A Christmas in Wales

Poets post their works-in-progress here for crit and commentary. We want poets who are serious about getting their work published.
Post Reply
Message
Author
FranktheFrank
Posts: 1282
Joined: 02 Mar 2016, 18:07
Location: Between the mountains and the sea

A Christmas in Wales

#1 Post by FranktheFrank » 17 Jul 2018, 21:04

Looking through my bedroom window, out into the moonlight and the unending
smoke-coloured snow, I could see the lights in the windows of all the other houses
on our hill and hear the music rising from them up the long, steady falling night.
I turned the gas down, I got into bed. I said some words to the close and holy
darkness, and then I slept.

Dylan Thomas, A Child's Christmas in Wales


When the wind came from the north
it brought a freeze, Jack frost panes
and icicles that hung from the water closet
like fairy castles. Lead pipes burst
without the oil lamp, just to take the chill.
When the Simoom reached us from Morocco
the town awoke to a covering of fine red dust,
and to the piping of swallows feeding on the wing.

Carols on purple evenings, breath whispers
in crystallised air. The parlour set with tangerines,
brazil nuts, pagan mistletoe, holly, and a fir tree
with needles that dropped a perfume of the forest.

Mam placed a star in the window that shone
through to epiphany. A table set with caramelised
dates from Morocco, Turkish Delight from Birmingham,
export chocolates sealed with tarred paper
in a box the size of a Van Gogh painting.
Boxes wrapped in glitter paper sealed for that day.

Dad staggered home under the weight
of a bird, so large the bakers has to roast it.
A pudding boiled weeks earlier with sprig centre,
a cake studded with almonds,
and the indulgent smell of vanilla.

Christmas morning at St Paul's,
its stone walls bereft of warmth,
pure religion reduced to a form.

The meal served with sausages, sage
and onion stuffing, roast potatoes
in goose grease, roast parsnips,
bacon drapes, the neck laid
around the side of the serving
dish, obligatory sprouts,
mashed potato, topped with gravy,
the sacrificial bird eaten like the Lamb.

The year gone, past, all our differences
forgotten, time to reflect, to forgive,
a day of peace. Gifts, carnal,
a token of love shed,
the Son of Man.





******




When the north wind blew it brought chaos,
iced up windows, frost, and icicles that hung
from the ty bach. Lead pipes burst as soon
as the temperature dropped a little, then floods
ensued. When the Simoom blew from the west,
from beyond the Alboran Sea, the town awoke
to a covering of fine red dust and to the sounds
of swallows and swifts piping, feeding, on the wind.

Carols on purple evenings, breath-whispers in crystal air.
The parlour set with tangerines, Brazil nuts, pagan mistletoe,
holly, and a fir tree with needles that infused the perfume
of the forest. A star shines on to epiphany, set as witness
to passers-by, a table set with caramelised dates from Morocco,
Turkish Delight from Cadburys, Birmingham, export chocolates
wrapped in tarred paper and set in a box the size of a Van Gogh.
Gifts wrapped in glitter paper, sealed for that day.

Dad staggered home under the weight of a bird, so huge
the baker had to roast A pudding boiled weeks earlier,
sprig centre. A cake studded with almonds, filled the room
with an indulgent vanilla aroma. Christmas morning at St Paul's,
its stone walls bereft of warmth, pure religion reduced to a form.
The meal served with sausage, sage and onion stuffing, roast
parsnips in goose grease, bacon drapes the turkey, its neck laid
around the serving dish, obligatory sprouts, mashed potato,
all topped with gravy

The year gone, past, our differences forgotten,
time to reflect, to forgive, a day of peace.
The sacrifice made, the gift accepted, love heralds
entrance of our Paschal Lamb, the Son of Man.




ty bach [Welsh] = outhouse an euphemism for the lavatory.
Bach pronounced as a soft 'ch' sound as in the composer's name.
*****




. . . in Wales, the north wind brought chaos, icy
windows, frost, and icicles hanging from the ty bach
lead pipes burst when the temperature dropped.
When the Simoom blew from the west, from beyond
the Alboran Sea, the town awoke to a covering
of red dust and swathes of swallows piping on the wing.

Carols on purple evenings, breath-whispers in crystal air.
The parlour set with tangerines, Brazil nuts, pagan mistletoe,
holly, and a fir tree with needles that infuse the perfume
of the forest. A star shines on to epiphany, set in witness
for passers-by, a table set with caramelised dates from Morocco,
Turkish delight from Cadburys, Birmingham, export chocolates
in a box the size of a Van Gogh. Gifts wrapped in glitter paper,
sealed for that day.

Dad staggered home under the weight of a bird, so huge the baker
has to roast. A pudding boiled weeks earlier, sprig centre, a cake
studded with almonds, infusing the room with a vanilla aroma.
Christmas morning at St Paul's, its stone walls bereft of warmth,
pure religion reduced to a form. The meal served with sausage, sage
and onion stuffing, roast parsnips in goose grease, bacon drapes
the turkey, its neck laid around the serving dish, obligatory
sprouts, mashed potato, topped with gravy

The year gone, past, our differences forgotten,
time to reflect, to forgive, a day of peace.
The sacrifice made, the gift accepted, love heralds
entrance of our Paschal Lamb, the Son of Man.






*****




in Wales, a north wind brought chaos,
freezing temperatures, icy windows,
frost, and icicles hanging from the ty bach.
Lead pipes would burst at the first drop
in temperature, when Simoom blew
its thousands miles the town awoke
to a covering of red dust and the sound
of flocks of swallows.

Carols on purple evenings
breath whispers in crystal air.
The parlour set with tangerines, brazil nuts,
pagan mistletoe, holly, and a fir tree
with needles that drop perfume of the forest.

A star shines on through to epiphany
set in the window for passers-by to see,
a table set with caramelised dates from Morocco,
Turkish delight from Cadburys, Birmingham,
export chocolates in a box the size
of a Van Gogh. Gifts wrapped
in glitter paper, sealed for that day.

Dad staggered under the weight
of a bird, so big the baker has to roast
A pudding boiled
weeks earlier, sprig centre,
a cake studded with almonds,
and a heavenly smell of vanilla.

Christmas morning at St Paul's,
its stone walls bereft of warmth.
Pure religion reduced to a form.

The meal served with sausage, sage
and onion stuffing, roast potatoes
in goose grease, parsnips,
bacon drapes, the turkey neck
laid around the serving
platter, obligatory sprouts,
mashed potato, topped with gravy,
the sacrificial bird eaten like the Lamb.

The year gone, past, all our rows
forgotten, time to reflect, to forgive,
the one day of peace. Gifts
carnal, a token of the love shed
for mankind by the Son of Man.

FranktheFrank
Posts: 1282
Joined: 02 Mar 2016, 18:07
Location: Between the mountains and the sea

Re: A Christmas in Wales

#2 Post by FranktheFrank » 26 Jul 2018, 14:11

Pom elevated

FranktheFrank
Posts: 1282
Joined: 02 Mar 2016, 18:07
Location: Between the mountains and the sea

Re: At Christmas - revised

#3 Post by FranktheFrank » 18 Aug 2018, 11:49

Poem revised.

Kenneth2816
Posts: 750
Joined: 01 Jun 2008, 09:17

Re: At Christmas - revised

#4 Post by Kenneth2816 » 18 Aug 2018, 19:19

The first six lines are not on par with thr exquisite and delicious detail of rebalance of the poem. There are many exotic and unexpected images here, so that I think one or two lines depicting the ravages of the weathe
*before* the swallowa and red dust,
would advance the poem.

Difficult to make a poem on a topic covered millions of times, interesting.
You succeed with fresh imagery.

I might question the lamb, and love shed as being more Easter than Christmas and possibly trade them for a reference to ths birth celebrated

BobBradshaw
Posts: 904
Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03

Re: At Christmas - revised

#5 Post by BobBradshaw » 18 Aug 2018, 20:57

You do have some nice imagery, as in the first stanza

Lead pipes would burst at the first drop
in temperature, whereas when Simoom blew
nineteen hundred miles the town awoke
to a covering of red dust and the sound
of tens of thousands of swallows.

FranktheFrank
Posts: 1282
Joined: 02 Mar 2016, 18:07
Location: Between the mountains and the sea

Re: Christmas - revised

#6 Post by FranktheFrank » 19 Aug 2018, 03:35

Thank you very much, in our house,
maybe erroniously, the neck was called the
parson's nose, I think we were being polite.
And it sounds so much better than, the neck.

FranktheFrank
Posts: 1282
Joined: 02 Mar 2016, 18:07
Location: Between the mountains and the sea

Re: Christmas in Wales [Revision 3]

#7 Post by FranktheFrank » 24 Aug 2018, 12:59

Revised again, thanks for the comments.

BobBradshaw
Posts: 904
Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03

Re: Christmas in Wales [Revision 3]

#8 Post by BobBradshaw » 24 Aug 2018, 20:34

I like this shortened version. I esp. love the "swallows and swifts piping". There is a stray "e" in the first stanza, at the end of a line:

floods e

Enjoyed...Bob

FranktheFrank
Posts: 1282
Joined: 02 Mar 2016, 18:07
Location: Between the mountains and the sea

Re: A Christmas in Wales

#9 Post by FranktheFrank » 14 Sep 2018, 21:34

My final version, going back to basics.
My offering for September. I hope
it is eligible.

Post Reply

Return to “Writer's Block - Where The Poets Hang”