! A C*******s - Well, Ok, Seasonal - Plea.. Poem by Michael Shepherd

! A C*******s - Well, Ok, Seasonal - Plea..

Rating: 3.6

Art brings a smile and a message.
Thus the art of ‘Christmas’ cards…
(and I use the word loosely,
as its public use is now disapproved…)

A folded card: that’s four smallish sides to fill.
An appropriate seasonal smile on Page One;
Page Two requires nothing,
blank but room for something else to say
in lieu of that family catch-up print-out page
your children will have helped with; or maybe not..

Page Three offers a seasonal message – but
watch out these days – ‘you can’t use
THAT for THEM…’ oh of course, they’re,
what exactly? Crypto-Buddhists?
Lapsed Amish? Richard Dawkins and
his, er, dour or smiling family ?

Page Four – the great let-out
for the card’s – and implicitly your –
abysmal grey vapidity…
it’s a charity card!
No money for the Hallmark millionaires!

So spare a thought this season, for
those who have to choose those
cards for charities…

non-denominational, non-racist,
politically correct but only in
a negative sense – no dolphins
or humpback whales with an
ambivalent Monna Lisa smile:
your Japanese friends might sense a slight…

For suspected closet Christians
where the charity’s along those lines,
it’s back to symbol and the catacombs
and secret worshippers – perhaps
a burning nightlight, hinting
faith, in outer, inner, darkness?

or if that’s risky, then the January snowdrop,
suggesting hope, continuance..
for children’s charities, you can risk
a teddy bear – so far, no pulpit East or West
has denounced him as a capitalist, or as
American as Roosevelt…or an
endangered species thus dismissed…

but keep the smiling children off the card..
their faces might betray leanings
towards skin-colour preference,
adoption difficulties…

The 25 charities who have grouped together
as the '1959 Group’ have risked this year
a Santa, face hidden but for pinkish nose…
cavorting on the ice, accompanied
by an antlered orchestra;
I guess the charities for multiple schlerosis,
epilepsy, autism, lifeboats, have agreed…
the rink-edge board behind him coyly
says ‘Merr….stmas’…hmmm, close thing…

The glorious sunlit barn-end in the snow
of a Massachusetts farm, ‘printed in USA,
finished in Canada’…uh? … tells us that
the year moves round; nature, seasons, farm work
always with us; as it was in Bethlehem;
how sweet the fresh, clean manger smells!

we turn as always, to Page Three;
where heart warms heart with written words;
taste, politics, social obligation,
have no place here; it’s simply, love.

Alison Cassidy 25 December 2007

I recall my dear old mother's words 'but Malcolm, what will people think? ' and my father's determination to deliberately shock'em all. A plethora of gentle gibes make this poem a great pre/post? Christmas giggle. Happy Christmas Michael. love, Allie xxxx

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Danny Reynolds 22 December 2007

You're such a card Michael, very sharp too. Danny (Merry CHRISTMAS)

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Tom J. Mariani 22 December 2007

Good job of taking apart the traditional Christmas Card. I will never look at one the same again. I'll be checking for 'hidden messages.' Tom

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Michael Shepherd

Marton, Lancashire
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