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We Are in for Another Covid Christmas!

We are in for another Covid Christmas:
__Lockdown tales of woe.
____Now forbidden to fly his sled
__Santa is drenched in dread
And Rudolph’s rosy nose has lost its glow.

We are in for another Covid Christmas:
__Fear is here again
____Cloaked in Omicron’s cunning blight
__Stoking fresh sparks of fright,
All making quaking, shell-shocked elves insane.

We are in for another Covid Christmas:
__Not one jingle bell.
____Not a hoof on the roof surprise.
__No wink in the twinkling skies.
No eyes that gleam with dreams in Noel’s spell.

We are in for another Covid Christmas:
__Fooled and ruled once more
____By the chiefs with their cheerless song.
__How long will this dirge go on—
Till Yuletide’s corpse lies rotting on the floor?

We are in for another Covid Christmas:
__Will we stand our ground?
____Will we unlock our door for kin
__Let giving and loving in
Or be forever gagged and jabbed and bound?

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Susan Jarvis Bryant is from Kent, England.  She is now an American citizen living on the coastal plains of Texas.  Susan has poetry published in the UK webzine, Lighten Up On Line, The Daily Mail, and Openings (anthologies of poems by Open University Poets).


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23 Responses

  1. Cheryl Corey

    For certain politicians, media, and health “experts”, Covid is a gift that keeps on giving. Just one observation: Shouldn’t each stanza have a colon after “Christmas”, to be consistent? Stanzas 1, 3, and 4 have one, stanza 2 has a period, and the last stanza, no punctuation. Perhaps it can be tweaked & re-posted? Other than that, a very effective use of a repetitive line.

    Reply
    • Mike Bryant

      Thank you Cheryl… reload and see how it looks. I’m sure Susan will thank you later.

      Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Thank you for your comment, Cheryl, and thank you for spotting my punctuation hiccups. You and Mike have saved further embarrassment.

      Reply
  2. Joseph S. Salemi

    The Nazi-like tyranny of our so-called “health professionals” is getting frighteningly serious. Does anyone here have any idea of what is happening in Austria and Australia? Loss of one’s job, concentration camps, and trial-free imprisonment for anyone recalcitrant about vaccinations, mask-wearing, at-home lockdowns, and booster shots are now considered perfectly normal in these “democratic” nations. Hospitals are becoming death-camps. Here in New York City you can’t buy a hamburger without showing your vaccination proofs and your identity papers.

    Let’s see if anyone has the nerve to come here and try to defend this fascistic-communist crap.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Joe S., your honest portrayal of horrific events is exactly what spurs me to write poems like this. I cannot believe that many are seemingly oblivious to the appalling global power-grab that will take and ruin many lives. How long can a blind eye be turned? My heart aches for the Austrians and Australians and many other countries swiftly heading in the same direction. If those who are aware think this is terrifying, now is the time to stand up and speak out before every last vestige of freedom is wrested from us, and we can’t forgive ourselves for not standing up for our children, at the very least.

      Reply
    • David Watt

      Children aged 5-11 will now shortly be eligible for shots here, and parents strongly encouraged to ‘do the right thing’. The double dose percentage in our Territory (16 years plus) is almost 99%. I don’t mind remaining in the minority against the tide. Eventually, I may even be allowed to drive interstate again!

      Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      It certainly does, Ben. Evan has a knack for matching words to pictures… thank you, Evan.

      Reply
  3. C.B. Anderson

    What a cheerful way to kick off the Advent season, Susan! Against the Government humbug I will continue to stand my ground. In these times, we must all act like Texans (or Texicans, as some of the old-timers back in Arizona liked to say).

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      C.B., I’m heartened to hear that you’re continuing to stand your ground… me too… although, I fear I’m looking more like the Grinch with each passing festive day. I’m working on it… a little nip of nectarial elixir seems to be doing the trick. 😉

      Reply
  4. Jeff Eardley

    Susan, sounds like one of your “Monday” poems. You have summed up our mood perfectly over here as the wagon wheels slowly slip off the Johnson stagecoach. We now have a government in chaos overseen by the blustering blonde buffoon and heading into another Christmas of doom. Thank you for poeticising (is that a word?) what we are all feeling right now.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Tell me why I don’t like Mondays! Yes, this is one of those poems. Boris is a blight on British shores… and to think I used to admire his intellect… what on earth has happened?! In spite of all this dread, Jeff – I hope you are able to conjure some festive spirit… especially in the bars… I’m talking musical ones.

      Reply
    • Jeff Eardley

      Susan, alternative words to the song are a stroke of brilliance. I thought about doing one of my own. I got as far as, “I’m dreaming of a shite Christmas” and then gave up for fear of slipping into John Cooper Clarke territory. Thanks again for a good laugh and cry.

      Reply
  5. Brian Yapko

    I’m curious about the form you’ve chosen for this poem and forgive me if my analysis is on the wacky, overanalyzed side. . An unrhymed repeated opening theme with a meter I’m having trouble discerning but five stresses. Then an a-b-b-a rhyme scheme with middle lines of three feet, four feet, three feet and then a classic iambic pentameter last line. First of all, is this an existing form is or one you have created “for the nonce?” This reads almost like song lyrics. Was a particular song your inspiration. Here’s what I get from your decisions: an announcement of Christmas in distress, dismayed and poetically obscured but there — much like life these days. I then see you invoke structure – slightly in the middle lines, with true rhyme but with irregular meter – and then you bring it all home with the perfect iambic pentameter ending lines. Lines 2 through 5 of each stanza bespeak a fragile imposition of order and hope. That is also evident in the visual structure you have chosen to present your words. If you can’t have your beauty in the words, you’ll darn well have your beauty in the form! Despite the depressing, open-ended questions your invoking metrical order and beauty – particularly in each perfect end-line – suggests (to me) a subtle triumph of goodness and Christmas spirit. I always enjoy your work, Susan, both for the delight in prosody but also because you always make me think! Well done!

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Brian, thank you so much for your comment… I have loved reading it and would love to claim I was this erudite in my execution. But, now it’s too late!! Mike’s given the game away. I was listening to old Christmas songs and began to get teed off at the fact they were all so perfect when today’s world is far from it… hence this grim, grinchy and grouchy poem. I’m trying to tap into my festive side, but it’s wilting. I’m hoping for some hot tips before I start baking my mince pies. If you have any, they’ll be gratefully received.

      Reply
      • Brian Yapko

        I’m totally tickled that it was indeed a song lyric and that my explication of your poem was indeed overanalyzed and wacky! Still, it remains a technically accurate if overblown description of Meredith Willson’s song structure and your resulting “rewrite.” Susan, yours is a great poem and now that I get the source material it’s even more enjoyable.

        I somehow erased part of my comment when posting so let me just mention how brave and right-on your subject matter is. I for one refuse to sing any dirges for Christmas, that’s for sure! We’re doing the usual social events, hosting guests from out of town, church, a pageant, a dinner, a small party. It’s going to happen, pandemic or not! You’re poem makes me feel brave for saying that — like it’s an act of civil disobedience to choose to celebrate Christmas normally. What kind of world is this?

      • C.B. Anderson

        You know what kind of world it is, Brian. You see it close-up every day. The better question is: How do we live in it? I think you and others are doing just fine, despite your reservations about the extant conditions. Must we abandon hope, or is there a way to countervail the downward spiral? The way I see it, in our own private lives and in our public utterances (especially in poetry), we are doing almost everything that we can do about it. Personally, I don’t think that going on a crime spree would make any point and, besides, I’m too old for that kind of thing. For some perverse reason, the Opposition seems to think that crime is the solution to everything. Why else would we be seeing so much of it?

  6. Kathleen M Farrell

    Susan, please read the short Book of
    Zephaniah as we wait for a new day.
    Peace, “All will be well.” There is a higher
    Power at work! And, Merry Christmas.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Kathleen, thank you for this. I have just finished reading the Book of Zephaniah, and I am moved and heartened by the words. There is indeed a higher Power at work, and we often need to remind ourselves of that these during tough and torturous times… it keeps one treading the path of sanity on this insane journey. With much gratitude, and a very Merry Christmas to you too!

      Reply

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