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Poems for Advent 13

Christmas Street Party

Who owns this place tonight?

that which will change hands many times

before midnight - while

synthesized carols are falling

through the last purchase

of summer twilight.

Between the ‘Road Closed’ police ribbons

the town will promenade its wares

a late vintage on everybody’s lips

and trestle tables piled

with the paraphernalia of plaster and paste

and festive litter.

A few unfettered balloons romp untidily


the local councilor announcing winners

in the Xmas raffle performs a mixed duet

with his own feedback

amongst cheap bubbly and hair-care prizes.

Children fractious in the heat

and impatient for Santa Claus

are not improved by melt-thin ice cream

local businessmen stand in a guild circle

with chicken vindaloo in foil trays

balanced with beakers of pinot noir

An old woman tending an unpatroned

lucky dip is knitting

fat Father Christmas faces

while the queue for hot dogs snakes almost

to the limits of the village green-

flies are a halo over everything.

The evening star rises above the vineyards

yellow and hot

and the slow hump of three camels

following each other’s tail

bearing rides for children

round and round in circles - going nowhere.

Jeff Guess


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