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Poems: A Contemporary Christmas

Books & Poetry

In the last of December’s occasional poems and the final Poet’s Corner for the year, Sue Cook says yes, it is Christmas.

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A Contemporary Christmas

Welcome wreath on door
spangled tree inside
wrapped gifts beneath.

Greeting cards from far and near
reaffirm old friendships
like an annual handshake;

amid festive images ‒
bells and baubles
all gold and glitter
snow and Santa Claus
trees and tinsel
red white and green ‒

a 16th century painting by Raphael
shines like a beacon,
illuminates the nativity,
the first Christmas.

Decorations

On the front door a beloved battered wreath
heralds the festive season.
Inside the venerable Christmas tree
is decked out in golden bells
and star chains
like an elegant pensioner.
Lights wink in collusion
with the rows of bright cards
strung across the wall above,
strangely mute with messages folded in.
A sparkling angel flies across the window
while three settle at the tree’s base
as if to counter the old girl’s opulence.
The baubles are only the backdrop
for the annual happy family gathering;
after they have all gone
I pack the lot into boxes
smoothing over the tissue paper
and storing the joy and laughter
for next year.

Sue Cook is a returning Poet’s Corner contributor who has swapped her longstanding Adelaide Hills home for one on “flat ground”, albeit that it is near the Tangari Regional Park conservation environment and the foothills leading up to Clarendon and the Onkaparinga. In September 2015, Poet’s Corner featured her poem ‘Frog Cakes’, which as a consequence was taken up by the maker of that South Australia icon for promotional purposes.

Over the course of this year, Sue’s poems have appeared in a number of Australian poetry publications, such as the Friendly Street annual anthology number 41, the Goulburn Valley Writers’ Group Tamba magazine’s special 60th edition, and Poetry Matters Issue 29.

As a senior English teacher for a number of years, Sue edited the South Australian English Teachers Association’s annual poetry anthology, and also launched the 2010 edition as guest poet. Her book of collected poems, ‘In Focus’, was published by Ginninderra Press in 2016.

InDaily would like to thank all its Poet’s Corner contributors and readers for their support during 2017 and wishes them a very merry Christmas and happy and safe New Year.

Readers’ original and unpublished poems of up to 40 lines can be emailed, with postal address, to poetscorner@solsticemedia.com.au. Submissions should be in the body of the email, not as attachments. A poetry book will be awarded to each accepted contributor.

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