A Christmas Carol


It’s not always magical


Charles Dickens surely wrote the book.
He found the cutest Little Matchgirl
peering through a window of opportunity.
And in the halo of a leaded mullion,
the Victorian deceit of Perfect Christmas.

‘That’s old,’ you say, ‘days have come and gone.
Those ghosts? – devices, spectres of the past.’
Yet in the blast, a cold-toed child
still stands outside the feast.
All despite a Christ Star waxing in the East.

It’s come to this, you see, and thus.
A grinding poverty lives among us still.
Paucity of love and all-absenting fellowship
allows mankind’s child to do without.
And fills three crosses black against a hill.

Where is the charity we preach?
It dare not reach beyond a cozy threshold.
We give, at best, to those of creed and kind.
Then cry out ‘wipe your feet,’
and ‘leave all foreign sentiment behind.’

Religion is but form over substance.
Giving tickets for the seating at Christ’s feet.
Sanitizing Crucifixion.
Psalms of praise in perfect diction,
and Mahomet, one more middle class elite.

It’s a world gone mad that sees its children suffer.
It’s just fighting in the queue that leads to Hell.
Must each bible-bashed extreme
leave us drowning in the stream,
like our maladroit humanity as well?

You see, moral codes are not reserved to Godheads.
Humanism is an ‘ism’ like the rest.
Every do good in the land,
bangs the drum in his own band:
His Redeemer, Lord and Saviour is the best.

So we’re left with someone gilding all the lilies.
After ‘suffer little children come to me’
All these ‘lilies of the field’
stand unvarnished through the glass.
In that Festive scene we only rarely see.

Yes it’s cold outside, but if I may, I venture:
That ‘it’s colder in each paradise we build.’
Our hearts moribund and bleak,
like the empty words we speak.
won’t revive the many infants that we’ve chilled.

© franciman 2023
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Very deep, and well thought out. So many wrongs and rights in the world. Personally I stopped loving Christmas when I was a teenager and learnt girlfriends come and go at this time of year. Perhaps that’s what they mean by New Year being a new start 🙂


I love the structure of your poem the rhythm and rhyme done to perfection.
The message is multilayered and stark. A rich tapestry of the contrasts between what we want to believe and how things really are.
Excellent Jim
Alison x


I enjoyed this because it’s history brought to the present, for me its dirty enough to tell it “as it is” and debunks the false faith that takes and gives falsehood to suffering, as if that makes it all acceptable. Suffer little children indeed!


A true poem. Taking someone into your own home instead of just complaining about someone else not taking them in is rare indeed. Too many distractions and First World problems.

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