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Monday, December 20, 2010

CHRISTMAS WEEK - Sunday Before...

There really is nothing more beautiful than Christmas in the snow in the country, maybe not too far and not too near the lights and clamour... just enough to be nestled away with clear night skies, fresh snow and wonderful smells from the kitchen. These days, this can sometimes be a fairy tale for many and an experience you can actually buy for others, but sometimes you get lucky and circumstance and good fortune can be the best gifts of all. 

Here are three vignettes, all based on real experiences in Montreal, Elora (Ontario), and Vancouver Island... sugary little confections best with a warm coffee before or after the mad dash into the Sunday before Christmas.


Every Star Says Hello

There's a snowflake on my tongue
because God has dropped the
bucket and everything is going white today
Are we all angels
Cross our hearts and pray
Spread our wings in the fallen snow
Kick the powder high in the air
Can everyone come out to play?
In the heart of December
In the soul of Montreal
Here we are
Arms spread out
Hands raised high
Is it a sin to laugh
Is it a sin to kiss
In the halos of orange street lights
In the eternal twilight
Of suddenly evening
They shook out the branches
and we fell
in love, our hearts melting
And every star says hello when you look up

© 2002, Ralph Alfonso 


Angels Stop For Flowers In Elora
(A Christmas Poem)

This is the world's most
perfect little country town,
sitting down with your family
we're all gathered round
the big oak table at the
back of your mother's antiques store,
rosy-cheeked from the
snapping flames and here
is Christmas dinner with all
the trimmings and a big
old tree from down the road
wrapped up in spangles and
lights and wooden soldiers
hanging on guard and
all the duck decoys, old
wagon wheels, every kind of
dried flower,
every Norman Rockwell accessory
casting shadows, and
sleepy carols whispered from
a radio made before I was
born, and that's old, baby
and you can hear that
winter wind howling up
from Elora Gorge, having
fun and kicking up the
snow so we can't leave,
and who would want to, anyway,
and when we've all gone to
bed and I'm looking up at
the stars through the attic
window, huddled up in this
sleeping bag, with you asleep by
my side, I figure if there ever
was a time to be in love,
it was now

© 1998, Ralph Alfonso 

Nice memories of a Christmas long past. Elora is a wonderful small town in Ontario, Canada, not far from Guelph and close to Fergus (famous Fergus market). This particular antique store is long gone. One of my favourite poems.

In December, 2003, in Columbus, Ohio, Christina Connor read this poem as part of an event called Christmas at 2Co's Cabaret. I discovered this news on the net and the review of her reading is described as "serene yet sensual".

No other info on Ms. Connor can be found anywhere except for a small photo here; with news that this Cabaret company closed in 2006.'sClosing.html

Well, Christina Connor, wherever you are - thank you.

This is not the store I wrote about but hey, they're in Elora and have a video on YouTube...


The cat curling up against your leg
a log crackling in the fireplace,
and John Coltrane is sweet on the little
record player we got
to keep us company,
it's Christmas Eve
in Tofino and the waves are rising and crashing
in the pitch black, lit only by the
smiles of angels on their way to
touch maybe our hearts, maybe
your cynical angry heart if you're
reading this or maybe you can
throw this piece of paper away so
someone else can find it,
the big bowls of of
coffee are steaming up the windows
there's always a nice smell to good coffee
and we always talk a long time

on a night like this
and maybe it's funny or
maybe it's something
I would never have dared ever
say before, but it's always
something that makes us hug
each other more and it's
midnight, baby, the candles
are one inch away from nowhere
I'm sure I heard a sound on the roof,
yeah, you can laugh, but
why is the cat looking up there, too?

(c) Ralph Alfonso


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