Thursday, December 15, 2011


Driving North on Christmas Morning

Soon after sunrise I shall drive
north on the empty highway
around bends and over bridges

through silent towns
past shuttered shops
abandoned petrol pumps

parking meters will stand
at attention along deserted streets
where I shall surf green waves

perhaps I shall see
some ecstatic six year old
wobbling on a brand new bike
across a daisied lawn

but otherwise the world
will dream in sabbath serenity
and sunlit silence until

I reach that familiar gate
turn in and stop
alone for a moment

until a medley of grandchildren
sons with beaming wives
a cacophony of dogs
will gather round the car

together we will surge
like the receding tide
back into the house

the tree the tinsel the turkey
the silly gifts all wrapped
with so much love

and Christmas will begin at last.

This poem is destined for 'Eightyfive @Fortyfive' which I did not get finished in time for publication before Christmas. I read it at the Bristol Poetry Festival in August and at Poetry Kit's World Poetry Night in Liverpool in September. And Ruth Arnison kindly included it in this summer's POEMS IN THE WAITING ROOM pamphlet.

If you would like to share it at your Christmas party please feel free to do so. Last year Waitaki Hogmannay, ('Over and Out From Down Under') was shared at New Year gatherings in New Zealand, Australia, Greece, France, Britain, and several U.S. states. The readers kndly e-mailed me ( tell me how it was received. I had to buy a bigger hat.

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