Yuletide Poetry: Ten Minutes To Christmas by Steven Goodwin

At ten minutes to midnight, the night was still and calm,

The moon and stars light up the world, no cause yet for alarm.

It all begins at midnight; Reindeers swoop and sweep,

While lying silent in your bed, I hope you’re fast asleep.


When the full moon’s at it’s highest on a chilly winter’s night,

Make sure you’re in bed sleeping; make sure you’re out of sight,

Because Santa comes at midnight, if you’re awake he will not come,

At nine minutes to midnight do not spoil the fun,


Have you departed yet to dreamland, I hope that’s where you’ll be.

Dream and Christmas will soon be here, and your presents you will see,

Eight minutes to midnight, I hope your dreaming started.

Kings, Queens and fairies and those far off lands uncharted.


The Elves can sense your dreaming; they can sense when you’re awake.

Hopefully the sandman’s visited and your presents they do not take.

You see they only deliver presents when you’re finally fast asleep.

At seven minutes to midnight, I pray you finished counting sheep.


Six minutes to midnight, the night owl starts its call.

A warning to those not sleeping, a warning to us all.

Because Elves come out to check, and like Santa they check twice,

Get to sleep now, time approaches, that’s my sagely advice.


What happens if I’m still awake you ask, what will happen then to me?

At five minutes to midnight, I hope you do not get to see.

Do not be too frightened though, I’m sure you’ll get some gifts,

Just not all you asked for and put on Santa’s list.

You may just get some socks, and maybe some soap from granny too.

Four minutes to midnight, hush now, you should have finished on the loo.


Just three short minutes to midnight, I think you’d better run,

Elves come out checking, when the warmth’s gone from the sun.

Two minutes to midnight, they’ve been busy all year long.

I know too well not to be awake; their sleep sensor is too strong


Children not in bed yet, naughty ones not yet asleep,

Are not safe from Elvish sleep sensors so please don’t make a peep

No presents will be left for you; your stockings will be left cold.

At one minute to midnight, please do as you are told,


I gave you ten minutes warning, it’s not my fault, do not blame me,

Just make sure that you are sleeping and an elf you do not see.

My advice go bed early, make sure that’s where you stay,

And don’t go searching out at midnight and you’ll enjoy your Christmas Day.

Yuletide Poetry: The Day of the Night Before Christmas by Steven Goodwin

Twas the day of the night before Christmas, And all up our street,

All the children built snowmen and acted all sweet,

The adults used blackmail saying, ‘you should be good!’

And with shy glances down, they replied, ‘they would!’


The children all hoped and wished their present might be,

The latest new console or a shiny TV.

Perhaps it might be a new board game to play,

Or it may be a book to enchant them away.


When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from my chair to see what was the matter,

I threw open the window and said with a shout,

‘Put that stick down now or you’re getting nowt!’


The sun in the sky was as high as could be,

And the snowmen they’d made were getting rather drippy,

They all ran inside to see what they could eat,

But the fridge was all full, of uncooked Christmas meat.


It was bursting with food but none we could munch on,

Mum stood guard, a rolling pin for a truncheon,

So I got on the phone, and ordered some grub.

Pizza for all, then I could get down to the pub.


The pizza arrived, so rapid and quick.

I hoped it was cooked I didn’t want to be sick,

When what could my wondering eyes now see,

‘Oh Bobby Dazzler! Extra pepperoni.’


It was Christmas I thought, so I gave the driver a tip,

‘Watch how you’re going mate, mind you don’t slip.’

I laughed and I laughed while watching the telly,

And the kids laughed at me and my belly like jelly.


I spoke not a word and went off in a mood,

But they came quickly to hug me, and my grumbles subdued.

I went for a quick pint, before we got them to bed,

And do you know what? Not one peep was said.


Another Christmas Eve over and I just don’t know how,

We can afford, but we do it somehow,


And now,


Twas the night before Christmas…..

Yuletide Poetry: Pysgod yn Wibli Wobli (Welsh for jellyfish) by Lavinia Murray

Christmas high tide took the sea inland

as it sometimes does

when it is bored with clutching sand


in the wash travelled three

Pysgod yn Wibli Wobli

wise jellies whisked on a journey


all three were virgin births

each had twenty four eyes

so knew both breadth of sky and girth


they braced themselves and swam

in their up-down full-flat way

when their fine tentacles found a pram


empty of content bar one wet bear

and a smart phone playing Christmas carols

they probed again nobody there


was the child tipped or lifted out

was the pram waiting, about to be filled

or a gift for the sea to carry about


they swam off in their open-shut way

pysgod yn wibli wobli

not sad nor happy with Xmas day

Yuletide Poetry: Alle-YULE-yah! by Lavinia Murray


Father Xmas was cantering over the town

when an angel popped a cloud with the gilt pin of a star

then the angel burst like a flare and the town beneath turned to soot

(alas, this happens sometimes)

its gold wings were inlaid with all the terrestrial and lunar seas

its hands hung from its wrists like crystal chandeliers

it was altogether quite icily splendid


Father Xmas laid the sleighs reins in his fat lap

and said, What do you want for Xmas, little Androgyne?


The angel said, A song. Let me explain.

After The Big Divorce Mother left with the best tunes crooked

under her hot red-leather elbows.

Since then, those of us who stayed with Dad

have had to put up with hymns and experimental jazz.

So I would like a song I can call my own,

a song with its purpose directed at my ivory-crisp heart,

a song that would soften the glummest pearl in heaven.


Father Xmas rummaged amongst his parcels, shaking them to

ascertain their contents. Some he accidentally jettisoned

into the thin blue darkness of the angels shadow

which seemed as shut as the eyelids of the Dead.

Youll want something that can be passed-off as hiccup or a sigh,

in case youre overheard.


Ive nothing onboard but wait here. Ill return with your gift.

And Father Xmas soared away on his circuit

returning after several hours with a skein of sounds

scooped out of the travelling air and thickly braided.

Ho ho ho, heres your song!

Father Xmas threw it onto the thin remnants of the night,

the several scattered umbrous stubs

the angel and the obese, hairy saint cocked their heads and listened.


(Dear Reader, please la la la here.)


It was simple. It was little more than a hum.

It was the sort of sound adults and children make when theyre thinking of something else.

Perfect!said the angel and flew off into the sameness of heaven,

trailing their own warm wisp of monotony.

Yuletide Poetry: Sensory Christmas by Janet Jenkins



heard Mike

on the step

drunk as a skunk,

 singing ‘’Jingle bells;’’

                                                                                     Kissing the dog

shouting ‘’Peace

on earth



saw Bounce

                                                                                             in a box

meowing for help;

                                                                                     tangled in tinsel.

                                                                                         I freed his fur,

stroked his head,

gave him



smelt wine;

hot, spicy.

Chrisrmas turkey,

sizzling and spitting.

Tomato soup

bubbling, bright’

And beer




Christmas pud,

deep filled mince pies

raspberry pavlova,

ginger cheesecake

peach trifle;

‘’Yum, yum.’’




mother’s face;

she was smiling

but her eyes were moist.

She was pining;

her husband

was long



Yuletide Poetry: Soaring Voices by Janet Hedger

A weakened sun lightly fingers the early morn

Christmas wakes

Heralding the celebration, a saviour is born

For our sakes.


Through the darkened sky, a glittering star breaks

For his birth

Frankincense, gold and myrrh are a King’s keepsakes

In his worth.


Messages ripple across the breadth of the earth

Peace fulfil

Spreading the Gospel with merriment and mirth

In goodwill.


Faith in the wondrous creator this babe doth instil;

Joy partakes,

With beautiful soaring voices, praising God’s will

Christmas awakes.

Yuletide Poetry Competition Third Place: When The December Moon Is Bright by Jill Munro

When the December moon is bright


and turkeys strut their free-range stuff,

sharp points of claws imprint fresh falls of snow,

when the owl’s hoot is the only sound to pierce

through pines that wait for an axe-man’s tread ─

the chop, the fall, the pull, the net, the boot.


When holly pricks in blood-red berry bursts

and ivy twines in wreaths, mistletoe is cut

for white fruit clusters above kissing heads,

when lights of a thousand fairies dance

in spruce and willow by suburban doors,

nodding snowmen glow and billow

I try to look the other way, not back.

Yuletide Poetry Competition 2017 Second Place: Christmas Street by Mark Sheeky


Christmas Street

I close my eyes.


I see cinnamon and mace,

crisp snow, and tinsel garlands hang,

hear children sing the songs we sang

of frosty windows webbed like lace.


Oh to be in Christmas Street,

and taste the cake and turkey there,

to fly in frozen curling air

instead of sleepless summer heat!


Oh to rest in covers white

of icy lakes and pine-tree rain,

instead of waking here again,

in moonless sun and sunless night!


I close my eyes.

Yuletide Poetry Competition Winner 2017: Stringing The Cards by Jill Munro

Stringing the Cards

i.m. Leonard Cohen 1934-2016


I can’t keep track of each fallen robin flapping to the hearth,

each Virgin Mother and child descending to the grate,


the snowmen, coal-eyed and carrot-nosed, scrolling

in the log-burner’s heat, cards curling to reveal the ink blots


of Leonard or Suzanne – the distant, the near-forgotten, almost tethered

by tiny red and green pegs to silver tinsel strung to corners


of a room, fragrant with tea and oranges,

they or you have never seen, and never will.


I don’t even think of you that often.