.

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Bredon Hill    (From “A Shropshire Lad”)

by A.E. Housman

In summertime on Bredon 
The bells they sound so clear; 
Round both the shires they ring them 
In steeples far and near, 
A happy noise to hear. 

Here of a Sunday morning 
My love and I would lie, 
And see the coloured counties, 
And hear the larks so high 
About us in the sky.

The bells would ring to call her 
In valleys miles away; 
“Come all to church, good people; 
Good people come and pray.” 
But here my love would stay. 

And I would turn and answer 
Among the springing thyme, 
“Oh, peal upon our wedding, 
And we will hear the chime, 
And come to church in time.”

But when the snows at Christmas 
On Bredon top were strown, 
My love rose up so early 
And stole out unbeknown 
And went to church alone.

They tolled the one bell only, 
Groom there was none to see, 
The mourners followed after, 
And so to church went she, 
And would not wait for me. 

The bells they sound on Bredon, 
And still the steeples hum, 
“Come all to church, good people,” 
Oh, noisy bells, be dumb; 
I hear you, I will come.

 

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