This post features a Christmas poem by Tessa Thomson and a drawing by Jane Pobgee. Both are extremely talented young ladies.
The door was locked, the latch held fast
The windows blocked with boards.
Cobwebs hung around the glass
Ivy spread in hordes.
The garden kitted out with nettles
Stinging stockinged legs.
Hands held high to keep from catching
Brambles, briers and thistle heads.
Nestled in the tiny wood
Nearly out of sight.
Waiting as if stuck in sleep
The cottage painted winter white.
Silence covering all around,
No noise from distant roads.
But then a tiny muted sound
Of music soft and low.
Through a little glimpse of clean
In a window pane,
A smallish man sat in a chair
And smiled and smiled again.
He had a very long white beard
And wore a suit of red.
A fire brightly lit the room
As the old man bowed his head.
I thought he might drop off to sleep
So heavy seemed his eyes.
But then he turned to look at me.
The look was clear surprise.
Then I stood rooted to the spot
Afraid to run away.
The door was opened just enough.
The old man said, “do stay”.
“I’ve had a busy time,” he said
As I stepped through the door.
“I think I may have seen you once.
Are you at 34”?
He seemed to fit the tiny house.
All measurements seemed exact
For someone of a rotund build
With features fit to match.
He sat me down with cake and tea
Served from a tiny pot
And started to let rip his tales
Of work, as was his lot.
And so the tales went on and on
About his working life.
And how this was his holiday home
Away from toil and strife.
He told of how he saw the world,
It’s good points and its bad,
It’s times of inhumanity,
And how it made him sad.
But his job’s not to dwell
On things he couldn’t change.
But rather to give joy all round
With gifts exotic and strange.
We chatted on with this and that
And laughed at things quite weird.
Occasionally deep in thought
He tugged his long white beard.
A man of gentle fun and mirth
Of kindness and of care.
Who saw the world for what it was:
Cruel, unjust, but sometimes fair.
He saw the harshness others shared,
He saw the bitter wars.
He watched the children growing up,
The scars, the pain, the sores.
He felt it deeply, as we talked
I felt his pain inside.
I left that night with greater hope
For earth from ills worldwide.