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Christmas - A Despatch From The Battlefield Of The Heart - Poem by Michael Shepherd

Christmas is a-comin’ – but
this goose is gettin’ thin…

why do I feel I’m in the dock
of some unauthorised court of moral judgment
with the prospect of spending New Year
in some condemned cell of
personal opinion remarkably similar to
a Dickensian prison now electrified in just one wing…?

Forget the whole giving-presents thing – that’s
relatively simple – it’s those bloody
Christmas cards. Sent yours yet?

I’m with the angels on this one –
peace on earth and goodwill to all, uh,
persons… I’m fully paid up on
this one – so – can we stick with that?
or do we have to prove it with
a ready-printed message once a year?

It’s Christmas, dammit – maybe my year-round goodwill
is equalled by the whole other lot of you out there?
in which case, can we just take that as read,
a universal love-in on a level playing field?

It’s the subtext – ‘I’ve forgotten your personal existence
all the year, but look – Goody Two-Shoes is sending this
to show you up – and I’m posting it
so late that short of posting in the press
one of those announcements that say
‘This year Mr and Mrs Smith are sending
a donation to charity in place of the many Christmas cards
they would have sent to their many friends…’ – or
a postcard,
‘Now we’re back from our Antarctic trip,
Happy New Year! ’ you’re too late to reply…’
which means?

Or there's the subtext
'We're sending you a very
religious card with just the faintest hint that
although you may not have noticed it
when we had that blazing row
across the fence which has
simmered on all year, nevertheless
we're really more - well, everything -
than you bastards - however
this puts us, spiritually,
one up...'

‘Darling, Christmas cards – who sent us one
last year? ’ – say no more…

‘No, we hadn’t quite forgotten you
in case you thought we had, and
I bet it’s mutual? ’ cards, tastefully
designed, be more fun? or

'Why should we even know your
name and address if we
hadn't once thought you worth loving and
if so, why should that change? '

I reckon one acid test for those you love
is, only think of sending cards to
those you’d think of phoning on
Christmas Eve or Christmas Day – and then,
do just that – no need to send a card as well?

Oh well, any excuse to say, I love you.. especially
if we mean it...

so, anyone who reads this (apart from those
who only read to check whether they’d
sent us one too) –

If an individual can claim to share
that universal love which, do we need reminding,
should live our lives for us all the year round,
please feel my universal love
blazing, blazing, towards you…

…‘what’s that, darling? Oh yes, I suppose
we’d better send them one, in case
they think we’d forgotten them… which evidently
we had, hadn’t we…? ’

Have a happy holiday and
a loving New Year full of peace

No really I mean it

Comments about Christmas - A Despatch From The Battlefield Of The Heart by Michael Shepherd

  • Gold Star - 9,611 Points A. Madhavan (12/23/2015 9:49:00 PM)

    I too have tried to write poems, prose and verse (with scanned syllables and proper end rhymes
    and fractional 'internal rhymes'): I tried humour too, but did not raise many smiles, only one or
    two scoff-laughs. I think it is harder to write straight prose than iambic or other beats or even
    blank verse. Perhaps this 'Despatch' could be presented to the Card-weary bard-teary readers.
    Wish all friends a happy Year ahead. (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Veteran Poet - 1,353 Points Ernestine Northover (12/13/2005 3:32:00 PM)

    Why is it Michael, that the ones you cross off your list, are the first cards you receive in the post. Horrendous isn't it. Somehow you can't seem to shorten the list. One family we try so hard to lose, always phones us on Christmas Day, and talks, on and on and on. We argue as to who is going to talk with them. Shudder! ! ! ! ! ! Very good poem though, it's so true, and yet we are all held to ransom by these bits of paper. Love Ernestine XXX (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Rusty Daily (12/13/2005 8:06:00 AM)


    I'm with you on the phone call thing. Told the wife we aren't sending a card to our second cousins wife's brother-in-law's dog this year. The cat, maybe.
    As always your insight is right on.
    Rusty (Report) Reply

Read all 5 comments »

Poems About Christmas

  1. 51. Christmas - A Despatch From The Battlefi.. , Michael Shepherd
  2. 52. The Mistletoe (A Christmas Tale) , Mary Darby Robinson
  3. 53. The Christmas Goose , William Topaz McGonagall
  4. 54. (724) Christmas With All The Little.. , Melvina Germain
  5. 55. Christmas In Australia , Victor James Daley
  6. 56. Christmas Day , John Keble
  7. 57. Because Of Christmas Day........... , Ravi Sathasivam
  8. 58. On Christmas Eve , William Wilfred Campbell
  9. 59. Christmas , Julia Ann Moore
  10. 60. Christmas Antiphones , Algernon Charles Swinburne
  11. 61. (729) Christmas Gift To All , Melvina Germain
  12. 62. No Christmas Tree Where It Should Be , David Keig
  13. 63. A Christmas Fancy , Robert Fuller Murray
  14. 64. First Sunday After Christmas , John Keble
  15. 65. A Christmas Gift. , Geoff Warden
  16. 66. (708) Joy Of Christmas , Melvina Germain
  17. 67. (725) Christmas Treasures , Melvina Germain
  18. 68. The Christmas Beetle , Leon Gellert
  19. 69. Christmas Presents , Uriah Hamilton
  20. 70. A Christmas Eve , Victor James Daley
  21. 71. ’tis Christmas Eve , Dr. A.Celestine Raj Manohar ..
  22. 72. Christmas Part 1 - Christmas Tree , David Harris
  23. 73. The Christmas Homes Of England , Caroline Hayward
  24. 74. Juleaftenen (Christmas Eve ) , Henrik Wergeland
  25. 75. "Christmas Thoughts&Quot; , Harold R. Fishel
  26. 76. Christmas Even , Mathilde Blind
  27. 77. A Christmas Without God , David Keig
  28. 78. Christmas , Marchette Chute
  29. 79. The Christmas Tree , Robert William Service
  30. 80. For Christmas Day In The Morning , Anonymous Americas
  31. 81. The Trapper's Christmas Eve , Robert William Service
  32. 82. Christmas Tears , Lee Degnan
  33. 83. A Christmas Hymn , Alfred Domett
  34. 84. A Christmas Letter From Australia , Douglas Brooke Wheelton Sladen
  35. 85. 1007 Father Christmas - Christmas Father , John Knight
  36. 86. Second Sunday After Christmas , John Keble
  37. 87. True Meaning Of Christmas , Eugene W. Miller
  38. 88. Once Upon A Christmas Day , Joseph T. Renaldi
  39. 89. 0016 Christmas Rose - A Spell , Michael Shepherd
  40. 90. Christmas Day , Paul Moosberg
  41. 91. The Czar's Last Christmas Letter: A Barn.. , Norman Dubie
  42. 92. I Found Christmas (X'Mas) , Cecelia Weir
  43. 93. Christmas Together , Mary Nagy
  44. 94. Christmas Magic , Marjorie Foster Fleming
  45. 95. Christmas , Abigaile Housemans
  46. 96. Christmas Part 3 - Christmas Day , David Harris
  47. 97. Something About Christmas , Joseph T. Renaldi
  48. 98. The Meaning Of Christmas , Dr. A.Celestine Raj Manohar ..
  49. 99. For Christmas Day, Hark! The Herald Ange.. , Martin Madan
  50. 100. Christmas Roses , Kathleen Cooper
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