December Challenge: "Christmas Reservation(s)"

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Thread: December Challenge: "Christmas Reservation(s)"

  1. #1

    December Challenge: "Christmas Reservation(s)"

    The prompt for this month's challenge, as chosen by Phil Istine is: Christmas Reservation(s)

    You are free to interpret the prompt in any way you wish, though of course, site rules apply. If you are unsure of the challenge rules please read the 'stickies' at the top of the board. Please note that all entries are eligible to receive critique in the voting thread.

    The inclusion of explanatory text or links of any kind within an entrant's challenge entry is prohibited and will be immediately removed upon discovery. As always, only one entry per member is permitted.

    As previously announced, anonymous entries have been abolished, therefore, entrants must post their own entries in this thread, or if you desire to protect first rights, please post your entry in the workshop thread, and then post a link to it here in the public thread. Failure to do so runs the risk of your entry being disqualified, so if you require assistance with the task, please PM me, and I will gladly help you.

    If your entry contains strong language or mature content, please include a disclaimer in your title.

    Kindly make sure your entry is properly formatted and error free before you submit. You have a ten minute grace period to edit your piece, but anything edited after that will likely see your entry excluded from the challenge.

    Do not post comments in this thread. Any discussion related to the challenge can take place in the Bards' Bistro.

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    This challenge will close on the 15th of December at 7pm EST.
    Last edited by Chesters Daughter; December 1st, 2017 at 05:59 PM.

  2. #2
    put christ in christmas
    with peace pipes not oil pipes
    my reservation
    Everything you want is just outside your comfort zone.
    — Robert G. Allen

  3. #3

    Yuletide Legacy

    Lanza's luscious voice,
    yet to hit a skip,
    beckoned me to the parlor.
    It was time.
    Upon his throne of faded green tweed,
    hand cupping a tepid Rheingold,
    Daddy began to sing.
    Ash from his Raleigh
    snowed down on forest shag
    as he glorified Christmas trees
    drowning tenor with booming bass.

    My chubby hands (later slender
    as calendar pages turned to dust)
    embraced their cue
    to unwrap the fabulous four
    who wore jingle bell hats
    reluctantly gifted by my Cioci.
    Two of felt, the others dressed
    in synthetic sparkles,
    three emerald, and one ruby;
    the official family jewels.

    With one eye squeezed tight,
    he would study, then point,
    and I obliged him
    until each had a perfect home
    nestled in fragrant pine
    and glittering lights.

    When the next platter descended,
    Polish carols blared
    with Dad quavering along.
    Down the craggy mountain of his face,
    the annual snow-melt teemed
    for the Mom he lost at eighteen.
    Pretending not to see, I would retreat
    as he purged grief with salt,
    a fourth, lesser known
    gift of the Magi.

    Twenty-nine years ago,
    his wedding ring
    and the elves
    became mine.

    Mom handed them over
    with jittery fingers
    as she looked heavenward
    with eyes rimmed by brick
    and declared
    "Thy will be done."
    not speaking to "Our Father"
    but to mine.

    I slid on the too big band,
    and with no one to point,
    I placed the gems on my own,

    transforming my tree
    into a happy girl's memory.

    This year, my buckled hand,
    adorned by a band that now fits,
    did not place my faded friends
    (but they're so old and ugly, Maaaa)
    upon boughs belonging
    to a stellar generation.
    They've a new home
    flanking my kitchen clock
    on a catty-cornered shelf
    where my eyes are most drawn.
    Each was given a buss
    before being seated.

    They will watch me toil,
    and on Christmas Eve attend
    a private concert
    as I softly sing carols
    in a language not my own
    with Dad and Babcia hearkening
    as seasonal salt cleanses my despair
    and restores my brittle backbone

    a tradition altered, yet still true,
    that grants me the only gift
    I've ever really desired.

    Thank you, Daddy.

    I still miss you everyday,
    but that's okay
    because I know the passage of each
    brings us closer together.
    See you soon, Pop.

  4. #4
    Her Reservation

    She didn’t get the news at Christmas time, but she could have.
    And, why do we use the word “news”, implying fresh and unused,
    for everything? “News” sounds nice. Anyway, she chose to wait.
    What difference would a few weeks make? Just days, lifted off
    an Advent calendar her children rushed to each morning, revealing
    a secret under a flap; or a message; or a candy! Even she could hardly
    wait for the next day. Christmas is much about the counting, the waiting.

    3 months left to live
    less than 100 days more
    rebirth in spring’s earth


  5. #5

    Tchaikovsky's Cygnet

    Tchaikovsky’s Cygnet

    Tchaikovsky’s cygnet fluttered, faltered—unable to fly.
    Landing in a heap, crushed. The covert tutu crumpled.
    Tchaikovsky’s cygnet downed—the battle: Do not cry.

    A dance upon eggshells, so brittle and light, each motion
    a monstrous, delicate fight for height, toes poised to soar—
    rising above the others so tall to see the stars, the ocean.

    As she crashed down, shells scattered, laughter all around,
    dust staining the tulle of her netted feathery fluff—Her lip,
    trembling, she bit. Egg on her face, she made not a sound.

    Head high, she rose, simply turned round and walked away.
    Snow boots clunking into the dark, she went galumphing—
    Her feet knew the way as twilight turned the sky flinty grey.

    Through a coppice, pocked by fading colour and rich decay,
    lay the path. A muddy ribbon she had found in the spring—
    now in the amethyst haze her knowing feet found the way.

    To them: the wind, dark and biting cold she paid little heed,
    even as Mistral yanked a lock of hair roughly from her knot.
    Hers was a fool’s errand, but so too a quest of critical need.

    At the foot of her path, the dirt frozen hard, stood the pond,
    a lonely shore ringed in willow and oak, now stripped bare,
    while its gunmetal waters were smooth, a glassy ice bond.

    Smoother than the boards, delicate as the eggshell veneer,
    this was a test of faith. A fool, she, Tchaikovsky’s cygnet
    as she shed her coat and boots, praying no one was near.

    The waltz of Tchaikovsky’s flowers in her ears roaring.
    Swathed, a sweater of faded grey cotton, woolen mittens,
    tights and fluffed tulle, she went into the dance soaring.

    Flying as the snow began to swirl; glory, grey and pearl.
    Tchaikovsky’s cygnet, ungainly in the flock, now alone,
    just the music, the dark, trusting each step, each whirl.

    Spiralling flowers waltz, a cygnet twirling in the snow.
    There in the cobalt gloam as bitter winds start to blow,
    Tchaikovsky’s cygnet flying with only the Fae to know.

  6. #6
    Share the Day

    Christmas Day, presents and food,
    laughter, footballs’ jolly mood
    Peace reign o’er the roads today
    visitors, family, friends will stay
    to share a meal a story or two

    Uncle Bobs’ lips and Super Glue
    Remember Aunt Jessies’ first time ‘round
    roasted the turkey up side down

    Kitchen gaggles, yak, yak, yak
    rehearse the dance front to back
    cigar smoke layer divides the room
    kids upstairs past afternoon
    instruction manuals can’t explain
    new ways found to play new games

    All is well, days end falls near
    smiles and kisses, hugs so dear
    holiday fest, winters’ ball
    warm wishes, glad tidings
    reserved for all

  7. #7

    Goodwill to all men (Language warning)

    The vagrants and dossers have been bathed and shaved,
    their hair has been combed and their souls have been saved;
    we’re gifting them socks for their dirty old feet,
    and we’ll feel very smug once they’re back on the street.

    The children are safe from abuse and neglect
    and now pay their elders a great deal of respect.
    There’s no talk of obesity, none anorexic,
    We even write cards to those who are dyslexic.

    The rich take the poor out for a slap-up lunch,
    The beaten housewives get a day with no punch!
    The graveyard is silent ‘cause no one is dying
    And it’s just Christmas films that get people crying.

    Homophobes spend a day with their feminine side
    and paedos postpone looking for a child bride.
    The Colonel’s fast food really is finger licking
    and just for one day it is made out of chicken!

    Religions are neutral, they let people choose
    and your liver grows stronger with each glass of booze.
    The Indians are best friends with the Pakistanis,
    smiling at each other across shared biryanis.

    It’s a time for goodwill, a moment of peace
    and across this planet we’ll devour our feasts.
    It’s about all the people, not Santa and elves,
    but once it is over you can go fuck yourselves.

  8. #8
    A Personal Christmas

    Sorry mom, another Christmas almost gone.
    Another year that just dragged on.
    "Gavin", in his mom’s voice he heard.
    How can this be, it’s so absurd.

    Gavin scanned his man cave quick,
    Sapphire lava lamps on the shelf, but
    Purple People Eater doll next to him, dressed as an elf.
    "What the hell is going on," he said with trepidation.

    "Be careful, son. It’s Christmas Eve, this is no aberration.
    Where are your sisters on this yule tide eve?"
    "At dad’s having a good time, in case you didn’t perceive.
    Because I didn’t mourn hard or enough."

    "I was there, Gavin, in case you don’t remember.
    and I saw through your bluff.
    Now, have a merry Christmas and open the door."
    There were dad and sisters, I almost swore.
    "Illegitimi non carborundum " Vinegar' Joe Stilwell

    "Faith is taking the first step, even when you don't see the whole staircase." Martin Luther King Jr.

    What you learn in life is important, those you help learn, are more important.

    "They can because they think they can."

    "Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools will speak to say something." Plato

    "The only difference between reality and fiction is that fiction needs to be credible."
    ​ Mark Twain

    "To those of you who received honors, awards and distinctions, I say well done. And to the C students, I say you, too, can be president of the United States." George W. Bush

  9. #9

    Elf 472

    See embedded image:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Elf 472.jpg  
    Last edited by andrewclunn; December 10th, 2017 at 06:06 AM. Reason: Attachment issues
    You can never hate something so thoroughly as that which destroys what you love, and who is more guilty of this crime than the stranger who was once a lover?

  10. #10


    The light from the open door, sparkled the snow,
    as I stepped into the cold, silver shine of the moon;
    which illuminated the furrowed field and twiggy trees.
    It was Christmas Eve.
    A night of enchantment and events long forgotten.
    The air was quivering with the busy buzz of expectancy,
    surrounding me with a warm content.

    The church lights glowed bronze in the gloom
    and the faint singing of carols crept over the hill;
    tugging at my psyche with a primitive yearning,
    evoking an age old belonging to the Tribe.

    Venus blazed overhead in solitary splendour
    and I pondered anew, the birth of the Christ Child.
    I thrilled with the wonder of my Secret Christmas,
    and filled with gratitude and joy, I went back indoors.
    I drank to Venus and the Christ Child,
    and settled into a dream blessed sleep.,


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