Ink Pantry Publishing’s Krampus Poetry Competition 2019 Highly Commended: Krampus by Lel Meleyal

Krampus stole my grandchildren.
No goat ever threatened my son.
Just the mothers’ ally threat
‘Santa does not visit naughty children’
was enough, at least in December

Vienna is as beautiful as the girl
Who captured my boy’s heart
Who took him home
To celebrate life, love and Christmas
Held on the 24th December.

Which is not really Christmas
Where my boy grew up
But is where his boys now excitedly
Hope for a visit from the Christkind
And Saint Nicholas

My mince pies
Do not meet the approval of
Großmutter Anna
Though I like her Lebkuchen.
Thankfully, no-one likes carp.

The kids in accented giggles
Call me Die Englische Großmutter
When they tease my Yorkshire inability to ski.
I ache for Granny, or Grandma
Closeness cleft by air miles.

Judge Claire Faulkner writes: A different style and approach to the theme of Krampus, but one which captured my heart about the impact of myth in different lifestyles and cultures.

Lel Meleyal, previously a research academic, also writes fiction under the name Antonia Chain.  She writes a literary blog and enjoys performing her flash fiction pieces.

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Ink Pantry Publishing’s Krampus Poetry Competition 2019 Highly Commended: Krampusnacht (a triolet poem) by Tracy Davidson

On Krampusnacht, bad children quake
as anti-Santa stalks the streets,
cloven-hooved, with a chain to shake.
On Krampusnacht, bad children quake
and rue each sin and sad mistake,
receiving swats instead of sweets.
On Krampusnacht, bad children quake
as anti-Santa stalks the streets.

Our judge Claire Faulkner writes: A strong example of writing to a theme within a set form. One of the shorter entries, but a still story full of imagery.

Tracy Davidson lives in Warwickshire, England, and writes poetry and flash fiction. Her work has appeared in various publications and anthologies, including: Poet’s Market, Mslexia, Atlas Poetica, Writing Magazine, Modern Haiku, The Binnacle, A Hundred Gourds, Shooter, Artificium, Journey to Crone, The Garden, The Great Gatsby Anthology, WAR and In Protest: 150 Poems for Human Rights. 

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Ink Pantry Publishing’s Krampus Poetry Competition 2019 winner: Krampusnacht by Amy Cresswell

Our tale takes place on December the Fifth,
On a suitably freezing cold night,
With a creature you’ve heard of, from olden day myth,
Eyes aglow with malevolent light.

The snow is disturbed by his cloven footsteps,
His grey beard, all matted and long,
Swishes as he stalks past the darkened doorsteps,
To the houses of those who’ve done wrong.

A red hooded cloak covers up his horned head,
Fur trimmed, just like old Saint Nick’s,
His first victim, cowering under her bed,
Gets a swipe with his great birchwood stick.

The next, vainly dreaming of presents and sweets,
Hears the deafening clanking of chains,
Downstairs, not Saint Nick, but Krampus he meets,
And the blood freezes inside his veins.

The third, hoping for a bit of good luck,
Squares his shoulders, prepares to attack,
But Krampus’s claw swiftly snatches him up,
And then bundles him into his sack.

Just like this it continues, and when dawn draws near,
He retreats, a full bag on his back,
Hurls the wicked children down to Hell for a year,
Then enjoys an ice cold glass of Schnapps

Judge Claire Faulkner writes: I enjoyed the style and structure of this poem. I feel that it tells us everything we need to know about Krampus using fantastic storytelling and imagery.

Amy Cresswell lives in Yorkshire, England, and holds a Bachelor’s degree in English Studies. She writes short stories and poetry for fun, and is currently writing a novel. In her spare time, she’s usually playing videogames, baking really sweet stuff, or throwing toys for her cat.