Tag Archives: Christmas poems

Empty Stocking

 

Empty Stocking

Early in September, below the slippery slide,
Ella McLauglin asked me if I would step aside
and let her have a turn at it before I took another,
and since I looked around and couldn’t see her older brother,
I said no girls could play on it. This slide was just for “men,”
then bounded up the ladder and slid on down again.

Later, In October,  I thought it would be fun
to raid our neighbor’s pumpkin patch, to smash them and then run.
Some friends wanted to help me, but I wielded the bat.
Those pumpkins all exploded with such a lovely “splat!”
Mr. Cramer chased us, but he fell and hit his head,
and by the time he reached our house, I was snug in bed!

At the beginning of November, right after Halloween,
I opened sister’s window and removed the screen.
I found her bag of candy, making off with all the best,
leaving her with licorice and apples and the rest
left over after I had taken chocolates and  toffee.
What I left? The gross flavors like cinnamon and coffee!

But for all of December, I remembered to be good.
Mom had said that Santa kept accounts and that he would 
know if I was naughty, so I knew this was the time
when I needed to be perfect—the very paradigm
of virtue, yet in spite of this, I must sadly relate
that all my efforts to reform simply came  too late.

It seems that I just waited too long in turning face.
You can’t just come in sliding tardily into base
when it comes to changing “naughty” check marks into “nice,”
for Santa checks his naughty list more than once or twice.
Next Christmas I am going to be sure that I remember,
that Santa also checks the months that lead up to December!

 

 

Only two prompts  had been posted by 4 a.m. this morning when I was ready for a rhyming.  Those prompt words were slide and paradigm. Here are their links:
https://fivedotoh.com/2019/05/12/fowc-with-fandango-slide/
https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2019/05/12/your-daily-word-prompt-paradigm-may-12-2019/

Tropical Christmas Agenda

 

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Tropical Christmas Agenda

I’m tired of snowy and of cold.
I prefer weather less bold.
Forget the frost. Forget the ice.
Some trade winds would be rather nice.
Sand and surf would hit the spot
in a place where snow is not.
More intrigue near the steaming beach.
Romance is somehow more in reach,
perhaps because sans scarf and mitten
the chance for one to be more smitten
over vast amounts of skin
creates a greater chance of sin.

And so, so much for Nordic pleasures.
I prefer the island treasures
of a fresh pina colada
over the yada yada yada
of another Christmas season
so devoid of charm and reason.
Keep your presents and your nog,
your carols and your Yule log.
I choose a hammock and a book
and swimsuit for my Christmas look.

The prompt words are intrigue, snowy and frost.  Here are the links:
https://fivedotoh.com/2018/12/23/fowc-with-fandango-intrigue/
https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/12/23/your-daily-word-prompt-snowy-December-23-2018/
https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/12/23/frost/

Skipping out on Christmas

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Skipping out on Christmas

Who cares if it is dark and dismal
and the weather is abysmal.
Why don’t we leave and take a walk.
We need to have a little talk.
If we’re lucky we might get lost
in this weather tempest-tossed
and have to find a little pub
to loft a glass and eat some grub.

Sure, at home the food is free,
but at home is also family!
Grandpa’s drunk and Grandma’s scolding.
Mother’s busy triple-folding
napkins into Christmas trees
and worrying Aunt Beck will sneeze
into the cranberries again,
‘cuz bird without them is a sin.

The kids are wrestling and biting,
as usual, their acts inciting
scolding mother, shouting father.
I always wonder why they bother
to gather every  holiday?
Once all the tawdry facts I weigh,
I wonder why they come together
every year, despite the weather.

So come on. Put your muffler on.
They’ll barely notice that we’re gone.
We won’t be yelled at, questioned, bossed.
I’ll pay the bill, whate’er the cost.
I need that extra Christmas cheer
that can be purchased beer by beer,
as we ponder that conundrum dumb
of why, each year, we also come!

Here are the prompt words and links:

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/11/27/rdp-tuesday-walk/
https://fivedotoh.com/2018/11/27/fowc-with-fandango-leave/
https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/11/27/dismal/
https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/11/27/your-daily-word-prompt-lost-November-27-2018/

 

Black Friday


Black Friday

Overwhelmed by shopping, I stay sealed up in my house.
When it comes to competition, I’m as timid as a mouse.
The melody of shopping ads swirl around my head,
but it’s a dubious offering. I’d rather stay in bed.

First stores opened at 9 a.m., then opened up at 6.
Shoppers camped outside all night to have the choicest picks.
When Kohl’s, Macy’s and Best Buy decided to open earlier,
Full of turkey, deprived of sleep, the crowds got even surlier.

Midnight is no time, my friend, to be out and shopping.
After feasting all Thanksgiving day, it’s time for rest and stopping.
Instead, the minute the bird’s picked clean,
they start the “Holiday” machine.

Shoppers trip over display elves
to get to fully-laden shelves.
Christmas trees drop balls and sway,
unequal to this shopping fray.

In a season meant to swell the heart,
good bargains may be ripped apart
by buyers intent on competing—
herds of sheep milling and bleating.

On Thursday, we give thanks for all
we’ve been given, then have the gall
at midnight, to swarm out the door
to hit the mall and buy some more!

You can hear the fuss and roar
the minute you approach each store.
Shoving, elbowing and gripping.
You can hear the garments ripping!

But I remember days of yore
long before the blood and gore,
when Christmas “giving” was more laid back—
a doll for Jill, a train for Jack

purchased from Sear’s catalogue,
or “Monkey Wards.” Perhaps a dog
or kitten in a wiggling box.
Perfume for Mom. For Dad? Some sox.

And it was done. No buying fury.
No fuss or bother, strain or hurry.
“Good will to men” the Christmas reason
before big stores usurped the season!

Steve Cutts has made a wonderful animated film that perfect illustrates this poem.  You can see it HERE.

The prompt words today were shop, melody, dubious and overwhelm.  Somehow they seemed to want to come together to produce this poem. Here are the links. Tell us what they say to you!

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/11/23/rdp-friday-shop/
https://fivedotoh.com/2018/11/23/fowc-with-fandango-melody/
https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/11/23/dubious/
https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/11/23/your-daily-word-prompt-overwhelm-November-23-2018/

Christmastime Construction Blues

Christmastime Construction Blues

Two weeks of this insanity,
computer balanced on my knee,
desk packed under a canopy
with all I own? A tragedy!

Two weeks of the cacophony
of saw and chisel harmony.
Two weeks since I’ve been tile-dust-free,
yet still the end I do not see.

I lay here in a reverie,

dreaming of my Christmas tree,
but I fear it will never be
with all this mess surrounding me.

Chafing with the indignity,
I call my contractor, but he
merely tells me “I fear we
must order more tile,”—a travesty!

In boxes are a panoply
of ornaments from A to Z,
yet this year I fear they’ll not be
hung on any Christmas tree!

The prompt word today was “panoply.”

(Click on first photo to enlarge all and see captions.)

A Christmas Gift for You All!

A Christmas Gift for You All!!!

I have been combing my brain trying to think of some gift I could give you all to thank you for your support over the past year and it suddenly occurred to me that I had the perfect one already made. Below, I am presenting my entire Christmas storybook, minus the pictures (except for one) in the hope that you will read it aloud to someone you love this Christmas. 

The other day I got a fan letter from the uncle of a two-year-old who laughs out loud every time they mention Aunt Knox and demanded that it be read to her every night for three nights in a row.  (What has happened since then, I do not know.) I also received a video of an 8-year-old reading it aloud (without faltering over one word) except, with typical 8-year-old humor, he substituted “spanking” for the word “sox” every time, in spite of the protestations of his Grandma. His younger brother thought he was hilarious, so perhaps it was a kid thing.

So, here it is, my present to you.  What you do in the way of altering it to suit your own brand of humor is up to you.  I am also including one illustration so you can get a mental image of Aunt Knox! The cover is pictured on my “Children’s Books” page on this blog if you crave seeing one more illustration by the talented Isidro Xilonzóchitl. There are 16 in all in the book.  He did have fun with the gift-listing ones!!

I also just received his illustrations for our next book, which I hope will be out by April.

Copyright© Judy Dykstra-Brown, 2014. (please do not transmit in its entirety in any form. If you wish to reprint an excerpt, please include a pingback to the original.)

Sock Talk
(A Christmas Story)

by
Judy Dykstra-Brown

I’d heard the story many times
of Great Aunt Knox’s beastly crimes—
toward Mom, who, as a kid like me
was as upset as she could be
whenever she received a box
from her Aunt Knox.

For, in tinsel or in birthday wrap,
in ribbon or in mailing strap,
whatever it came wrapped up in,
whatever the gift could have been,
twice a year from her Aunt Knox,
my mom got sox.

I wished that I could have some talks
with this Aunt Knox.
“Aunt Knox,” I’d say while we were talking,
“a Christmas gift goes in a stocking,
not the other way around.
Stockings never should be found
inside a present,
’cause it’s not pleasant
to wait and wait and wait and wait
for the proper opening date
just to open up a box
of sox!”

Of course, these talks were all imaginary.
I was never even very
sure of whether Great Aunt Knox was still alive.
I didn’t know how long a great aunt could survive.
So when my mother got a letter
from Aunt Knox and said, “I’d better
ask her here, I haven’t seen her for so long.”
“I was wrong,”
I thought, “the dread Aunt Knox
still walks!”
And when Aunt Knox called up to say
she’d visit us for Christmas day,
I knew that this would be the year
I’d bend her ear.

I went to buy Aunt Knox perfume
and put fresh flowers in my room.
I’d even give Aunt Knox my bed
and sleep upon the floor instead.
But it was still hard to believe
that in our house on Christmas Eve
I’d finally have those long-planned talks
with my Aunt Knox.

Blog Sock Talk

I’d never met Aunt Knox before,
but when I met her at the door,
she gave my nose a playful tweak,
and ruffed my hair and kissed my cheek.
(Aunt Knox’s kiss was surely wet.)
She asked me what I hoped to get
for Christmas. Then she pulled me near
and cupped her ear.

“She’s kind of deaf,” my mother said,
So I got right up beside her head
and shouted to my Auntie Knox,
“I wouldn’t mind a bird that talks,
a sand pail or a music box,
a robot that both speaks and walks,
a diary with keys and locks,
a tumbler that can polish rocks,
some overalls or painters’ smocks,

but you know what?” I said, “Aunt Knox,
when I rip into a box,
It seems as bad as chickenpox
to just get sox.”

I asked her if she understood.
She smiled and said she surely could.
She asked what else and bent her head
closer to me, so I said,
“I’d like lots of other things:
paints, crayons, ruby rings,
a horse, a Barbie doll, some books,
a new toy oven that really cooks,
a ball, some blocks, a jigsaw puzzle,
a baby crocodile with muzzle,
bubbles, bracelets, purses, beads,
comic books, sunflower seeds,
a kid’s Mercedes just my size,
or even a Crackerjack surprise
I could accept
except,
please,” (And here I gave her hand a squeeze,)
“please, please,
Aunt Knox,
don’t give me sox!”

She rose and said she’d heard enough,
although she’d missed some of the stuff
I’d said because she’s hard of hearing.
She said with Christmas quickly nearing,
she’d be off to do some shopping,
and she assured me she’d be stopping
for a special gift for me.

And sure enough, beneath the tree
that night there was a package wrapped,
my name on it. I poked and tapped.
I squeezed and shook it, poked its side,
but never could I quite decide
what it was. She wouldn’t say.
She said to wait till Christmas day.
At bedtime, though, she kissed my ear
and said, “It’s on your list, my dear.”

All night I lay upon the floor
listening to Aunt Knox snore.
I didn’t mind the noise at all
’cause I was sure she’d bought the doll.
And just before I fell to sleep
I prayed the Lord Aunt Knox to keep
safe from harm
and dry and warm.

On Christmas morning, while Aunt Knox dressed,
we pushed and prodded, shook and guessed
what was tied up in each bow.
And my Aunt Knox was surely slow.
I ran upstairs three times or four
and knocked and knocked upon her door
while Aunt Knox said that she’d be there
after she had curled her hair.

I thought Aunt Knox was never coming.
My brother drove me crazy drumming.
So when Dad joined in his prum prum prumming
I accidentally elbowed Roy
to the beat of “Little Drummer Boy.”
Then mother almost made me go
upstairs to bed again and so
our Christmas started sort of slow.

Then, finally, Aunt Knox came down
attired in her morning gown
to give my nose another tweak,
to ruff my hair and kiss my cheek—
a wet one, but I didn’t care,
’cause my Aunt Knox was finally there!
I grabbed my present from the tree,
the one Aunt Knox had bought for me.
Again, her words rang in my ear.
She’d said, “It’s on your list, my dear.”

I couldn’t wait to see in it.
I wondered what could be in it.
Perhaps it was a bird that talks,
a sand pail or a music box,
a robot that both speaks and walks,
a diary with keys and locks,
a tumbler that can polish rocks,
some overalls or painters’ smocks.
But when I opened up that box,
my Aunt Knox
had bought me sox!!!!

A dozen pair were there inside—
sox long,sox short, sox thin and wide.
The clock advanced by tics and tocks
as I glared up at mean Aunt Knox,
but I couldn’t think of a word to say
appropriate to Christmas day.

“Well, try them on,” my mother said,
but I just nudged the box instead.
I’d had such fantasies of dolls
and ruby rings and bowling balls.

Then Aunt Knox came and kissed my head.
She’d meant to give a doll, she said,
till she remembered that in our talks
she was sure I’d mentioned sox
many times, while she could not recall
whether I had mentioned doll
at all.

“Why don’t you try them on, my dear?”
my Aunt Knox asked with awful cheer.
And she was grinning ear to ear
as she held out some sox with seals
emblazoned on their toes and heels.
I took them as my brother Roy
gleefully unwrapped his toy.
The robot that both speaks and walks
was what he got from Great Aunt Knox.

“Do try them on,” my mother said,
but I just stood and hung my head.
I could have gotten something great.
Instead, these sox would be my fate
forever, like a family curse.
I tried to think of something worse
but couldn’t. And I rued the day I’d had those talks
with my Aunt Knox.

Meanwhile, Mom was rifling through
sox red and yellow, pink and blue
to pull a pair of lumpy sox
from the bottom of my Christmas box.
“Why don’t you try these on?” she said.
The sox were gray with purple thread
around the legs—
the very dregs
of that whole gruesome box
of sox.

So I pulled on the seal-decked sox
held out to me by Auntie Knox.
I craved the robot Roy had got,
but sox were not too bad, I thought,
and clicked my heels and did a dance
to try to give those sox a chance.
I turned three somersaults in all,
then slid my sox on down the hall.
I stuck my sox up in the air
to show old Roy I didn’t care.

But pretty soon I said, “You know
there’s something in this stocking’s toe.”
I pulled it off and felt inside—
something round and not too wide,
something empty in the middle.
I pulled in out to solve the riddle
and while I thought I’d find some “thing,”
I found instead a ruby ring

Well, then I dove into that box,
reaching into piles of sox,
shaking out sox thin and wide,
seeing what could be inside.
I found a ball, some blocks, some beads,
a Barbie doll, sunflower seeds,
a diary with keys and locks,
a puzzle and a music box.
I shook out sox both short and long.
I shook out sox all morning long.
I finally shook out so much stuff
that even I had had enough—
almost.

I was only six back then,
but now that I am nearly ten,
every year my Auntie Knox
sends Roy bowling balls or blocks
She sent my dad a cuckoo clock.
She even sent my mom a wok.
Twice.
Sometimes she sends me something nice—
a robot or a music box—
but if I’m lucky, my Aunt Knox
sends me SOX!!!!!

And to all a good night!!

Sock Talk

Sock Talk

It’s Here! The first proof. It should be available on Amazon in print and Kindle versions within a week or two. This has been a looooong learning process, but two more (Sunup/Sundown Song and I Really Want A Puppy) are now formatted, awaiting illustrations. Going much more smoothly for the second and third books.