Better Not Pout: A (Dark) Christmas Poem
‘Twas the night before Christmas when came over knoll
Seven men hauling haversacks weighted with coal.
Their journey was labored, the start came by scythe-
A car crash, an illness, a fall from great height.
Across boreal plains their timeless home loomed,
In crystal and hoarfrost by moonlight’s ash gloom.
Its gothic pinnacles stretched to the ether.
They quickened their pace, spurred by the reaper.
As Sisyphus was made to roll mammoth boulder
So too were the seven through packed snow to soldier.
For hours they toiled against winds katabatic,
Their breathing came rapid, their movement near static.
Until reaching the gate, they pounded the door.
Its hinges whined open; the air smelt of ore.
In crimson clothes sooted they saw him appear,
With slate beard matted and a fresh-painted leer.
“Santa?” they inquired upon seeing his figure.
His eyes blazed infernal, he let out a snicker,
“A slip, an error in the letters’ positions!
Now holly and yuletide and cheery traditions!”
He threw back his head and cursed the heavens
Whence came water and manna unleavened.
Out the throat of the void descended a gale
Like a dog he cowered and whimpered a wail.
The seven conspired in frantic dumb-show
For inside lay a cave cast in volcanic glow.
There impish fiends darted, sorting mail carts,
And mining for vices, more common than quartz.
Each man tightened his grip, guarding his sack,
As nigh a brute lout raised up an axe.
They need not fear, the weight was their own
And would e’re be theirs without One to atone.
“The letters arrive from small children in woe,
Hoping Santa will bring a puppy in bow.
A bike for wee Tommy, a doll for Mary Lou.
These I worldly offer yet become coal they do.
While mercy is found in my Foe’s sovereign graces,
The remainder are sifted and doled out their places.
I account for deeds and prepare reservations,
Allowing the rich choice accommodations.
But you’ve all appeared without farthing or shilling
So take your coal to the engine and get drilling.
Through crust and mantle we’ll make our addition,
Home for those plagued by the human condition.”
Aghast, they retreated to find a closed door
And knew this would be their address heretofore.
Their satchels they clutched despite being enslaved
And weeping and gnashing longed for the grave.