Friday, 26 December 2014


The pudding’s made
the turkey stuffed
the cards displayed
I’m almost chuffed

but Santa’s elves have gone on strike
does anyone know how to wrap a bike?

The family’s here
the party starts
there’s Christmas cheer
and mincemeat tarts

though Santa’s elves have gone on strike
the child learns how to ride a bike

We rush outside
to play in snow
then back inside
for kissing under mistletoe

as Santa’s elves have gone on strike
we need to learn to clean a bike

On Boxing Day we take a walk
while children ride
the grown-ups talk
then bicycle and tree collide

and Santa’s elves are still on strike
does anyone know how to mend a bike?

Daphne Milne


Turkey, sprouts, roast potatoes,
pudding, brandy butter, ice cream,
cheese, biscuits, coffee, nuts, port.

Aunts, uncles, cigars, excess,
Grandparents snoring by the fire, 
Nine lessons and carols from King’s,
mince pies, more brandy butter

parcels under the green fir tree,
elderly films, older comedians,
Christmas specials, tinsel, fake snow,
big white cake with wonky Santa

All the joys of family Christmas
not to be missed by anyone,
no excuses, the annual beanfeast,
just before the New Year’s 
silence, sobriety, diet - hell.

Daphne Milne

Sales Fever (With apologies to John Masefield)

I must go down to the sales again where the sharpened elbows fly
And all I ask is a warm coat and a hat to keep me dry
And a loud crowd on a cold night in a long line snaking
For a rare treat or a new suite, it’s all there for the taking.

I must go down to the sales again to join the swelling tide
Till nine o'clock when the doors unlock and the shoppers flood inside
And all I crave is a full store with wonders overflowing
And a wild rush as the crowds push for every bargain going.

I must go down to the sales again to a day of stress and strife
Where the kick and the pinch won't make me flinch from the bargain hunting life
And all I need are credit cards with enough cash to cover
And time to flaunt the prizes bought when the hurly-burly's over.

Martin John


It’s the arse-end of the year.
Everyone’s bored and gloomy, or ill.
Weather’s normal – not warm, not dry.

Chugging under the bridge
where we got stuck last night,
we get stuck again.

Finally out of city sprawl –
graffiti, drowned bikes,
floating cans and dereliction –

the extension straight as a Roman road
glitters ahead. The rain’s stopped.
We pootle on towards a New Year.

Jo Waterworth

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