Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Counting the Cards OR Who's Missing...?

I don’t send Christmas cards because I am neither a religious nor ‘Christmassy’ person. I send poems to many people, but most prefer to have a card they can put on the mantel so visitors can count and see how popular they are. It came as no surprise to me, therefore, that when I stopped sending cards. most people stopped sending one to me. After all, you can’t put a poem on the mantel…

Some people tell me I should send Christmas cards anyway (why bother with a poem?) if only to let those who matter to me know I am thinking of them or keep in touch with those I have not seen or had much contact with for a long time. 

Not seen or had much contact with for a long time? Why not seen or had much contact with for a long time…if they matter to us?

Too often I hear people say they have not contacted someone because he or she has not been in touch with them. Well, if they really matter to us, should we not try and find out why…?  A visit, telephone call, letter, email, skype…we all have the means to get in touch by at least one or other of these means. If we don’t, something is seriously wrong that people to whom we supposedly matter need to know about. 

So who’s asking…?


Festive bells bringing
good news across this sorry Earth,
wringing comfort and joy
from all those needing to believe
in a godly saviour’s birth;
Oh, reason not the need,
they would have us all be sure,
but keep ourselves snug
by some cosy fire if only to feed
heat and light to despair

Winter solstice passed,
and now it’s the Christian’s turn
to answer questions
on flaws in natural laws exposed
by the origins of religion;
little or no harm done
on days when Apollo joins the fight
to save the heart’s cockles
from faltering, till cash for its meter
runs out at dead of night

Early hours, shivering
and demanding answers of a God
inclined to turn a deaf ear
on material demands like how best
to keep out the cold;
where spiritual sustenance
always on hand, available in prayer,
even arthritic souls 
obliged to get out of bed, trust they
won’t catch pneumonia

Spending on a charity card
to loved one, friend and neighbour;
best wish them well
on the mantel (for everyone to see)
than save for the meter
or if we meet in the street,
they will find a way to make clear
that mean-spiritedness
is not in keeping with the spread
of Christmas cheer

Where Christmas (or any) cards
a roll call for those who play a part
in our lives, big or small,
it should be those plainly missing
that strike mind and heart
hardest of all
and to whom the spirit of human love
turns to help investigate
reasons behind any absences
before it’s too late

Conscience pricked about someone?
Get personal; pay a visit, telephone...

Copyright R. N. Taber 2011; 2014

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