Christmas Lights

Christmas Lights

 

Red light pokes through Christmas snow as a carpet

of wet brown dead pine needles softens your walk

from Usang Apartments to Immundae, where you’ve

sat, looking at Ggachi in Sycamores for seven years.

One eighth of the life so far boiled down to a poem,

a gathering, a suspended, augmented, finally diminished

goodbye.  But this is the season of hello, great merriment,

brotherhood, sisterhood: of Auld Lang Syne spiced with

eggnog, turkey, ham, the harvest feast to last through stronger

longer days, detectable to the naked eye on exactly December

twenty fifth.  My home town got its first four-foot blast in

November, so those snow-covered lights will diffuse a bit longer

than usual, emitting just enough color to stop frozen tears

from forming, and keep long-weary souls enraptured as humans

long enough for love to bloom again.  Fourteen hours of dark

but interrupted by lights many don’t take down until March. Why?

Because they know what color means to those who make their

appearance at Christmas then slink back, unable to match their desires

to the way the world really works. To them the Christmas Fa La La

means more than to the carol-leaders. A toast to quiet perseverance.

Christmas Lights

Christmas Lights

Red light pokes through Christmas snow as a carpet
of wet brown dead pine needles softens your walk
from Usang Apartments to Immundae, where you’ve
sat, looking at Ggachi in Sycamores for seven years.
One eighth of the life so far boiled down to a poem,
a gathering, a suspended, augmented, finally diminished
goodbye. But this is the season of hello, great merriment,
brotherhood, sisterhood: of Auld Lang Syne spiced with
eggnog, turkey, ham, the harvest feast to last through stronger
longer days, detectable to the naked eye on exactly December
twenty fifth. My home town got its first four-foot blast in
November, so those snow-covered lights will diffuse a bit longer
than usual, emitting just enough color to stop frozen tears
from forming, and keep long-weary souls enraptured as humans
long enough for love to bloom again. Fourteen hours of dark
but interrupted by lights many don’t take down until March. Why?
Because they know what color means to those who make their
appearance at Christmas then slink back, unable to match their desires
to the way the world really works. To them the Christmas Fa La La
means more than to the carol-leaders. A toast to quiet perseverance.

 

 

TRA LA LA finally another new one!

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

Takae (Barf Bag Poem #4)

Takae
(BB Poem #4)

Frowsy ne’er-do-wells, agitated tennis fans, nervous
businessmen and large-rimmed ladies angle for seats
on an overbooked flight to La Guardia. Takae enjoys art,
travels from her post in Tokyo to tour the U.S., perhaps willing
to yield to a man with strong character, but not in a hurry
to give up her homeland, her dreams, her loves, or her smile.

Sewer gas diffuses from the “innocent” stitcher who claimed
the last seat on this bird full of humans, so close, but so far
apart in the way they respond to this life. Unattainable goals
rule the minds of most yankees; gold is religion, nature is
hostage. Instincts suppressed for ten generations, supplanted
by profits then cleansed every Sunday by parochial Baptists.

It’s the time of starvation and gross atrocity, when
genocides play out due to no food, when clubs formed
at Yale control the whole world, when one country’s
debt causes collusion resulting in deaths to thousands who
have no idea why the bombs explode. Internal resistance is
labeled “insurgent,” while TVs spread lies to zombies back home.

The scuffle ends at Detroit’s Metro Airport when NWA 427 finally leaves.
Precious life fades behind us no matter our fate. Takae slumbers, maybe
dreaming of Kawabata’s “Snow Country” cherries, soft spring blossoms,
nature’s offerings plentiful, but how many see? Our stitcher, whose
art is Santa, hollowed be thy name, thy shopping comes, thy
economy hums, the slaughtered allow all these gains.

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 2004. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Christmas 2005 (6?, 7?, 8?, 9?…)

Christmas 2005 (6?, 7?, 8?, 9?…)

(All Together now, in Chipmunk-esque squeals, just like Alvin and the Chipmunks have sung it since the 60s)

Chorus:

Christmas comes but once a year,
soldiers bloodied, Mother’s tears,
bombs exploding in the air,
it’s Christmas everywhere!

Barons sipping booze or tea,
greed leads to frivolity,
one man’s toil is another-kids toy,
it’s Christmas in Hanoi.

Farm girls walk to city lights,
paddies shimmer by moonlight,
no one left to grow rice high,
it’s Christmas in Shanghai.

Now she sits at sewing machines,
making clothes for Wal-Mart Queens
she takes home a buck a day,
it’s Christmas in Bombay.

One hundred forty hour weeks,
raped and left no food to eat,
import maids, Sri Lanka’s poor,
it’s Christmas Singapore.

Catholic Mass in Spanish here,
Argentina has great fear
The IMF has had their say
Now who is going to pay?

Catholic Mass in Worcester town
Choir boys shudder underground,
Then comes Skip to blow the lid,
The Church is on the skids.

Bush is set on World War three
claims tax cuts will set us free
Look, a tear in Laura’s eye
The Whitehouse is a sty.

Condy says we must have spies
Who poke out the terrorist’s eyes
In order to secure some news
That we will never use.

Osama thumbs his princely nose
Knowing Dad is Bush’s Bro,
The oil secured keeps China at bay
It’s Christmas all the way.

So go out and shop some more
Buy something from every store
The fascist status quo gains power
with every shopping hour.

Christmas comes but once a year,
Bloodied soldiers, Mother’s tears,
bombs exploding in the air
it’s Christmas everywhere!

Bombs exploding in the air
It’s Christmas everywhere!

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 2005. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Christmas 2002

Christmas 2002

“Imagine.” John Lennon did.

Christmas comes with rain and snow, we are always glad
Because the family unites and changes just a tad.
We smile through held-back tears a bit,
We toast life, kiss mistletoe, and sit
Around a fireplace that crackles merriment.

Silver bells jingle, offices mingle, dressed in red and green,
Spruce boughs whiten, faces tighten on the mount, serene.
Dad plays his way through one more day,
The black notes feel ignored.
Everyone is someone. No one here is bored.

High drama hit the Stuber clan, perhaps a parting shot,
Could we walk or even stand a year of calm (why not!?)
Just like mongers selling fish or drumming up a war,
We find a way to take a break to find a clothing store,
While thanking the creator that no bones or bullets stray.

Let’s build dreams one at a time so all are happy now.
Here’s to Christmas, 2002, for the children of Iraq–
The ones who manage to survive the very last attack.
And to children everywhere suffering separation.
Can we work to build one giant family-nation?

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 2002. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Six PM, 25 December, 2001

Six PM, 25 December, 2001

It is her birthday, still she works
The wok, offering noodles, broccoli,
Special home-baked Christmas cookies
Brought to the table in a plaid tin.

Ruskin, home of the traveling tomato,
Plays host to a broad cross-section
Of Christmas diners. No Tet here. An
Eight-pack multi-generation family walks in.

Spanish and Chinese attempt to communicate
In English. Three couples in a row
Pick up take out. Over 60, loneliness
Screams from behind steaming plastic lenses.

Intermingled fortunes make her wonder
What the next customer will want.
You can’t believe everything you eat,
But we know crunchy veggies cleanse.

The dog and the dragon do not always get along.
She says thank you so much as she accepts
A three-song CD gift from a strange man,
Now done eating, looking to make a call.

Hard working Spanish-speaking revelers
Eat Chinese for Christmas dinner. She
Points to a pay phone, so the dog and dragon
Talk, then drive away from the vacant mall.

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 2001. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Christmas 2001

Christmas 2001

Mike and Jann flew down this year
But in advance of Santa.
Sammy, Heather and Carie settle for Mickey Mouse.
Visits mean more now, so a side trip
To Gramps and Grammy and Uncle Dat
Allows a glimpse, brings energy to the house.

A white Buffalo, born in 1995, was our clue
That maybe somehow something would hit
To make human contact with nature important again.
We’re gathered, yet apart. Far too individual to
Remember when tribes were the only way to survive.
Oil did it.. Energy gives a chance to see friends.

Twenty dollar checks to hundreds of charities
Chip away at the mounds of guilt piled by
Knowing we have so much more than most.
Are there enough hugs to breach the wide gap
Between urban dwellers and the golfing set?
Something hit all right, but can we accomplish, or do we coast?

Two thirds of the family passes this way:
It’s Christmas, drink eggnog, talk turkey, hold hands,
Be happy that life keeps its promise again.
Fly south, send out greetings, don’t waste a drop.
Spend time solving your city’s plight.
Offer your services, be selfless this year, make some new friends.

 

 

 

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 2001. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Christmas ’99

Christmas ’99

Cars crawl past fresh cut boughs.
Hype exceeds once-solemn vows.
Christmas spreads loganberry cheer
A toast rings crystal to end the year.

Children, shocked by “ho-ho-ho”
Turn back to parents who made them go
Only for a souvenir photograph,
Not worth the trauma, at any laugh.

So taste sweet love and sip a glass
Chat with friends before they pass
From memory like skipping stones:
Do not spend the holidays alone.

Millennium madness muddles some
But time slips by for everyone.
Stay close my friends, stay warm, stay young
And most of all, make time for fun!

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 1999. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Christmas 2006 (07,08,09…2012…)

Christmas 2006 (7?, 8?, 9?…2012….)

(All Together now, in Chipmunk-esque squeals, just like Alvin and the Chipmunks have sung it since the 60s)

Chorus:
Christmas comes but once a year,
soldiers bloodied, Mother’s tears,
bombs exploding in the air,
it’s Christmas everywhere!

Barons sipping booze or tea,
greed leads to frivolity,
one man’s toil is another-kids toy,
it’s Christmas in Hanoi.

Farm girls walk to city lights,
paddies shimmer by moonlight,
no one left to grow rice high,
it’s Christmas in Shanghai.

Now she sits at sewing machines,
making clothes for Wal-Mart Queens
she takes home a buck a day,
it’s Christmas in Bombay.

One hundred forty hour weeks,
raped and left no food to eat,
import maids, Sri Lanka’s poor,
it’s Christmas Singapore.

Catholic Mass in Spanish here,
Argentina has great fear
The IMF has had their say
Now who is going to pay?

Now the Dems have won their seats
still no nerve to scream “impeach,”
It seems they’re also on the take,
Which SUCKS for goodness sake!

Bush is set on World War three
claims tax cuts will set us free
Look, a tear in Laura’s eye
The Whitehouse is a sty.

Habeas Corpus is now gone
Now King George can have his fun
The law was passed here just in time
To root-out left-wing slime.

Osama thumbs his princely nose
Knowing Dad is Bush’s Bro,
The oil secured keeps China at bay
It’s Christmas all the way.

Barack Obama’s our new man
He spreads the war to Pakistan,
Drones are flying up above
Spreading Christmas love.

Now Osama’s dead and gone
No excuse for wars, prolonged,
Yet we aim at Kim Jung Eun,
(Iran, we’re coming soon!)

So go out and shop some more
Buy something from every store
The fascist status quo gains power
with every shopping hour.

Christmas comes but once a year,
Bloodied soldiers, Mother’s tears,
bombs exploding in the air
it’s Christmas everywhere!

Bombs exploding in the air
It’s Christmas everywhere!

 

 

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Six PM, 25 December, 2001

Six PM, 25 December, 2001

It is her birthday, still she works
The wok, offering noodles, broccoli,
Special home-baked Christmas cookies
Brought to the table in a plaid tin.

Ruskin, home of the traveling tomato,
Plays host to a broad cross-section
Of Christmas diners. No Tet here. An
Eight-pack multi-generation family walks in.

Spanish and Chinese attempt to communicate
In English. Three couples in a row
Pick up take out. Over 60, loneliness
Screams from behind steaming plastic lenses.

Intermingled fortunes make her wonder
What the next customer will want.
You can’t believe everything you eat,
But we know crunchy veggies cleanse.

The dog and the dragon do not always get along.
She says thank you so much as she accepts
A three-song CD gift from a strange man,
Now done eating, looking to make a call.

Hard working Spanish-speaking revelers
Eat Chinese for Christmas dinner. She
Points to a pay phone, so the dog and dragon
Talk, then drive away from the vacant mall.

 

 

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 2002. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Gwangju Christmas 2012

Gwangju Christmas 2012

Sa Sun and
Beop Jeong trusted deeds
over words even if their
words were so well known.
Christmas rolls

into town and for
true believers and
novices alike, simple
congregation
saves lonely souls who

otherwise
might have slipped away.
So raise a glass to Jesus,
the uniter of
think-alikes.

Even if the deeds
of many devote
Christians lay people in their
graves via Lee Myung
Bak’s water cannons,
Bush’s Abu Graib.

A toast then
to righteous Christians, in hope
that they can
help their priests see the
error of their ways.

Nothing in
the bible sanctions rape
of choir boys,
or Falwell’s use of
coffers to back the

C.I.A.
Hold hands and shed a tear for
three thousand
cultures lost when greed
filled “Christians” went

across and
stole the homes of better men
and women
who loved the land. Rise
Christians, take a stand!

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 2012.  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Two more Poems, 19 December 2013 Copyright 2013 Doug Stuber

Christmas Time

Sweet, solid foil-wrapped balls spilled out onto Mom’s
rag carpet, the kind you twine together into ovals
that soften creaky stairs in the farmhouse on the hill,
or worked for months, large enough to surround the
tree picked from your own land, over six feet tall,
because the ceiling is nine feet high, meaning this house
is not as old as the cobblestones up by the lake. It’s oak
burning in the fireplace; Dad’s good with a chainsaw ax,
wedge and sledge. This time you’re one of five children
meaning someone has lifted every box to determine the gifts,
the eldest sister is helping make home-made donuts, the
tradition that you all remember most, and one Mom continues
even decades later when only two or three, with their kids,
arrive at the homestead. Bedrooms, having shrunk, all made
up to precision, remaining toys neatly shelved, pulled down by
three-year-old, discovering about the audible qualities of wood
and gravity at the same time. Conversation is what Christmas
means: powdered sugar faces behind Danish, egg-nog. You go
back in time, play board games, remember the best times, laugh,
knowing all is good today, this day, collected, cocooned, calm, cozy.

><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><

Tenth Aniversary

Hasn’t their been enough cruelty to fill? Now that gray hairs
poke from scaly scalp can this ten-year smoke flowing over
domestic battlefield clear a long enough thin path so we can
express, at a minimum, some gratitude? Oh I know the heart
ran away in cinematic hyper-speed the moment my unrestrained
mouth told the truth. How could anyone ruin his own reputation
and the family’s with the apparent delight of a boy flushing a
lit cherry bomb down his school toilet? Again approaching a
whipping post, this one, like torn cartilage, will burn over many
years, but not heal, not burnt to the ground allowing a happy walk
away, nor mended, as cartilage has no blood circulation: thus
forever. What penance can suffice when your own penchant
for attracting negative attention heaps more on those around you
than yourself? Glass door rings a bell, lets in truck noise and
winter. You dream a future of happiness built on nothing more
than the smile of your son, some wild sports bet he had no chance
of winning, but won, running and sliding through the room. Three
friends and a spiritual advisor break your habit, then Kwang Suk
offers detached calm. This is it. You unshackle yourself, find
a free life bearable on a new ripple-free track for aging bones.