It is a whirlwind in here



Christmas Eve Without A Peeve And Ample Celebration Achieved

As arranged,
I met the fishing boat
At my Lighthouse dock,
Within the first hour
Of sunlight,
With my cat/kitten,

Black as coal in your stocking,
With one white mitten,

Perched on my shoulder.
To which he has taken
Right well.

Aboard was Sister Darling, of

The Rarefied Church of the World (reformed).

I told the Captain,
Before even speaking to
The religion-professing Darling,
That he need not retrieve her
Upon his evening return.
And wished him
A most
Auspicious Christmas.

She carried a hamper of Christmas fare
And good cheer.
As we together walked
Up toward the Lighthouse Keeper’s
My cat/kitten,
With one effortless leap,
Transported himself
From my shoulder
To hers.
He is perhaps anticipating
 Some culinary miracle
In addition to
That of Christmas Eve.

I’m The Lighthouse Poet Laureate of Partridge Island /1821 – 2021 / A lot of stuff have I seen / A lot of stuff to report}

Might I Have A Christmas Visitation Of Total Delight?

An outgoing fishing boat

A weighted box onto
My Lighthouse dock
This morning.
I found it on my first
Island rounds.
Inside were festive packages,
With ribands, and garlands,
And stern instructions,
Warning me NOT TO OPEN
Until Christmas.
There was even a
Cookie Tin with bells
For Paw, my cat/kitten
Black as tar
With one white mitten.
There was a personal note.
Folded pages,
Sealed with wax.
Sister Darling,
Of the Rarefied Church of the World (reformed),

Will come to visit from an outgoing boat
On Christmas Eve morn.
And, might I decide,
Before return tide,
If I might like a visit
To extend

I‘m The Lighthouse Poet Laureate of Partridge Island /1821 – 2021 / A lot of stuff have I seen / A lot of stuff to report}

Me Dealing With Santa Claus & Me As Santa Claus

Although I am no fan of having the Santa Claus story take such a bite out of Christmas, I’m not against Santa Claus. In fact, we’ve had quite the relationship.

I had two ‘encounters’ with Santa while a child. I can’t place the exact years, but I remember them from the houses I lived in at the time.

The first time – I would have been no older than five – I was going to the outhouse on a dark Christmas Eve. The outhouse was a couple of minutes walk from the house. On my way I heard the bells on Santa’s sleigh. No, don’t try to dissuade me, I know what I heard. I even remember the direction I had to turn to see if I could see anything. I was right quick about doing my business.

The second time would have been a couple of years later. On Christmas Day I saw the marks from Santa’s sleigh runners on the snow beside the house.  Never mind your smiles, I know what I saw.

And, a few years after that, I was with some younger friends who questioned me about the reality of Santa Claus. Now, by then I did not believe that Santa existed. But, I didn’t want to tell the “children” that. Neither did I want to lie. I don’t know how long it took me to think of a way out, but long enough (obviously) for it to remain strong in my memory. My answer was: “Well, there must be a Santa Claus. How could your parents afford all those gifts?”

In the years when I did a fair amount of house-sitting, I did so for one couple where the husband had a perfect resemblance to Santa Claus. Thus, for many a Christmas, he was the hit of local gatherings. And he had a beautiful suit and hat and – of course – a real beard.  

I also know a poet whose first book was about Mrs. Claus. She is also known to dress up the part (even with a Christmas bonnet) and read at Christmas gatherings.

For myself, well, one day, I entered my financial institution around Christmas and got into line. As we snaked forward I came opposite a mother and father with a young child. He looked at me and screamed (literally) “Santa Claus!” Then he burst into tears. I don’t know what troubled him (maybe I was out of uniform).

Finally, a couple of years ago, (and this was not around Christmas, though it was Fall) I was walking in a park. A family approached, two parents and three children. One of the boys (and he looked five or six) dashed ahead and stood in front of me. “Santa Claus,” he said. I thought it was some sort of joke but he turned excitedly to his siblings and said “It’s Santa Claus.” He was quite happy. The father said “Maybe not.” but did not really try to dissuade him. And neither did I.

Shameless & Self-Serving For Christmas With An Elephant

Christmas presents?

Does anyone want a perfect Christmas present?

This is that.

I Saw Ships Come Sailing In Before Christmas Day

(I’m The Lighthouse Poet Laureate of Partridge Island /1821 – 2021 / A lot of stuff have I seen / A lot of stuff to report}DE BA. UEL

It’s the full moon before
Christmas Day
With a heavenly glow,
On the water.
I’ve often wondered if
The Star the Three Kings
Was really the Moon,
‘Cause I bet those old
Were really buggered.
Any way, I have unfurled
Swaths of red and green
Sail canvas,
Down the side of
The Lighthouse,
To be festive for
Approaching ships.
And if
– if –
Anyone comes to visit,
I have a red riband
For Paw, the cat/kitten,
Black as the space between stars,
With one white mitten,
To wear by way of
Jesus celebration.
I’ve tested him with it,
He doesn’t mind,
Though, by now,
He knows there will be
Extra fish in his dish,
Whenever I
Tie one on.

(I’m The Lighthouse Poet Laureate of Partridge Island /1821 – 2021 / A lot of stuff have I seen / A lot of stuff to report}DE BA. UEL

On The First Day Of Advent, Sister Darling Gives Me A Treat

Sister Darling takes
Her Ministrations
To her far flung flock

And never more so
Than at Festive times.
An outgoing fishing boat
Dropped her off early
At my Lighthouse dock.
And her 

. . . admittedly . . .

Earthy ministrations

Took the place of breakfast.

But she had also
Brought foodstuffs
An Advent calendar.
She let me pluck out
The first gift.
A substantial chaw
Of Spruce gum,
Which will last me long.
She also brought
A small bag
Full of some herb,
For my cat/kitten.

Let me tell you,
He was kept right occupied
All day long.

(I’m The Lighthouse Poet Laureate of Partridge Island /1821 – 2021 / A lot of stuff have I seen / A lot of stuff to report}DE BA. UEL

The Elephant Wishes Baby Jesus A Happy Birthday On Christmas

I am not a total Scrooge, and have written some Christmas tales.  Here is a wee segment –  though a huge event – from The Elephant Talks To God:



“I want to see you,” said the elephant, and the words raced from his mouth. “I don’t have to see you, you know that. I’ve believed even before you talked to me. But I want to see you, it would mean so much. I wasn’t around for the Baby, but cows and sheep and things got to see Him. I can’t explain but it would … “

“Go home,” said the cloud.

“You’re not angry with me?” said the elephant.

“No.” The cloud started moving away. “It’s an honest request.” The rain stopped falling. “Thank you for coming.”

“You’re welcome,” said the elephant.

“Sing some carols,” the voice was distant. “I like them.”

The elephant turned and started through the woods.

He ignored the tasty leaves within easy reach and the tall grass near the brook. He wanted to get home as quickly as possible so he could join the singing he knew was happening later in the evening.

He turned along the trail, snapping a branch here and there in his haste, when he noticed the stillness, the hush which had overtaken the forest.

He slowed down, and then stopped in his tracks.

He turned his head, his small eyes squinting into the brush. There was movement coming toward him, and when the trees parted, he went to his knees with a gasp.

Tears rolled from his eyes, and a golden trunk gently wiped them away.


[The Elephant Talks To God]

Baby Jesus Touches Ivory On Christmas Eve

In my novel, A Lost Gospel, a Unicorn is present at the birth of Jesus.This is something – as far as I know – not disputed by religious scholars. Glarus, the Celtic priestess who accompanied the Unicorn, describes this event to Bettine and Sirona, themselves young women attending unicorns. Glarus was asked to be present at the birth by the astrologers seeking the Baby. We know of them as the Three Wise Men, or Kings.

“The kings had some information, but the rest they had to figure out. They had

surrounded themselves with astrologers, navigators and philosophers. They knew

from the Jew’s Holy Book that the baby was to be born in Bet Lehem, and the Star

helped lead them to that town. We didn’t need the Star the last couple of days, but

it had given us comfort during a hard and uncomfortable trip. That last night we

waited on the outskirts of the town, and went in after sunset.”

     “Were you afraid?” Sirona leaned closer.

     “No. Why would I be?”

     “You were going to see god.” Bettine glanced at Sirona as she spoke.

     “To see God is a joy – not a fear.”

     “And was he a baby?” Sirona giggled. “A baby god.”

     “It was a time for the paying of taxes to Caesar, and Bet Lehem was crowded with people.” Glarus examined the fire for a moment. “The inns and resting places were fully occupied. We finally found Yeshua and his parents in a barn, beside one of the inns. He was settled with the animals, and sleeping in the hay.”

     “But this was a god.”


     “But – ” Bettine sounded perplexed. “He should have been in a temple – or a palace. Not surrounded by animals.”

     “There are more barns than palaces.” Glarus nudged the wood in the fire with a poker. “And more animals than priests. God is god of the world – not some carved gold in a temple.”

     “But god can have whatever he wants.”

     “Yes.” Glarus leaned forward and touched the young woman. “So remember what he chose.”

     “What was god like?” Sirona was impatient, and pulled on Glarus’ skirt.

     “God was the baby of a woman. A baby such as any of us could have.” Glarus looked at them closely. “You must not forget that. This god is as much man as god.” She stood suddenly and leaned toward the fireplace. “He was asleep when we entered. Even his mother was dozing as she held him.”

     “What was she like?” Sirona didn’t realize one question interrupted another.

     “Her name was Mary.” Glarus removed the pot from the open flame, and placed it upon a squat stone jutting into the hearth. “She smiled as her head nodded – she seemed quite peaceful. She was attractive, but not what one would call beautiful. She didn’t seem much older than me.” Glarus looked mildly surprised. “She could still be alive, for that matter. She certainly seemed healthy enough.”

     “Did she talk to you?” Sirona leaned forward, the heat of the fire against her face.

     “She spoke to the ones who knew her tongue.” Glarus looked down at the women. “But no – not to me.” She suddenly smiled. “I saw her glancing at me a few times, as her husband talked to the others. And she took a liking to the unicorn – as did the baby.”

     “Did she – “

     “What I felt most was her bewilderment.” Glarus didn’t realize she had interrupted Bettine. “She must have wondered why rich and powerful people were crowding into a barn to see her son. Giving birth for the first time was enough to get used to.”

     The women were silent for awhile. Glarus stirred the pot, and tasted the liquid in the ladle. Bettine looked curiously around the house, while Sirona stared thoughtfully at her mother. She was hearing things she had never heard before.

     “When did the baby wake up?” Bettine’s question broke into the silence.   

     “We hadn’t been there long.” Glarus began moving about the room, gathering mugs together, along with food and utensils. “I think I was the first to notice. I just followed the lead of the unicorn, which already was walking toward him.”

     “Did he touch the unicorn?”

     “Yes.” Glarus took a loaf of bread from a cupboard, and removed some wedges of

cheese from a pottery jar. “It was obvious Mary had never seen such a creature. I

don’t think she was afraid, but she was hesitant to let the unicorn get too close

to the baby.” Glarus ladled the hot drink into the mugs. “However, Yeshua reached

out with his tiny hands, and tried to touch the ivory horn.”

     “Did he touch you?” Bettine sipped the drink, and found the fruit tasted as if it were off the tree.

     “Mary let me hold him, as she and Joseph prepared some of their food for the kings.” Glarus passed the platter of bread and cheese to the young women. “Food less grand than this. But still, the best of what they had.”

       “You held god in your hands?” Sirona marvelled at the secrets she had never heard.

     “Yes. While the others ate.”

     “What was it like?”

     “Damp.” Glarus looked at them both and laughed. “He was a warm and wet little baby, open-mouthed and smiling one moment, squeezing up his eyes in frustration the next. I still had the smell of myrrh on me, and he pushed his face into my breast, making contented baby noises. To the others, it looked as if he were trying to get fed. Joseph said something which made the others laugh.” Glarus chuckled as she took a bite of cheese. “When I finally heard what it was, I smiled too, even though I was embarrassed.”

     “What did he say?” Sirona and Bettine asked the question together.

     “Well. It’s no secret I’m big up here.” Glarus placed an arm across her chest. “I’ve had too much attention from too many men to let me forget.” Glarus cut more slices from the loaf of bread. “Joseph had said, that if the baby became too used to me, they’d have to use one of the cows after I left.”

     “What did you say?” Sirona shared a glance with Bettine.

     “It wasn’t my place to say anything. Anyway, I could tell he wasn’t trying to be offensive – or attentive. He was a poor man surrounded by rich and powerful strangers, and he was trying to be accepted.”

     “Did Mary say anything?”

     “Mary did not push out her garment, even if she was full of milk. After the laughter had stopped, I dared glance at her. She gave a shy smile and shrugged her shoulders.”

     “If you hadn’t gone the way you did.” Bettine dipped her mug back into the flavoured drink. “Without following the star and the kings – would you have known Yeshua was a god?”

     “No.” Glarus sipped from her mug, then placed it on the table. “But the circumstances were not natural.” Glarus hesitated before slicing more cheese. “The unicorn would not have been present, and I would not have seen them share time.”

     “What did he do?”

     “The unicorn?”


     “Both.” Sirona was excited. “When they were together.”

      “They looked at each other with recognition.”

     “But – ” Sirona coughed over her drink. “They had never seen each other before.”

     “They saw more than just the bodies they possess.” Glarus placed her hands side-by-side on the table, almost touching. “When Mary realized the unicorn would do no harm, she held the baby this close to him. Yeshua reached a grasping little fist toward the ivory horn.” Glarus smiled at the two women. “You know how the unicorns avoid a stranger’s touch.”

     “Yes.” They both again spoke in unison, and laughed.

     “He bent his head carefully toward Mary, and let the tiny fingers rub against his horn. Yeshua’s eyes went wide as he sniffed him all over. The unicorn pawed in the dirt and the straw, and as much as his face is capable of smiling, I’d swear that he did.

     “He didn’t even mind when Mary began to scratch him behind the ears. He moved his head so she could stroke the base of his horn, which he loves most of all.”

     “I didn’t know of that place for years.” Bettine absently rubbed her fingers across the table. “I hesitated a long time before I even touched the horn. It can be so cold.”

     “They don’t encourage contact,” agreed Sirona.

     “Perhaps I was jealous. He encouraged Mary and the baby to do things for which I had waited years.” Glarus looked into the fire a long time. “He showed complete trust amid the strangers and the tumult. Usually, just the smell of humans and other animals make him disappear. This time, he ceased being wary, and concentrated fully on that little baby.”

     “And Yeshua?” Sirona stared at her mother. “What did he do?”

     “The baby turned his head, and stared at me.” Glarus again hesitated. “It was then I knew that I was looking into eyes which had seen the OtherWorld.”


I Saw The Star To The West Of The East


And – yes, I know – it is not really a *star* , but a conjunction of the two planets, Jupiter and Saturn, and they are no where close together but actually 456 million miles (734 million km) apart, with Saturn nearly twice as far away as Jupiter. 

And – yes, I know – it is not really a *star*, but a conjunction of the two planets, Jupiter and Saturn, and they are no where close together but actually 456 million miles (734 million km) apart, with Saturn nearly twice as far away as Jupiter.

But why quibble?

And I know I am two nights late (blame the clouds), and that (by now) a billion or so folk have already seen it (them). And, in truth, I could barely distinguish two separate heavenly bodies with the naked eye, and did not really do all that much better with my small (and – most certainly – non military-grade) binoculars.

And yes, as I sought the best non-Earth polluting light place to stand (in the very cold), and the Bay ferry came in, and it was a far more spectacular light show, moving at a right old clip to get to its berth and (I’d guess) eventual supper for all passengers and crew, well … still.

We were right chipper to see it, with crisp snow underfoot, and a half moon at our back, and it was well-worth the stomping of chilled feet and jack Frost (that wily old bastard) nipping at our ears and the promise of our own supper (and a snootful or two of wine) waiting for us in an hour or so (actually, a half hour now).

So we will be of good cheer, and a participatory part of the Earth’s population, and have a shared memory with all, and with each other.

And, if this conjunction is actually what certain ancient astrologers saw those two thousand years ago – well, bully for them, too.

And the wee Babe they found.


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