Sunday, December 27, 2020

Working in Winter

Limed and frosty, his beard breaks the iced air.
Hollow and cranky, his voice steams and booms.
The knife edge of sunshine that slices fair,
Razors the shadows in dark, frosty rooms.
Early mornings are hard in the Winter,
Even when sun-dogs cavort in the sky.
Probing and sharp, each draft is a hinter
Of the chill companions that outside lie.
Sunbrowned from hours spent in the white glare,
Covered in layers, to keep life inside
Far from the gelid atmosphere's air;
Granting a body's warmth someplace to hide.
Such are the protocols and daily chores,
Of one who spends long days working outdoors.

Mick McKellar
December 2020

I have vague memories of working on projects that involved spending entire days out in the glare of sun on snow and cold creeping in every gap in my clothing.  


Wednesday, December 23, 2020

An Old Man’s Carol

An old man lay awake in his warm bed,
And wondered why it was he wasn't dead;
Pond’ring many a possibility,
To justify his own longevity.
As long awake and struggling, he lay there,
A passing Christmas angel heard his prayer.
"Dear God, I feel so useless!" was his thought,
He feared he'd lived much longer than he ought.
"My life is backwards from what it should be;
I'm always sick, can't help my family:
My loved ones, my responsibility.
Instead they have to help take care of me!"

The angel heard his heartfelt lonely prayer,
A carol on the crystal morning air;
And swiftly flew to aid a soul distressed,
Console a spirit hurting and depressed.
He hovered till the old man’s eyes had closed,
Until his breathing slowed, he softly dozed.
Then soft as baby’s breath, a bright sunbeam,
He stood revealed inside the old man’s dream.
“Hail, ancient one!” he cried, and then he laughed.
His merriment, ice crystals on a draft
That washed a spirit free of regret’s stain,
And made one feel alive and loved again.
The old man felt like he was but a boy,
Awash with love and peace and Christmas joy.

The old man’s eyes shone bright with happy tears,
His soul felt buoyant, free of leaden years.
His brown eyes locked with angel silver blue,
And instantly, with certainty, he knew
That long ago a baby came to Earth,
That God’s Son was the infant in that birth,
That stories of a heavenly home were true,
And he would go there when his life was through.
Until that time, he had one simple chore:
Return his loved ones’ love with even more.
The angel kissed his brow and flew away.
The old man woke and smiled -- Twas Christmas Day!

Mick McKellar
December 2020

My friend, the Christmas angel, is back and helping old codgers like yours truly to remember the meaning of Christmas and to find the joy of this happy season.