Here they are. Here's the list of participants, in case you're interested in guessing who wrote what:
(Note: Some authors haven't yet sent in their poems.)
I'll reveal the authors of each after New Year's. Enjoy!
The Season of Gold
Hope was saved by a westward star,
and rode a path of purest white,
distilled, it found him swaddled there
against the cold of shattered night.
Then Joseph’s son, a promise set,
against the endless track of time,
eternal peace for coin of faith--
balance due by the tolling chime.
He guaranteed in blood, the pact,
that good illumes the lost soul’s way,
where none are barred the righteous path
who find an earnest knee to pray.
Yet in the mangered season’s shine
the sometimes faithful fret their lot,
forgetful of the gift He gave
they seek the things that they have not.
Yet should the season find you spent,
and coinless on the blessed day,
remember promised riches wait
for faithful feet that find the way.
Lo! Stay the frenzied buying pace,
and gaze upon the lighted tree
discover hope in twinkling glows
and faith in pine’s eternal leaves.
‘TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS
‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the forum,
Not a poet was showing improper decorum.
They’d each hung their jingles on the Poet-Tree with care,
In hopes that their Moderator would soon be there.
They posted, then snuggled deep down in their beds,
While visions of rep comments danced in their heads.
And I in my PJ’s, with laptop in lap,
Had just settled down for my Christmas Eve nap,
When out from the Net there arose such a clatter,
I logged on to see just what was the matter;
Into the forum I flew like a flash,
Expecting to see all now lost but the cache.
The glow from the screen of my laptop so fine
Gave the luster of green lights from peeps now online,
When what to my wondering eye should appear—
A bard-in-a-hat from the wrong hemisphere!
He was clutching a gift of some squid for the Squad,
And I knew in a moment, it must be our Mod.
More rapid than eagles his poets all came,
As he posted and PM’d and called them by name:
“Now Limey, now Turkey, now Haskins and Annie!
On Louis, on Neuro, on Sebby and Jenny!
To the top of “New Posts,” lest these threads start to fall!
Now write away! write away! write away all!”
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the forum, the poets they flew,
With their heads full of iambs; pentameter, too.
And then in a twinkling, there appeared in no time
The prosodic inscribing of each poet’s rhyme.
As I stretched out my hand, and was starting to post,
Again came that modly bard, fresh from the coast.
He was dressed in his boardies, all wet head to toe,
And clutched in his hand was a soggy rondeau;
A bundle of rep points was flung on his back,
Along with some crits and a well-timed wisecrack.
His eyes how they twinkled, his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were all suntanned, though lately quite hairy;
The smile on his face was as sly as a cat,
And perched on his head was that infamous hat.
He took down the jingles from our Poet-Tree,
And then began reading one written by me;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He opened his sack and dispensed his rp’s
For all of our efforts with the greatest of ease.
His praise was prolific, his crits were astute—
Though his own greater talent no one would dispute.
Then laying a finger aside of his hat,
His green light went red as my neighbor’s Fiat.
But I heard him exclaim, as he hid from our sight,
“Merry Christmas to all here at Absolute Write!”
For P.H. Delarran
Too long away,
So little write,
These ninety days
Of brittle right.
Under a tent,
P.H. slipped ears,
"The Answer Man
will calm your fears."
But such men prey
On depth of thought,
They outpace "pray,"
Don't do what ought.
P.H. slipped out,
Sad, old, but wise,
From tent of doubt,
To trust her eyes.
Same eyes we love,
Who read her lines,
Which rise above,
There is a tent,
We all enjoy,
And free of rent,
Where few play coy.
Too long away,
So little write,
Once more in sight.
This rent-free thread,
This room of word,
Of laid-bare head,
Where soulful heard.
No Answer Man,
No magic dove,
No chosen clan,
Just trust and love.
All fire and wrath,
Enjoy the path.
The poet tastes the world in words
and offers cooking lessons.
Pinch and prod, select and strip.
Mix this with that. Add a dash --
Sprinkle insight. Taste a sip
Steep in pain. Sear with passion.
Roast or simmer, let it burn!
No wonder poets starve.
The Night Before Christmas (In the House of Love)
Twas the night before Christmas
And all through the House
Not a member was posting,
Not even "oneblindmouse."
Santa puzzled at this
For he found it quite odd,
No House of Love members,
Why, not even a mod!
The hot tub was empty,
The water all drained,
Zach, the towel boy, had bolted
When finally unchained.
Santa put down his sack
And was scratching his head,
Just where were all these people?
Maybe all in Ray’s bed?
Then as he was puzzling,
He turned with a jerk,
For he sensed someone peeking,
It was more of a lurk.
“Who is there?” Santa shouted,
“Don’t be shy, can’t you speak?”
“It’s just me,” came her voice,
Then he saw her-- Unique.
“Ah, Unique!” Santa said,
“Good to see you, my dear,
I’ve a present for you,
You’ve been so good this year.”
“I have?” asked Unique,
“Do you really think so?”
“Why, you bet!” Santa said,
“I’m surprised you don’t know.
“While these other folks here
Say some real raunchy stuff,
You just lurk."
Said Unique, “And you think that’s enough?”
“Why, of course! It’s delightful,
This lurking you do,
It’s so different, UNIQUE--
Why, exactly like you!”
Santa gave her a gift--
A nice, shiny red sleigh,
Then Unique climbed aboard,
And flew up and away.
And I heard Santa say
As she drove out of sight,
“Merry Christmas, my dear,
And to all a good night.”
Journey from Christmas to Easter
In an ice cold stable
on a moonless night,
a young girl labored
with all her might.
A goat softly nickered,
a donkey brayed,
watching in wonder,
her husband prayed.
He made a bed
as he worried and paced,
don't take much space"
He found a manger then
filled it with hay;
he did his best
on that cold winter day.
The girl bore down,
and then he came;
the babe looked around
as she spoke his name.
"Your name is Jesus,"
she softly said,
then placed him gently,
in his humble bed.
The angels sang
in the star's bright light
"The prince has come!
Oh, Holy Night."
The shepherds came,
called in the night;
the whole and the lame,
radiant with delight.
And when they did
they received God's grace,
they were first from outside
to see the child's face.
Christmas has come
and the world's under stress;
my family is too
I must confess.
But we'll pause from
the hectic lives we pursue
and remember He came
for us and for you.
He gave up his life
on a rough cross, you know,
to take our sins and
wash us white as snow.
Christmas is a journey
that leads to the cross
but it's not a fable
and it's not a loss.
Love the Lord
with all of your heart,
he'll take your sins
and that's just the start.
He'll remember and protect
each and every one of us,
he'll do it from love
and doesn't ask for much.
Accept the gift of God's son
in this season of love
but Easter is coming
through that gift from above.
Accept the gift now
and we'll never be apart
God has promised to protect us
with His Holy Son's heart.
Progressing like a spinning top
Traveled the landscape in buses
Nursing wound upon wounds
Not quite divorced, not quite freed
Seen the world from inside jails
Looked out the dirty windows of soul
Landed here improbably cleansed
Leaking humility, far from home.
In the night dark street glistens with rain
Homeless in the shelter of buildings
Suddenly filled with disgust
Resolve moved to change the landscape
Spent coin no heads no tails
Chose direction by indirections
Somewhere between Memphis and West Memphis
The policeman questioned intentions
As though suicide were an option
When seeing God flowing in the Mississippi.
The kindness of strangers
Treasure of human-kind
Cleaned the house
Cracked the door.
Some timeless portal swung open
Thrust soul into verity
The sun came splashing to brain
Like fresh cornbread upon tongue
Eternity an onionskin away.
Which way the wind blows
That blows us Home?
Onto the field
Crunched upon the field
Becoming nothing amongst
Fearing the spring
And its thaw
Upright in the forest
Stand true; proud
Roots run deep;
Whack whack whack
Right out of the
Run noble free
Together in the hunt
Teeth tearing at
Feasting upon the stag
Yet bigger pieces others
Sitting there under the tree
Representing the effort
But not what
Trying so hard
Yet not quite
Bottom of the junk
Wolf and gift
Life is cold
Death is swift
Work is hard
Days grow dark
Caught off guard
altered in form, spirit never
lost, though it divides
Because of You
Like a warm wind through my soul
Your friendship brings beauty and light
to my dark places.
A gift of wine soothing a parched throat
Given freely and with joy.
Like warm snow – a miracle.
Young at heart, yet gently wise
Compassionate and generous
You share both wit and wisdom
Merry Christmas my friend
and great blessings to you
We are richer in our souls
Because of you.
(two in one)
1. Christmas Heart
It matters not where
You are, because Christmas hope
Is where the heart is.
Her eyes sparkle, pure
Delight as each box is opened.
Revealing treasures stored
Till that once a year grace
Where against nature's backdrop
Icicles of spun glass
Are gently placed
Next to clothespin reindeer.
White, fluffy pom-poms of Santa’s beard
Memories of childhood past.
Strands of colored stars, arranged
Nighttime sprinkles between
Silver webs of tinsel.
And above it all,
Beautiful in its depiction
Of love and hope,
A silver star to guide us home.
one bulb, perfect,
it hangs from an untrustworthy hook
five others look the same,
as ten others.
a uniform look.
but the one
it stands alone.
what's put into it shines through its thin, icy skin,
the glass - glowing warm with light and merry.
What's put in - transparent - we see it;
the love revealed in the annealing -
built-in strength for endurance.
The blown glass bulb -
built from extremes: heat, time, and love.
For Christmas - I'll take the not perfect,
the blown glass, the unique, the meant.
For this Christmas - I'll take the effort.
The beauty of imperfection, the joy of a season.
Let it become beautiful with effort, let it glow,
with time, let it sing with patience,
for in years, it's imperfection
will still be lit by the memory and be
Still My Beaten Heart
as I despaired in empty days
of gilded fattened sleep, I’d dream
of peace in nonexistence: Death
to still my beaten heart?
but every time, I’d hesitate
to give away my living breath
and, strange, the force that stayed my hand
was still my beaten heart
forgetting morbid depths of blue,
resumed my plodding sanity
contented but unsatisfied,
but still my beaten heart
at last I startled from my slumber,
shrugged off years of thickened dust:
With Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men
instill my beaten heart!
The Comfort of Christmases to Come
Gather near today
In thankfulness and gladness
Reach for the bounty laid out before you
Fill your belly with goodness
Outside the wind blows harsh
The trees are bent and heaving
Yet at the hearth, may your heart beat warm
With those you love beside you
Take comfort in these moments
Let the season’s joy entice you
The wind will soon stop howling,
The trees will stop their heaving
And you, my friend, will soon arrive
At that place your heart’s been seeking
Where the wind is never howling,
Where the trees are never heaving
by p.h. delarran
A simple Christmas wish
Is what I offer you
No tinsel wrap, or gilded dish
Heaped high with Christmas goo
I cannot sing a carol
My voice is much too weak
I will not fix a fruit cake
I know you would not eat
I’ve packed away the ornaments
And all the pretty lights
Yet still I gaze out at the stars
On these cold Winter nights
A joy has grown inside my heart
I wish to pass it on
I wish to share the Christmas hope
That one bright night was born
For Christmas is not only gold
It’s silver, red and blue
It’s lasting hope and family blood
And friends faithful and true
To you my friend, I lift my glass
And wish you all the best
The year will fly, it always does
And Christmas may come last
But in my heart, and in yours too
May we carry all the year
A spirit high with wondrous hope
A spirit full of cheer
bright in glorious
hope, bringing grace to all people.
Now shines out from those
who know the
- fin -