A Favourite Poem

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    Sally McDonald

    A Christmas Poem

    Australians are lucky. As the Christmas season approaches, they aren’t confused (or nostalgic) about what the season means. They know it means summer holidays, hot sun and Christmas parties on the beach.

    For those of us who came to Australia from the Northern Hemisphere, this season never fails to confuse us. No matter how long we’ve lived in Australia (and I’ve lived here for 30 years!), we still can’t get our head around the idea that Christmas is in summer.

    There must be something in our mitochondrial DNA that makes us conjure up winter-related memories when we hear the word Christmas. The strongest of these memories is always the wonder of the season’s first snowfall.

    Here is my favourite poem depicting that:

    First Snow

    The old black dog comes in one evening
    with the first few snowflakes on his back
    and falls asleep, throwing his bad leg out
    at our excitement. This is the night
    when one of us gets to say, as if it were news,
    that no two snowflakes are ever alike;
    the night when each of us remembers something
    snowier. The kitchen is a kindergarten
    steamy with stories. The dog gets stiffly up
    and limps away, seeking a quiet spot
    at the heart of the house. Outside,
    in silence, with diamonds in his fur,
    the winter night curls round the legs of the trees,
    sleepily blinking snowflakes from his lashes.

    Ted Kooser

    Des O’Neill

    This poem was the kick start to my poem writing ventures. My grand daughter was born with a condition; SMA, Spinal muscular atrophy. Her endurance and ability to ignore what she can’t do and succeed with growing has us all enriched with a new look on life.

    Riding Butterflies.
    The other night Chloe gave me a call,
    She said,”Pop, I have butterflies on my wall.”
    “My goodness Chloe, please take care.”
    “Silly Pop, Mummy and daddy put them there,
    they all have such coloured wings,
    and sometimes we bump into things.”
    Feeling a bit mystified now,
    I asked Miss three, exactly how.
    “Well Pop, when there are happy skies,
    I take a ride on my Butterflies,
    no, we don’t go out the door,
    and fairies dance on my floor.
    I fly sometimes at the night,
    that is when we bump the light.
    And Pop, you can ride a butterfly too,
    just believe, that’s all you do,
    But you must be happy in my room,
    you know Butterflies don’t fly in gloom.”

    Hazel Menehira

    Beautiful Des…specially love the Just believe line Des…this has a wonderful innocence about it! What a shame that we all grow up and start thinking too much onstead of just believing in butterfly rides. Hzl

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