Ghosts of Christmas

They politely exercise their prero

-gatives by     sitting on our beds

when we crack open an urgent

eye to begin the day. They come

to us in each piece of wrapping 

paper and gift, the stockings on

the mantelpiece breaking open

wounds and joys and hurts and 

crazy memories of floundering


in snow, or singing hymns in

a cold church, with a blowing

organ reviving the hearts and

hearing their voices we may be

gladdened or grown disturbed.


They are there in the mince pies

and tight waist bands, the sixpence

in the pudding or watching from

the tree where the wrinkled tinsel

is worn thin with long use. By the


glass of wine another one waits

and smiles at the champagne, for

those bubbles are surely as old

as the hills, and blind us to every

old ill; that comes with those thin

faces from yesterday’s Christmases.

They seldom stay long; but enough

to raise merry memories, or of a 

heart burnt in the flames, not of 



of life’s random acts of cruelty.

White Supremacy

Its competitiveness that daunts

the faint hearted, bullied into a 

dark place where submission is

heroic and the soul crushed by 

their insistence and persistence 

pushing them further into the 

darkness. Then, white skinned 

see only their own worth and 

break down the barriers of 

investment port folios and 

grab at the next chance to 

show their narrow eyed

prejudices to shore

up their self esteem..

The Shepherds

Did the star, so bright, kill the night?

The baby silent in submission to the

hands of unloved men and women?

Did angels hover and sing so sweetly?

Filling the sky with their susurration,

articulating the glory of an organic God?


Did Mary know that the sweat, pain

and agony of giving birth; was just the

beginning of his? Pain filled parturition 

of an embryo space where no-one need

protest, or claim difference or worthiness?

A love-in that shelters, equals and seeks

to redeem the bound world’s corruption.


The Shepherds knew. His life was like

their sheep, full of potential and then

the slaughter, the bloom of red 

spreading out to cover the blindness

of those; who saw their own images

and sought a sacrifice to cover their greed.

A Letter to Santa

I’ve written my letter and sent you my note,

he’s bound to see just what I wrote,

its not a lot but I’m sure he’ll see

that all these things are not for me.


Dear Santa, please may I have a big box

of peace, homes and hope along with my socks,

a jigsaw of food for all empty hands,

and drinking water in all of the lands.


Please will you take those who harm kids,

and put them in crates with very heavy lids,

and all those leaders who are pow! power mad

please, stop them because they are so very bad.


Please, stop climate change injustice,

regrow trillions of trees and lots of ice

help all people everywhere to finally see

that plastic does not belong in the seething sea.


Please Santa, we are so very very stuck,

and we turn all God’s beauty into muck.

I am afraid that everything is going to pot,

please, please,

place in my stocking all of this lot.

Oh the Children!

I was a hiding again in the cupboard,

they had started again and the grinding

hatred was spat out in words and then

he hit her, over and over. I heard her

moans and then screams and then all

went silent and I’d wet myself again.


I stayed still and silent hoping that he

wouldn’t look for me and let me know

again how loathsome and babylike I

was and how he hates us all; and then

he will collapse like a balloon bursting,

and his snoring engulf us all. I held on


and then I heard the shuffling and moaning

and knew that he had crumpled, for a 

moment we were safe from his vile venom.

I crept out and nearly screamed when I

saw her bloodied and broken face. She

was holding her arm and I knew that we

would take the bus and go to the hospital.


There, they would patch her up and ask

her questions, but she would never give

any real answers. She pointed to my wet 

trousers and I slipped afraid upstairs and 

changed and washed them out and hung

them over the cold rusting radiator in my


little bedroom. Then she covered her 

head with a scarf and put on a virus face 

mask. After taking my shaking hand she 

left the house and we ran down to-

gether down to the bus stop. The driver

looked at her suspiciously but 

she paid for the ticket to St Anne’s.


We sat in a small room and they came

and took her away for X-rays and 

a lady wearing a pink jumper came

and showed me some pictures. She 

asked me to choose one that was like

my house. I pointed to the one that 

was collapsed and had peeling wall-

paper, dirty carpets and bare shelves.


Touching my arm, she asked me to choose

a picture of my Mum. That was easy 

as they had one of a lady who was

dressed in bandages. Then I saw that

there was a picture like my Dad. He 

was angry and his fist was bigger than 

his head. I shrank down, 

hid my head,

and cried. 

The Consolation of Waiting

Waiting in the sun breathed stone, the candle

flame flickering in the breath of the minds that

flew to realms unmet, unknown. Fear

filled my heart as I watched the glow of light

illuminating the darkness within me.


I saw those things,

I hide from others,

as stark and grasping.

Their noisy voices overwhelmed me

and I cried out wounded by sharp knives.


It rests on me. A touch, like the

caress of a gentle, warming breeze.

My heart stills and time slows,

the boundaries of my flesh dissolve 

and the solid worn sofa beneath 

softens and fades, I am because God is. 

There eternity holds  me. And I, 

aware of being for that moment 

in grace, opened myself to that 

kindling I sought, 

something that 

brought me 

the comfortable

knowledge that 

somehow somewhere a 

being rests on us, 

sheltering us with 

lit love.

Money for Mates

They strut across the living stage,

gambling and grabbing their dues 

knowing no one will knock them down.


Each malicious intention formulated,

breaking laws and procedures, wearing

smiles for the media, while back-handing


their mountebank mates with contracts,

and bank balances while the hammered 

poor stare, starv and beg for crumbs.


Why is it always the poor; who carry the

cross while the rich beat them with tax

cuts and mean monopolies to doom them?


Will no one stand against such greed and

arrogant congenital corruption? For it is

in doing nothing we give our