All the Way Up

I remember those days ,when I stood where you are

And wondered how people could travel so far

They could climb to the top, to the peak of their game,

And bask in the riches of glory and fame

But now you stand there, and I’m…somewhere else

Yet you place me in spotlights, set me high on a shelf

An icon to be worshipped, but I’m not sure what’s changed

Stripped down to the basics, I’m still just the same

Yet you look at me, with rose-coloured eyes

And study my life’s journey like it’s the key to the skies

But I’ve made so many missteps — don’t follow me at all!

I may be high up now, but I’m just about to fall

Carve your own path to the sky; don’t follow what I did

If you pay heed to your heart, you’re gonna go far, kid

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Beautiful Mess

So here we are again, another year’s end

It feels a little melancholy, like I’m leaving a dear friend

It wasn’t the best relationship (at times, it was a mess)

But if I put the bad aside, and focus on the rest,

Bits of pieces of stories start to come alive

And I remember the year in pieces, a fragmented story time

A disaster ending in victory, only to fail again

One journey just beginning, at another journey’s end

One love that I’d forgotten just as another one bloomed fresh

A reflection in the mirror, a beautiful crying mess

All these pieces make a story, a story that was mine

But now, as this year passes, it belongs to Father Time

But the best part of the new year is this story I can start

With promises shining bright enough to melt any scarred heart

Black Magic

A black devil waltzes through Christmas décor

Bringing his filth to those he abhors

Turning off lights as bulbs flicker out

Relishing as partygoers shriek and shout

Despair is his mantra, all that he knows

He brings destruction wherever he goes

Lost love and relationships, memories that fade

Foul words and gestures, which start to abrade

Against nerves, against hearts, against minds slightly warped

His is a plot which none can thwart

And while some may frolic beneath Yuletide cheer

The Christmas Devil lurks, spreading hate and fear

angry old man

an angry old man looked death in the face

and demanded the business he had in that place

death didn’t answer (he never really does)

but the old man didn’t care — his head was abuzz

and his heart was aflame with an old man’s desire

to place his mark on the world before he expires

and that’s why the wizened old man (the fool)

used his last ounce of strength to break every rule

the first man in history with the courage to dare

to spit in death’s face, as death stood right there!

of course it was in vain; death had only to frown

to regain his composure and smite the man down

but as the man died, a smile graced his face

as his spirit broke loose and escaped from that place

death folded his scythe and slipped quietly away

his job here was done, just the work of a day

Hunter’s Moon

fighting for glory against an

abyss of blackout curtains blocking out

worlds it glows with the brilliance of a

fool who thinks the world still

kind, still beautiful, still full of

hope, how stupid —

the audacity of dreamers

— and a big ol’ yeller moon

Christmas Gloves

There they lay, inside the box

The tag outside displays the cost

They aren’t cheap, but they are half off

So I make my choice and pick up the box

I fish out the bills and pay the cashier

Wish her a very Happy New Year

Then I step out into the blustering cold

The box tucked inside my fleece-lined coat

It isn’t the biggest present I’ve got

Nor is it the best that could be bought

But as I am walking, through blistering wind,

I hear a small voice, child-like and thin.

It is a child speaking, of nine or ten,

Huddled against the burning wind

Her coat is worn thin, and her fingers are blue

Of course you know the first thing I’d do

I took out the box and gave it to her

Watched her eyes light with a flame that burnt

Far too brightly in such a small face

For me to be happy just leaving that place

So I reached in my pocket to pull out some bills

But what my fingers brushed gave me the chills

No leather-bound wallet greeted me there

No, there was nothing in my pocket, but air!

As I started to grasp this grave reality

A real-life end to generosity

The child scampered off, running far away

Leaving me wallet-less in that alleyway

And so I trudged home, sans gloves and cash

(Luckily I still had some in my bedroom stash)

But it was a blow, not at all how I’d dreamt

A Christmas shopping day, come to an end

All of the Stars

And in darkness I stand, looking up in the sky,

Thousands of twinkling, diamond-set eyes

They’re watching me idly, like they always do

Cut-outs cut out of a velveteen blue

But today is different, in a way they don’t know

The stars never change, but each day I grow

And once I was bitter, so caught up in rage,

That I blamed the whole world in a giant tirade

I thought I was too big for its pain and its lies

A soap opera watched by those twinkling eyes!

But then something happened inside me, one day

(though those twinkling eyes still looked the same)

And I learnt that nothing in the world is so plain

As all good or all bad, all love or all pain

You have to lose some to win some, fall down to rise,

You have to tilt your head back to look up at the sky!

And that’s how I learnt the most important lesson of all:

To put things behind you, you have to stand tall

If I didn’t touch it, then it wouldn’t bite

So let go of anger, and seek the path to the light

It’s amazing how one step can push you so far

When you’re dancing in the moonlight, under all of the stars

Dr Jolly P. Jingle

The North Pole’s a dreamland all children know

A place of pure magic, hidden in snow

Where hundreds of elves toil day after day

To make toys to be opened on Christmas Day

But all elves aren’t tinkers — no, sadly not,

Even though of those there are quite a lot

There are teachers and preachers and bankers and chefs

Admins and grocers and farmers and vets

But perhaps the busiest elf who works with Kris Kringle

Is the North Pole physician: Dr Jolly P. Jingle

 

Yes, Dr Jolly Jingle is Santa’s right-hand

No matter the problem, he’s got a plan

Nail stuck in foot? He’ll get it right out

And you won’t feel pain — you won’t even shout

Perhaps you’ve got a fever, or the “Post-Eggnog Blues”,

Don’t be ashamed of your story; it helps him find clues

To reach a diagnosis (and a treatment, or cure)

To help you feel better than you are (or you were)

 

But Jolly P. Jingle has one tiny fault

An incriminating one, when you’re dealing with elves

For though he may dwell amid snow, joy, and holly

Our friend Dr Jingle isn’t, well…isn’t jolly

He’s a regular grump, the right scowling sort

The whole Pole might play,  but he won’t conform

He’ll sit in the corner, and he’ll scowl, scowl, and scowl!

The most mortifying expression, a contortion most foul

But what was the source of the good doc’s distress?

Was he in Cocoa-Withdrawals, or feeling the holiday Stress?

This troubling conundrum caught the ear of Old Claus

Who called his Thinking Elves; they all gave pause

To their work to uncover the best remedy

For Jolly P. Jingle’s hapless misery

 

It was Christmas Eve morning when Jolly arose

To find his whole office covered in bows!

Each one was tied by a various elf

Who’d left a handwritten message, addressed to himself

Words of encouragement, compassion, and peace

Words to relax him, and set him at ease

Words made for merriment, comedy, and fun

Why, there was a note from everyone!

And while he was reading all of these cards

Something peculiar took place in his heart

It didn’t grow one size, nor did it grow two,

But by three sizes expanded (and he felt it, too)

And then something stranger happened then, oh, yes,

(which, my dear reader, I’m sure you can guess)

The good doctor stood in his office, amid bows and holly,

And made a loud sound which was downright jolly

He laughed and he giggled and he cackled and howled

The noise was so contagious he’d soon attracted a crowd

And all of the elves starting laughing as well

A merry Christmas noise, better than jingle bells

 

So now Dr Jingle is at peace with the world

He’ll cure all your maladies — just say the word

There’s no diagnostic dilemma this doc can’t crack

And he’ll do so with a smile, or a giggle, or laugh

His merriment makes all who meet him rejoice

For the Christmas miracle in which they’ve now joined

Demoness

In dark nightmares

She comes alive

A demoness

I once defied

She haunts me still

Tempts me with sin

But she is a fool

I won’t let her win

She might light fires

With matches of lies

Catching all sinners

By surprise

But she won’t catch me

For I don’t care

Take a look in my heart

You won’t find her there

To the Angel Gabriel

To the Angel Gabriel, who came in a dream ,

And cautioned that hope is something between

Mistrust and despair, a cousin of sorts,

For well-meaning actions can become the worst

Don’t dare to dream, and don’t hope too far

Lest we all later turn out to be worse than we are

All this he told me, in a dream’s foggy midst,

Leaving only when he sighted the dawn’s first kiss

To the Angel Gabriel, whose words gave me pause

Rather than seek meaning, I looked for their cause

Why this disclosure? Why me, why now?

When should I use them? With whom, and how?

Hope is so beautiful — why would I take care

With something so different from mistrust, despair

What was I missing? Somehow, had I erred?

I scoured through my life, but I was not prepared

For the crises I saw which only now came to light

For the wrongs I was doing, thinking them rights

And that sent me into a frenzy, trying to fix

All of the mistakes I somehow had missed

To the Angel Gabriel, I thank for your words

Though at first, I’ll admit, I thought them absurd

You helped me escape a Hell in disguise

And taught me to craft my own Paradise

And I am most grateful for that which you’ve done

You saved me from war before the battle’d begun

You showed me the truth by granting release

Your light guided me to find my own peace