Father. Christmas


Slack-skinned, sofa-pinned giant.

Hunched, pasty-faced, wasted.

At the heart of that Christmas,

but on the edge.

Saying little, watching all,

Soaking in life and love,

as Death stalked him.


The Twelve Days of Christmas.

The voice that filled theatres

now painfully weak.

But he got his line out.

Almost falsetto

Eight Maids a milking.

Eight hearts a breaking,

Silently urging him on.

What do young doctors know

of an old man's spirit?

Eight maids a milking

Which stand for the Beatitudes.

Blessed are they who mourn.

The beautiful attitudes.

Dignity - courage and dignity.

While the axe is at the root,

while the body collapses beneath.

His Christmas gift - hiding his hatred

of illness and weakness,

to protect us.

Eight Maids a Milking

Most precious Christmas moment. 

The Twelve Days of Christmas.

He would see them out and five more,

and then no more.


When my time comes

I want to be like him.

I want a Christmas like that

to see me on my way,

to seeing him again.

◄ cause & effect

Hills in Winter ►


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Tue 13th Dec 2011 16:49

A very moving poem Dave, with D-Day coming at almost the same time as Christmas and which juxtaposition somehow makes death even more intolerable. I thought your use of the count down days was quite clever.

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Ray Miller

Mon 12th Dec 2011 20:04

Good poem, Dave. I like sofa-pinned, at the heart and on the edge.

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Laura Taylor

Mon 12th Dec 2011 10:02

Love this Dave - and for a change, everyone else did serious and I did funny for the Tudor book!

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Harry O'Neill

Sun 11th Dec 2011 22:00


I like the dot after Father in the title.

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Ann Foxglove

Sun 11th Dec 2011 18:33

Really good Dave - my Dad used to love Christmas too! This is very touching and poignant.

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Sun 11th Dec 2011 18:15

You have a way of capturing the bittersweet truth of witnessing those you love age... It left me feeling very sad, yet grateful.

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Andy N

Sun 11th Dec 2011 17:48

made me smile.. top stuff, dave. very well paced i felt.. hope you are well.. andy n

<Deleted User> (6315)

Sun 11th Dec 2011 14:55

Yes Dave, strikes a chord with me too, oh how I miss the man who was my dad.

This is a fantastic poem Dave, truly those from the heart, the honest ones stike the biggest chord.. :o)

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Fifi Fanshawe

Sun 11th Dec 2011 12:00

Oh, Dave, you've brought back such memories for me of my own father, who LOVED celebrating Christmas - and then one year he was

'At the heart of that Christmas,
but on the edge
Saying little, watching all,
Soaking in life and love,
as Death stalked him.

The voice...
now painfully weak.'

I remember his happiness of Christmases past and the love, warmth, generosity and good cheer he spread around.Thank you for bringing him back to me again today. x

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Anthony Emmerson

Sun 11th Dec 2011 11:16

Poignant, resonant and heartwarming. A "me" poem that should strike a chord with everyone.



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