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> A Carol for Christmas, 6th annual MMHC
Thoth
post Dec 14 09, 13:44
Post #1


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Group: Gold Member
Posts: 783
Joined: 24-July 07
From: South Africa
Member No.: 457
Real Name: Walter Schwim
Writer of: Poetry & Prose
Referred By:Mistral



A Carol for Christmas

December is hot and humid in Johannesburg.
Breeze, strangled by buildings
chooses not enter the city, preferring to sulk
on the outskirts where it stirs shredded plastic bags
between the haphazard rows of stinking shacks.

Every day, thunderheads build in the south
then move in, storm-troopers clearing the city slums,
washing litter from pot-holed streets
into the grey poisoned waters of Braamfontein Spruit.

The turbulent sky is alive with birds.
Opportunistic gray gulls swerve and ride the air-currents,
diving down to grab any scrap of discarded offal tossed
from the countless white minivan taxis
moving like fat termites among a mass of
black ants that teem the colourful sidewalks.

Sacred Ibis fly overhead in pulsating vee formations,
beating their way upwind from garbage dump
to the stagnant East Rand swamps while
swallows, swoop and skim the grey concrete buildings,
snapping up big shiny green bottle flies. Feral pigeons
occupy every available ledge and rooftop.

Who knows what inhabits the sewers below?

And on the streets,
amongst the throng of jostling bodies - move the vultures;

Beggars and street kids - minds blown on petrol and glue,
hawkers of cheap Chinese imitation brands,
pirated music, petty thieves, porn-brokers and scamsters.
Lurking in the shadows are the syndicated gangsters;
pimps, prostitutes, drug peddlers and car hijackers;
gun dealers, fences and identity sellers.

Everything has a price . . .
And the city never sleeps,
even today.

An Indian shopkeeper looks out from his armoured sanctum
within the steel cage that protects his meagre stock.
Will the next “customer” pay up
in Kalashnikov currency
or 9mm parabellum ?



The sandstone walls
of St Mary’s cathedral on Wanderers Street
were not always so shabby and its
red Romanesque roof not as faded.

The bell no longer tolls
and the huge mahogany door is only unlocked for services.

Inside, however, city noises vanish!
Peace descends upon the visitor
staring up at soaring white-plastered
columns and graceful arches - five stories high!
Glossy parquet floors, beautiful stained glass windows
and simple wooden benches remain just as they were
back in the heady days of the gold-rush.

Next door, the “Chapel of Remembrance” lists some
Eight thousand citizens who died in the second world war
and its said that ghosts of the apartheid struggle
walk the isles hand in hand with the some of early pioneers -
like CJ Rhodes and other servants of her Majesty the Queen.



The magnificent pipe-organ still lifts its voice on Sundays,
soaring through the airy dome, raising the spirits of
three hundred worshipers -
where once two thousand were seated!

Today is the 25th;
congregants pack the pews,
spilling out into Wanderers street.
Worshipers from all over Africa add their voices
to the great organ and hymns rise in a crescendo of praise
that roars aloft - past the pigeons and swallows, past the soaring crows –
into the belly of the cumulating storm who’s thunder reverberates between the buildings.

The Son of God smiles and
touches the city with a beam of sunlight,
bathing the cathedral in a glow of forgiveness .
For one brief moment, everyone stops what they were doing to listen.
Perhaps, somewhere in this man-made hell on Earth,
one sinner will be touched by the holy spirit
and be cleansed
at last.




© WW Schwim 14 December 2009


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Psyche
post Dec 14 09, 14:39
Post #2


Ornate Oracle
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Group: Praetorian
Posts: 4,273
Joined: 27-August 04
From: Bariloche, Argentine Patagonia
Member No.: 78
Real Name: Sylvia Evelyn
Writer of: Poetry & Prose
Referred By:Grace Galton & David Ting




Hi Wally!

The first part sounds like Buenos Aires... ghostface.gif

I notice that this year there's a majority of sad Christmas poems. Good thing Lori eliminated the original bit about 'edifying or uplifting', coz otherwise there would be few entries. Sad, but true. mellow.gif

Can't comment or crit the poem itself in this forum. Just stepped in to have my say. upside.gif

Hugzzz, Syl***


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Or the hearts of sheep, and the wind
Pours by like destiny, bending
Everything in one direction."

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Cleo_Serapis
post Dec 14 09, 19:17
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Mosaic Master
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Group: Administrator
Posts: 18,891
Joined: 1-August 03
From: Massachusetts
Member No.: 2
Real Name: Lori Kanter
Writer of: Poetry & Prose
Referred By:Imhotep



Thank you for your Holiday entry Wally! holly.gif

Best of luck! dove.gif

May the 'classic' holiday spirit be shared in your heart throughout the season! blueorn.gif

~ Mosaic Musings Staff knight.gif Pharoah.gif Viking.gif vic.gif princess.gif troy.gif cali.gif tut.gif knight.gif



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"It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step into the Road, and if you don't keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to." ~ J.R.R Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

Collaboration feeds innovation. In the spirit of workshopping, please revisit those threads you've critiqued to see if the author has incorporated your ideas, or requests further feedback from you. In addition, reciprocate with those who've responded to you in kind.

"I believe it is the act of remembrance, long after our bones have turned to dust, to be the true essence of an afterlife." ~ Lorraine M. Kanter

Nominate a poem for the InterBoard Poetry Competition by taking into careful consideration those poems you feel would best represent Mosaic Musings. For details, click into the IBPC nomination forum. Did that poem just captivate you? Nominate it for the Faery award today! If perfection of form allured your muse, propose the Crown Jewels award. For more information, click here!

"Worry looks around, Sorry looks back, Faith looks up." ~ Early detection can save your life.

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