Daily prompt: The other sort of Christmas


We stand in the kitchen, cold beer in hand
breathing in the mixed-spice smell of Christmas
while outside, the day’s heat settles into the warm softness of dusk
and the rhythmic shrill of cicadas gives way to the burble of crickets.

I will put on my shoes
and be swept along on the
surging through city streets,
eddying into the cool of shops
where baubles hang above harassed heads
and young girls in short shorts buy after-shave
and grey-haired grannies play with tip trucks
and check the robots for batteries.
Sweat and iced coffee, buskers and balloons,
fretful babies and Christmas carols,
and we’ll catch the ferry home because it’s cooler.

But tonight
we stand in the kitchen barefoot,
breathing in the cut-pine, cherries-and-mango smell of Christmas
and hearing the children squabble on the lawn.
‘It’s hot,’ you say.
‘It’s Christmas,’ I say,
and we smile.




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22 Responses to Daily prompt: The other sort of Christmas

  1. Pingback: Relax – Daily Prompt – Ladyleemanila

  2. Relax... says:

    Wow.. this is beautiful.

  3. Susannah says:

    Beautiful – and so very different to this Canadian reader’s imagination!

    • I always thought, as a kid, that having a white Christmas would be the epitome of magic, but back then I didn’t fully appreciate the magic of having such a celebration at a time when people wind down, kick back and revel in the joys of an ice cream, barbecue, cold watermelon summer break.

  4. I am guessing that YOUR Santa doesn’t come with the reindeer and sleigh? Well, merry whatever you celebrate and enjoy it, however you do 🙂

    • Oh yes, Santa comes from the North Pole, reindeer and jingle bells all the way – except maybe when the odd kangaroo hops in to give them a hay break. Happiness of the season to you as well. The main thing for us is that the family gets together which they will, although possibly a few days late this year but that won’t matter.

  5. Frank Prem says:

    Lovely Helen.



  6. What a wonderful poem (and I wish I were there!) 🙂

  7. bkpyett says:

    What a beautiful poem, Helen. You capture the desperation and special qualities of an Australian Christmas. Merry Christmas!

  8. Fran Macilvey says:

    Tis lovely and festive, reminding me of warm Christmases. Thank you! 🙂 xx

  9. This is such a beautiful poem Helen. I loved reading it

  10. Aunt Beulah says:

    I’ve often imagined what it would be like to celebrate Christmas in the summer. This is the first time I’ve read anything that put me there and made me feel it — and it was fun!

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