Map of Austin Poetry #163-1 Theme: Clause/Claws/Claus

1. The First Northstar Launch
Christman Beyond 2000... by J. Stephen Keller, a/k/a Dunkin

Up over the mountains, and under the moon,
this courier flew like a crazy loon.

With a crew no bigger than kids half grown,
they checked their position, as they passed over Nome.

A cargo bay, jammed packed full of gifts,
when the Northstar shuttle, first powered to lift.

The packages all lined up neat in back,
the faster to refill their little green sacks.

Toys wrapped in bundles, and ties for the dads,
some teenage fashions, in the latest of fads.

With boxes for moms, tied up in lace,
the Northstar cruised, for cold outer space.

Then setting a new course, to dock with space station,
a check list in hand, for every which nation.

They would stop at the moon next, then over to Mars,
and in a hundred, or more years, might go to the Stars...

But for now Pete, and Erin, and cute little Bess,
could do nicely, (just coping), with this vessel's test.

So each beamed aboard, to a crew member's room,
then scurried about, but soon left the gloom.

The presents were noted, 'With Santa's best wishes,'
the three even washed a few dirty dishes.

So, in the blink of an eye, or a thought in the head,
to the Moon, then to Mars, and back home to bed.

With their flight a success, and Santa's; "Well done,"
the Northstar could rest, till the next Christmas run.

2. Christmas Spirits by Jan Houston

Friends come to me
in Christmas Present
caroling new joyfulness
singing a holy peace

crafting of Christmas Past
a lavish festive wreath
of family children friends
entwined in fragrant holly
green pine memories

warm beckoning the celebration
of sparkling Christmas Future's
ornamented dreams
with each kind
brave and winning act
of Love

3. Grand Illusion by Ryfkah

Renoir's black and white
celluloid geranium
severed in war's grief
tears flood man's face
Like God's emanations
myriad worlds
to touch
he roots in Capricorn earth

In Asian jungle
he was scourged
thorn crowned
and died for his sins
Nightmare caveat
of murdered children
inflamed holy men scorched villages
awaken him with stigma
His wounds bleed Stigmata

Mea culpa Mea culpa Mea maxima culpa

He gears in a brown suit
with brown shoes and socks
white starched shirt
The market is volatile
Money will be lost
fortunes deflated
He will be blamed

In childhood he dreamed
of sugar plums
candy canes a new red racer
Mommy held him when ghosts
paraded in his head

Thyme flowers this winter
Rain and dew prayed for in Jerusalem
are begged for across the earth
His garden yearns renewal
The solstice converts light
An old soldier never dies
just fades away

Snowflakes like fine lace
pile as rubble on the ground
as another season begins

4. Taking Down The Tree by Chuck Rice

Carefully removing the hook
and silver icicle strands,
I replace each ornament
in its original box, still
seeming new, save the euphoric,
time-altering scent of storage.

In the light-reflected sparkle
of each handled keepsake
I relive the joy
of its inauguration,
the memories of holidays past.

Half-divested, or be it
half-trimmed, Christmas trees
stand like solemn obelisks,
timeless monoliths
before which we kneel
seeking absolution
from the spirits of childhoods past,
in search of the first sentiments
of hope, long since lost.

How is it that we pack away
somewhere, our goodwill,
the magic of believing
in miracles, and in one another
to dust them off but once a year?

In reverence I take down
the red ribbon bow’s majesty,
remove the royalty of gold bells,
unplug the celestial lights
and put to sleep the guarding angel
as though preparing for burial
the body of Christ.