Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Poem Contest

I'm afraid every year I get a little less excited about Christmas. It used to be pure magic to me, especially when I was very small, and once I was older it was the one time I could stop worrying about things and just be happy like I had been when I was little. Nowadays it's hard not to let it be just another day.

This year, though, I think it's been good. After all the bluster had passed by and the presents were unwrapped and the boys had gone to bed complete with visions of sugarplums, I stayed up late to clean up. Around two I decided I'd done all I was going to (this is not that impressive: my dad hadn't even gone ot bed till 12:30). So I turned out all the lights but the Christmas tree and sat looking at the tree and the creche, thinking about Christmas and the immense difference the Incarnation makes. I started to think about how my life needs to be changed by this. And so, by the time I went to bed, I felt that Christmas really had been worthwhile, that it had made a difference.

Still, I know that the whole Christmas season is still before us; there is still time to remember Christ; there is still time to change. I wanted to take the season to give an opportunity for us to rediscover Christmas through poetry. That is to say, I want to have a Christmas poem contest.

Here are the rules:

1. The poem must be written by you.

2. The poem must be about Christmas. It can be about the Incarnation itself, about the shepherds, the Magi, whatever, but it has to be Christmasy, and the real meaning of Christmas too. No Jingle Bells. Gathering together as a family stuff is okay, though. That is part of Christmas, although not the most important part.

3. It doesn't have to be written specifically for the contest. Any Christmas poems will do, no matter how long ago you wrote them.

4. Try to keep it to about 20 lines or less.

5. Each person can submit up to 3 poems, but please no more.

6. The winning poems will be posted on my blog with a link to your blog or website if you have one.

Any form is acceptable, although I warn you I'm biased toward formal verse. However, I have liked free verse in the past, provided it's actually good and not just random. The poems can be funny, serious, deep, whatever. I'll judge them as being good at what they are, not as being more entertaining or more spiritual.

You can email me your submissions at enchirdion1 at yahoo dot com, or leave them in the comment box. If you have other Christmas poems, not written by you but which you think I should post, please email them to me: I'm looking for some.

I hope this contest will help get both our creative and our spiritual juices flowing, and the finished poems will inspire us to think about Christmas more deeply. Let the contest begin!

Last Year's Triolet Contest

17 comments:

Ibid said...

Oh, I accept the challenge. I'll get on that. . .

Eventually

Anonymous said...

Hey Ibid - how about a haiku sequence on Medusa's first Christmas??? hee hee I've never laughed quite that hard at any poem (except perhaps GKC's modern poet one). So I look forward to reading your new stuff.

(Medusa... hm. Talk about "conversion" stories. And on this ROCK... hee hee)

And Sheila, I'll see what I can do. I had a great "winter" idea last weekend when we went for our Christmas Tree... if I can find it now. There were so many ideas at Midnight Mass, and then yesterday with St. John and the Easter reading - so cool. But I'll try to get something done for this. No haiku, though.

--Dr. Thursday

Maximilian Nightingale said...

I have not wrote a poem in some time, but we'll see how it goes:

"Where'd He Go?"

The Christ child is born,
only yesterday he came!
Let us praise him now,
lest we be worthy of blame!

But eh, what is this?
The Christ child is stolen away!
No star, no Magi,
Mary and Joseph did not stay!

O, "Joyous Kwanzaa!"
Is that what I think I hear?
O, "Joyous Kwanzaa!"
Really? This time of the year?

I ask a person,
"Is Christmas not twelve more days?"
But he shakes his head,
"It's already over. Nays."

"But what is Kwanzaa?"
He hasn't the slightest clue.
So I go and search
for the Christ child who is true.

Jason said...

Here's one:

And the Word was made flesh
And Death was made mortal

Ibid said...

Alright, here are the two poems I've written. Not my best, I must admit, but that is still up to your judgement. (Sorry Dr. Thursday, I couldn't think of anything funny for Medusa. I hope this one goes over well)

"Upon Hearing the Gloria, December 25th, 12:15 am"

Just needed to clear my head,
Just walked out side for a second,
Just walked down the street,
Just walked for a while, sniffing the air.
I wanted to find a reason for all this,
I wanted to see what it was all about.
I wanted to open my eyes and see all
I wanted from the night.
It was a silent night alright,
It was quieter than I've ever seen before.
It was an even quieter church. Strangely,
It was open later than normal.
I wanted to go back and get in bed.
I wanted to know why I was out so late.
I wanted to turn and go home, but
I wanted to go inside.
Just stepped through the door,
Just noticed the stillness of the Church
Just heard the intonation, and then
Just fell in love.


"Three knocks"
Three knocks signeled the king,
Three knocks and one short ring.
They asked for boarding when
The innkeeper came in.
"We need a place to stay."
"I need your up front pay."
"She's pregnant man. Help Us."
He would not stand such fuss.
"Have you any room left?"
"Not one for one pregnant,
Only for beasts and birds."
The girl grinned at the words.
"That's fine," she uttered like
A dove at dawn's first light.
They entered there, and there
The birth of Christ occurred.

Anonymous said...

Excellent, Ibid! Especially the first one. That really feels like it has a whole story attached, which I would like to read sometime. (A great poetic story!)

I liked Max. N.'s also - I've seen that Magdalen "where did they put Him" kind of effect elsewhere.

But Ibid - no Medusa? Love, I guess, isn't quite that powerful in this case (hee hee)

Oh, OK, I will try it myself. No haiku, though. See what you think:

Medusa's Christmas

"...I will take away the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh..." Ez 11:19


In Roma of the seven hills,
Through which the Tiber ever spills,
An old hag lived, from distant Greece
Her name has fame that shall not cease.
Ugly face all men repelling,
Snaky hair dirty and smelling,
Her voice a screech both loud and rude
Her temper violent and lewd.

Through this torture ever raging
Sickness came, and weakness, aging.
To Forum grand one winter day
She limped, enrobed and veiled in gray.
A Jew spoke there, Latin-stumbling
Spoke of a birth in stable humbling
Of good news brought, and how He died...
The veiled one thought on this and cried.

A maid nearby, alert and kind
Heard a faint sobbing, ran to find...
Too weak to flee, the hag did sink.
Gently the maid gave her a drink
Saying, "What is done for the least..."
Filling the hag as by a feast.
Those eyes which once turned men to stone
Rejoiced: for she was not alone.

--Dr. Thursday Jan 2 2008

Sheila said...

Ooh, I like the Gloria one a lot. Also, Dr. Thursday, your Medusa poem is good. You managed to make it serious and deep. :)

RJ said...

New Covenant

December days like short cake
compulsively consumed, for God's sake.
Said she: "life leaves me so uninspired,
while so unexpired."
Then God flakes, snow cakes,
like sand, the trudge of the Magi
to what--
a star pointing to a baby?
God's yes.
________________________________

As Gaeilge

A quarto of drawn-Guinness
gentle with a barber’s care
the clanking of the glasses, the craick
of cloistered hospitality
in the inhospital clime
muddied their trundled paths
the essence of the particular.

He drank till he remembered himself—
in the bogland his trouser cuffs dirty,
collecting peat for fires lit by progeny
the rousing of the fiddle the flurry of feet
shamans and charlatans and shape-shifters all:

"The Children of Lir we are!" he said,
"The Children of God!" she corrected,
she, the Eve of Christmas,
the bearer of the myth that came true.

John Connolly said...

Here's one. It's my own perspective on why the Anglo-Saxon way of celebrating Christmas is problematic. It goes over the line limit, though.

Humbug

Where is the meaning in bustle and shopping,
Where is the blessing in material greed,
The shoving, the running, the mindless store-hopping,
For all that we want in disdain of our need?

The radio stations play 'seasonal' rock,
With Frosty and Rudolph on loop;
"The big man is coming, so hang up your sock,"
And those awful chipmunks want their hoola-hoop.

Students come home for three weeks of break
Just to slowly watch parents go mad.
The cards and the wrapping, wreath and fruitcake,
And the lights must be "in" with the fad.

The kids sit in the corner with video games,
Glad to be far from their book,
While parents obsessed with tagging and names
Will grace them with nary a look.

The tree must have lights and not lean to the right,
Garland and ribbons will fly!
"I love this whole season, it's merry and bright
(one week more and I think I would die)."

It's the holiday season, and here's your receipt!
Twelve more items to fill your collection.
If there's holly on the door and snow in the street
Then our day will have reached its perfection.

Oh, little do they know of love!
They run so hard while life goes by,
For weeks they crowd and push and shove
While He is born who came to die.

Sheila said...

Well, I like it anyway. I guess I should say now that the line limit isn't strict--a few lines over is okay. I've gotten a few slightly longer poems which I'm accepting.

RJ, is there a story behind your second one? It suggests one.

Nick Milne said...

Probably too late, but I'll ask anyway; is it too late? I quite forgot about this, I'm afraid, but I'd like to submit.

Maureen said...

And in that hour
The trees of Eden all burst into flower.

And on that night,
The angel's flaming sword glowed candle-bright.

They miss us there,
Await the homecoming of Adam's heir.

Their blooms won't fade
Till earth and heaven are at last remade.

And on that day,
Through Paradise's walls will come a Way.

Sheila said...

It's not too late yet, but hurry! I'll be weeding through them tomorrow if I can, but won't be done picking finalists till Monday or Tuesday.

Nick Milne said...

Well, thanks all the same, but I'll have to pass. I had forgotten that I still have a goodly amount of marking to do for Monday, so it doesn't look like I'll have the time.

Still, can't wait to see the finalists!

Elizabeth Urso said...

It isn't the size of the gift that matters, but the size of the heart that gives it. Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for 2010

tfults said...

T’was The Night Before Christmas….In PLANO, Texas

T’was the night before Christmas in Plano, Texas
Where everyone drove a shiny new Lexus
Women were dressed in matching velour
Hitting the sales at Juicy Couture

At the salon to highlight those roots
Wearing their comfy Australian Ugg boots
Big hair and make-up, is the way to go
Have to look pretty from head to toe

When out at the mall there arose such a fight
Over Louis Vuitton, it was not a good sight
Fists began punching in such a flash
Women were flaunting around all their cash

With silicone breasts out in the snow
A fine Plano woman had no place to go
She spent all her money on purses and blings
Her husband had called her and revoked all her things

With all of her bags in her luxury car
She drove around Plano but didn’t get far
She looked in the sky and saw far away
Santa and his reindeer flying his sleigh

“Now Gucci! Now, Prada! Now, Juicy Couture,
On, Diesel! On, Chanel! On Christian Dior
Fly to the poor woman who just lost her boo
Lets teach her a lesson and we’ll help her too!

As her tears dried in shock she saw reindeer fly,
She actually saw Santa up in the sky
HO HO HO, how are you my dear?
He stood very closely and smelled of cheap beer

Enjoying your presents I gave you I see
You made the right choice with a Double D
What can I get you for Christmas this year?
A pony, some diamonds, to meet Richard Gere?

And then in that moment she knew what to do
I don’t want Armani, or Jimmy Choo
As she got his attention he listened real close
He couldn’t help but notice her cute plastic nose


She was dressed all in fur, a lovely fox coat
She whispered to Santa as she cleared her throat
A bundle of joy, Santa had thought
I’ll get you your wish and that’s what she got

His eye how they twinkled, as he waived her, goodbye
Her eyes welded up as she started to cry
Oh thank you sweet Santa for granting my wish
I’ll pay you with milk, cookies, and my soufflé dish

She gave him a smile with her whitened straight teeth
As she headed back home to her husband Keith
She gave Santa a hug and a kiss on the cheek
Thanked him for making her Christmas this week

On her way home she got cut off by an elf
He was the kind you could fit on top of your shelf
He gave her a wink and a nod with his head,
Christmas Eve was no time to be dead

She spoke some bad words, as she went berserk
She called the guy crazy, a midget, a jerk.
She gave him the finger, upset with his driving
He gave her a smile, he was a little conniving

She thought to herself, it’s Christmas Eve
I just met Santa Claus, and now I believe
Who cares about the Mini Me driving the van
I’m now going home to be with my man!


A poem by Tiffany Syphard

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