Patrick Osada


A selection of my poems for DECEMBER

                                                   Snow in the Park - Kathleen Caddick 

Remember snow in sixty-three?
A blizzard came on Boxing Day —
snow lasted for a month or more.
That eerie quiet and the cold
of empty streets each evening time
when, with a group of teenage friends,
I'd tramp for miles down rutted roads.

We'd heard about the frozen lake
and made our way to Highnam Court
to cross that water in the dark.
Ignoring sounds of creaking ice —
so young and brave and bullet-proof —
we made it to the other side
oblivious to the risks we took..

This Christmas Eve I hope for snow:
to wake, deep in the night, to light
reflected from a new white world.
With silence thick about the house,
sound smothered by snow's eiderdown,
I'll creep downstairs, turn on tree lights,
wait joyously for Christmas dawn.


Sitting under cover on the porch,
cat could smell the weather closing in.
Crossing fields, cat’s man aches with cold,
behind him sky, no more than yellow fringe.
As the lights came on, the first snow fell,
beyond the man, trees, so dark and still;
late, last birds hurry towards the wood,
from fading twilight, quickly night draws in.
Warmth from opened door greets man and cat —
by dawn their world will be a silent white.

In the hearth a blazing log gives heat,
outside the land must yield to Winter’s hold;
man and cat find comfort in the warmth,
sit watching snowflakes melt on window sills.
Slowly night draws close her frosty veil
as the dark consumes the valley’s breath
and falling snow creates a tranquil peace.
Now that land is held in Winter’s grip,
snow brings silence, everything lies still
while cat and man enjoy its magic thrill.

All night the village gleamed with lights.
By dawn the chase and flash have stilled,
Neon dimmed, the glitter gone.
Now, in cold brightness, trees look sad :
Cable-bound, wreathed with dead-eyed lamps,
They wait, impatient for the night.

On Larkshill orchard trees were decked -
An Advent custom now revived -
But gales have swept the tinsel down,
Spread broken streamers on the grass,
Leaving the orchard looking bleak -
As festive as the Longshot tip.

Trees are best dressed without man’s help :
At West End Farm, where horses wait
In icy fields, in solitude,
Crab apples hang above the gate,
Sparkling, frosted, on cold air :
Gold Christmas baubles catching sun.


“The past's a foreign country,” Hartley wrote
and so, with age, I've found this to be true.
Today, my birthday, asked to reminisce,
memories took on a sepia hue.
All things remembered alter over time:
perspectives shift, main features fade from view
and distant details take new prominence —
a colour, sound or smell to centre stage,
my narrative reduced to fire or rain.
Worst still, to find my memories don't chime
with your technicolour trophies from our past,
or find some things have gone, lost in a fog,
or disappeared completely from my life…
It makes me wonder what the future holds,
could this presage a new and frightening strife?

The past is a foreign country – The Go-Between, L.P. Hartley

       (Christmas Cards)

Star-lit villages (Middle-Eastern style);
See, travellers arriving in thick snow;
You may choose baubles, various kinds of bear –
A run of kings or donkeyed pair to go.

Here, villagers cavorting on thin ice;
Inevitably robins strike a pose.
Fir trees, snowmen, fat men in red coats,
Cats and dogs and deer…a Christmas rose.

Where are the two that we should celebrate? –
Their images are from another time;
Cards with their pictures became quite rare of late –
Does modern man admit to the sublime?


Christmas came early to New York.
In a Catholic church in Queens,
an empty model stable waits
for figures to create the scene
of Jesus Christ's Nativity.

Just before Thanksgiving Day
a woman, with her babe in arms,
had stopped to linger in the church.
Quickly she laid her baby down,
then made a tearful getaway.

The babe discovered – medics called
to join the crowd where new born lay,
their torch beams shone out from the crib
as if the light from child was born --
a present day Nativity.

This scene, so like Renaissance art,
was captured by parishioners —
their images beamed round the world
to celebrate this miracle
at Holy Child, Jesus church.


Like Scrooge’s knocker on his door,
a lion mask surveys the scene
from high upon the Inn’s front wall.
Here, in the ancient heart of town,
a crowd fills up the Market Square
to stand beneath the Christmas lights
and mark the dressing of the tree.

Dads, late from work, meet family groups
to watch as baubles, made in schools,
are raised by a  triumphant Mayor.
Cameras flash and choirs sing
as trimmings soon are hauled aloft –
raised safely by hard-hatted men
who cherry-pick each bauble’s spot
where they will gleam and gently swing.

United, whilst their youngest child
had led the choir, sung out her heart,
this family starts their war again.
While others queue for hot mince pies,
by diverse routes they leave the square :
father, sad kids, mother elsewhere –
by Christmas they will live apart…

And, from the tip of this year’s tree,
a sad-eyed moon sees everything :
Waxing to wane, waxing to wane.


Off motorway on local roads
the countryside’s a sheet of white.
A broken hedge, an upturned car,

wheel tracks soon lost in failing light.

A broken hedge, an upturned car,
the countryside’s a sheet of white;
bright presents scattered on the ground —
ribbons and tinsel for the night.

In the car a mobile’s ringing —
silence is broken by the sound;
ribbons and tinsel for the night,
bright presents littering the ground.

A dark stain spreads out from the car,
somewhere close a child is crying —
silence is broken by the sound —
mobile in the car starts ringing.

A dark stain spreads out from the car —
wheel tracks are lost in failing light;
somewhere close a child is crying,
the countryside’s a sheet of white.