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artwork by Leonid Ivanovic Solomatkin, 1863

artwork by Leonid Ivanovic Solomatkin, 1863

Friends in every corner,
in every dip and knoll,
the characters you’ve come
to love, the ones you’ve
yet to know…await you,
storyteller, in the vales of
Christmas time regardless
of the names you hang on
God the father, son,

for story does not circumscribe;
the crescent moon, the candles
lit, return of light belong to all of
us, and dialogue that’s truly spoke
the muses offer joyfully—agendas
and false claims, though, she will
nine times trample with more vigour
than those weary steeds of yesteryear
whose revelations cease with
every moment fully lived.

There is no greater danger here
nor will there ever be to storyteller’s
page than politics; it is the Herod
king, the tyrant of the writer’s
soul, desirous only of the murder
of your firstborn, tender words,

so banish all interpretation, friend,
your knee-jerk reflex, let the heralds
bring instead with angel voices
infinite the merciful blank page,
for given space, they’re fashioned
well to sing with you of fearless tales
whose twists and turns and frights
delectable will muster you to
boldly stand and say:

Get thee behind me, tragedy,
for I’ve a romance in the making
here—I’ll travel every word on
sleighs of ink and nib, discarding
with my happy wake the agitation
of your concretizing reigns of hell
while flow surfeits my veins and
carries me as lovers do to
snowy mystic realms;

and when the New Year greets
us with her precious infant smile,
we two shall look upon the wintry
hillsides where your audience, well
gathered, toasty warm with flasks
of chocolate and brandy, wait ready
to receive the story of the gladdest
tidings yet, sweet born and seated
on this noble Christmastide.

© Elaine Stirling, 2012