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ChrisGeorge
11-18-2006, 03:39 AM
Photo: Liverpool Children's Christmas Party ca. 1927

A fringed lampshade hangs drunkenly above the gathering
like a flapper after too many gins. A ratty bearded
Father Christmas at the center of the display, primeval
like old Saint Nick, stepped straight from legend,
a child's toy drum on his knee, clutching a furry drumstick.

Under plunging Christmas garlands, the cross-legged
little kids with doughy Irish faces, white socks, sandals,
girls with bobbed hair, party hats, elastic under chin.
My uncle in school cap, shoulder to shoulder with two boys
with false hooters, another kid's caught picking nose.
A balloon floats up, casts a shadow on the floor.

The flushed-faced men at the sides like old retainers.
Are they pedophiles, adulterers, upstanding family
men, petty clerks, managers, justices of the peace?
The hefty women in the back corners, strings of pearls,
one eye on the children gathered in a pool below them.

Christopher T. George

ChrisGeorge
11-18-2006, 03:48 AM
Another Liverpool Christmas poem:

Threepence for Luck, Baby Blue

Mum puts silver threepenny bits in the Christmas pud
for luck, just for you. The steaming brown pud
bathed in brandy that Dad lights with a Swan Vesta match
flaring in the dark, the pudding glows mysterious blue,
singed black with a twig of holly on top,
ready to dig into after the turkey and sage stuffing,
the gravied mashed spuds, proletarian sprouts.

Ladled out and drenched in yellow Bird's custard,
time for us to hunt for the threepenny bits.
Mum says, "Don't break your teeth, Baby Blue!"
The hidden treasures emerge from the goo,
"I've found one! Have you?"
That's luck for me and luck for you.
Pink on my sideplate, stuck with pud, the big "three"
surmounted by a crown on the reverse,
in a Christmas wreath, I think,
on the obverse, George V or VI, maybe Victoria, too.
If I'm extra lucky, visit to the dentist deferred.

Christopher T. George

ChrisGeorge
11-21-2006, 03:59 PM
Christmas Eve on Hilbre Island

Evening descends,
the tide’s coming in,
sealing off Hilbre
from the mainland.

We’ve a picnic hamper,
a thermos of coffee,
Christmas pud thick
with raisins and rum sauce.

Snow settles in the grass,
melts on the tide; above,
on the observation tower,
a kestrel eats a vole.

“Good King Wenceslas” drifts
on the wind, interspersed
with the bark of seals.

Christopher T. George

ChrisGeorge
11-21-2006, 04:06 PM
Midwinter in the Palm House

Outside it's snowing, a lone robin grubs
for millet seeds along the cement path.
Inside it's steamy, banana palm fronds
stretch toward roof, platforms for monkeys.

Water blinks like an eye in a purple bromeliad,
bee buzzes trapped in nectar of a pitcher plant,
We explore musty forest of mosses and ferns;
hidden nitches of white catleya orchids throated

with speckled saffron. The snow melts on glass
above us. But in here, it's eternal summer.
My hand presses yours, your thumb
tracing a hieroglyph in my palm.

Christopher T. George

Toxteth.net has a great old photograph of Sefton Park (http://www.toxteth.net/places/liverpool/parks/sefton%20park%20boating%20lake.htm) when it was covered with snow, looking over the boating lake with the Palm House in the distance. As noted, the photograph comes from the Liverpool Record Office, Liverpool Libraries. Visit Liverpool Libraries online catalogues at http://archive.liverpool.gov.uk

ChrisGeorge
12-14-2006, 03:21 PM
Christmas at Inwood

The fire in the dining room is long dead
and frost feathers the leadlight windows;
in my bedroom, the diamond panes oranged
by the buzzing Corporation sodium lamps
on Aigburth Hall Avenue; in the silent
lounge, the dwarf tree from Bousfield's
decorated with American bubble lites
sent over by my parents in Maryland,
merrily bubbling like tiny lava lamps
above mounded gifts to be opened.

Christopher T. George

The History of Bubble Lights (http://www.oldchristmaslights.com/bubble_lights1.htm)

lindylou
12-14-2006, 04:38 PM
Lovely poems Chris, and an interesting web-site. I didn't know there was so much history behind the little Christmas tree bulb :) :)

ChrisGeorge
12-14-2006, 04:41 PM
Thanks, Lindy. :celb (23):

Chris

ChrisGeorge
12-25-2006, 01:17 PM
Finger for a Bow

I lend my finger for my mother to tie a red ribbon
on a Christmas gift; I've gone round to help
her wrap, recall 50 years ago I lent a finger
for my grandmother to tie up a gift: the pinch
on my fingertip as the ribbon's pulled tight.

Christopher T. George

ChrisGeorge
12-30-2006, 08:30 PM
Seen from the train:

ELF STORAGE