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The North Pole’s on Lockdown

‘Tis the night before Christmas; it pains me to say—
The North Pole’s on lockdown before the big day.
The elves have been furloughed and fester in bed.
The toy factory’s folded and Rudolph is dead…

Poor Prancer and Dasher and Dancer are lame.
An arrow struck Blitzen and Cupid’s to Blame.
Dear Donner’s a goner and Comet’s unfit
And Vixen is on a rotisserie spit.

All starry-night flights pose a threat to the globe—
St. Nick and his sleigh failed a federal probe.
“He’ll sully the chimneys, leave germs on lit trees!”
Says grinchy old Grouchy, the Chief of Disease.

‘Tis the night before Christmas and who gives a damn—
The season is missing the bearded main man!
Since Santa’s accused of the worst type of vice,
He’s not fit to judge who is naughty or nice.

Be warned, the “new normal” is gift-less and grim;
Kris Kringle’s gone bust and he’s hitting the gin.
He’s blurry and slurry with no HO HO HO  
In ermine-trimmed crimson with nowhere to go.

The saddest of all is his scant welfare check—
So meager it won’t buy a present or deck
His bleak, barren hall with one bough of green holly,
Resuscitate Rudolph or bring back our jolly!

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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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31 Responses

  1. Julian D. Woodruff

    Brilliant, Susan
    What a long list of people deserve a personalized copy–starting with the cardinal archbishop of Quebec City.
    With or without Santa, have a blessed Christmas!

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Julian, it’s lovely to hear from you and thank you for your comment. Mike is just addressing and envelopes to those who deserve a copy… what a great idea! Here’s wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a better and brighter New Year… I haven’t lost hope… yet.

      Reply
  2. Sgk

    Thank you for calling out those ‘grinches’ and showing, clearly, what they are doing. Your verses kinda made my day. A Blessed Advent. Sgk

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      You are most welcome, Sgk. Calling out ‘grinches’ is my poetic mission and I’m thrilled my verses kinda made your day. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas… humor is key in these sad times.

      Reply
  3. Jeff Eardley

    Susan, this is the perfect accompaniment to our English fog, drizzle and bad news. Oh for the days of Cliff Richard Christmas songs. Enjoy the movies over the holiday and don’t forget, “White Christmas” which must be the best seasonal movie, alongside “Its a wonderful life.” Your poetry shines out like a beacon in these dark days. Have a fabulous time.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Oh, for dear ole Cliff with his sprigs of mistletoe, vats of wine, children, Christian rhyme, and logs, plenty of logs! “It’s a Wonderful Life” is a favorite. I’m loving the old black and white movies – wonderful narrative, clear dialogue and real stories… I’m beginning to sound like my Gran. I’m glad you liked the poem. I’ll think of England when I’m sitting in a sundrenched backyard eating my Christmas lunch in an ugly Chrimbo tee-shirt (in place of the jumper). Wishing you a very Merry Christmas, Jeff!

      Reply
  4. Sally Cook

    Dear Sussan —

    Will we ever get out of the grip of the dolorous drama and bureaucratic blustering that has become the special on our menu?
    If we do, I know you will be first in line, cheering. As for me, I’ve escorted two teddy bears downstairs and placed them under a small tree complete with stocking caps and scarves, as a reminder of better times and saner people, of which you are decidedly one !
    Merry Christmas to you, my dear friend.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Dearest Sally – a very Merry Christmas to you, too! I promise my next couple of poems will be free of dolorous drama… we all need a break from the current insanity in a time when we should be celebrating the miraculous wonder that is our salvation. Watch this space on Christmas Day, my friend!

      Reply
  5. Sally Cook

    PS – The tree is the one wearing tinsel and such
    For adding one scarf would be more than too much !

    Reply
  6. jd

    Wonderfully clever, Susan, from the first
    word to the last. Merry Christmas
    and thank you for the poetic treat.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Thank you very much for your kind word, jd. I’m glad you like my cheeky Christmas offering. Here’s to a very Merry Christmas and a brighter and saner New Year!

      Reply
  7. Peter Hartley

    Susan – what a delightful picture you paint of festering elves and reindeer variously and imaginatively put out of action. The one on the rotisserie spit is surely Donner (Kebab) who is often mistaken for Vixen because both of them have red noses. Jeff yearns for Cliff Richard songs and don’t we all. Haven’t we lost so much innocence in these apocalyptic times we live in today? But still we’ll have the scintillating wit of your poetry when all the lights go out, shining like a beacon in the dark.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Peter, the Donner (Kebab) wonder passed me by and my sides are aching from laughing! Donner may well have to replace Vixen on the rotisserie spit! ‘Mistletoe and Wine’ always springs to mind when talking of dear ole Cliff’s Chrimbo crooning. I once had a cat that identified as a dog and grew fierce and savage in tooth and claw when ‘Mistletoe and Wine’ blared from the radio… a frisson of fear always travels down my spine when I hear the first strains… and King George Lionel is banished before I dare play this firm favourite. Laughter really is the best medicine for worldly pains… I intend to keep giggling (poetically) throughout 2022. Merry Christmas, Peter!!

      Reply
  8. Margaret Coats

    Happy Xmas to Texas, whence cometh this cheer!

    Grouchy the Chief of Disease did gain-of-function on California rain clouds, meaning that we have just started four days of downpour. He was most disappointed in grinchy young governor Gruesome giving us only a month-long mask mandate from December 15, but Gavin is up for re-election, and cannot afford anything better for his bureaucrat boss. And Gruesome masking will not apply to private parties, of which we are planning a wild one on a secret date.

    More merrily, thanks to you, Susan, for Christmas Eve fun. And a very merry Christmas to you and Mike and all your celebrating companions, who must make up to one another for whatever Santa is forbidden to accomplish this year!

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Grouchy the Chief of Disease has a lot to answer for, Margaret, and as for Gruesome… he boggles the sane mind. Bring on the maskless, wild parties for the fearless lovers of all things just. Wishing you and your family a cuddlesome, celebratory Christmas and a bright and poetry-filled New Year! x

      Reply
  9. Brian Yapko

    Susan, after I lifted my jaw up from off the floor and caught my breath from rolling around on the floor laughing, I again went through your Tim-Burtonish/Addams Familyish Christmas poem and found gem after gem of morbid hilarity. I simply can’t unsee Vixen roasting on a spit or Santa hitting the sauce. If I could, I’d comment more deeply about the many seriocomic treasures to be found but we’re too close to Christmas. Let me simply say that — as usual — you make your deadly serious point with extraordinary aplomb and some gallows humor extraordinaire. A hit. A very palpable hit.

    And a very merry Christmas to you and to Mike. May you spend this holy time in a Grinch-free zone!

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Brian, Mike and I always dance in the Grinch-free zone, as I know you do. I love to rise above the ridiculous with ridicule and this poem is the result… there is much to be said for the curative wonders of laughter and I’m thrilled my words wove their magic. May you have a joyous Christmas and a smiling New Year… in spite of the woes of the world. 🙂

      Reply
  10. Sandi Christie

    Oh no! Not the rotisserie spit! Ohhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!

    Thank you for your wonderful poetry and for making us laugh! We need more laughs these days! And a very merry Christmas to you!

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Sandi, you are absolutely right… one can never overdose on laughter! Here’s to a laughter-fueled 2022! A very Merry Christmas to you.

      Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      I had to look the barn comment up, C.B. Thank you… I think! 🙂 A very Merry Christmas to you and yours.

      Reply
      • C.B. Anderson

        My comment, Susan, was meant to raise the question: What else can go wrong? But, just out of curiosity, where and how exactly does one look up the subject of burning barns? A barn is where one may store hay and other crops, not to mention the livestock, so a burning barn, for a farmer, is nothing less than a total disaster.

  11. David Watt

    Brilliant work Susan! I loved the “grinchy old Grouchy”: that promoter of
    needle-stick ouchy. There is no coming back for poor old Vixen now that she’s on a rotisserie spit.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      “… that promoter of needle-stick ouchy” – priceless, David. You never fail to inspire me. I still owe you for borrowing your ingenious “scariant”! Poor vixen… I worried a little about that line… until I heard Mike laughing loud enough to wake the dead Rudolph! Wishing you a very Merry Christmas… in spite of all the worries we have these days.

      Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      I’m thrilled to have brought a bit of extra jolly to your door this grim Chrimbo! Mike and I wish you and Paul an extra special one!

      Reply
  12. Norma Pain

    You have managed to turn these nasty times inside out, and shown us the wonderful, optimistic brightness of humor. Thank you Susan, you are brilliant.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Thank you very much, Norma. I think we’re both on the same page as far as a bit of jolly is concerned… a smile makes all the difference, and I thank you for your joyful poetry. Merry Christmas!

      Reply
  13. Tamara Beryl Latham

    Wonderfully penned, Susan. Your poem is humorous with a perfect rhyme scheme. Makes me miss yesteryear even more. 🙂

    You are a rare poetic talent, indeed. Enjoy a wonderful Christmas and New Year.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Thank you very much for your kind encouragement, Tamara. A very happy new year to you!

      Reply

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