Wednesday, 23 November 2011


Everything glistens -

baubles hanging
from plastic discount-store trees,
battery-operated dancing snowmen,
singing Santas,
illuminated shop windows reflected in the eyes of loan-sharks,

and Hark! the herald check-out tills sing
while the new-born King of Bliss sleeps on

and as another sale rings up
the ox and the ass are turfed out of the stable
to make way for the golden calf

and everything glistens -

all the tinselly tat
and cheapjack gimcracks
that have been in the shops
since before Martinmas,
before all-souls, all-saints
and before the autumnal equinox

and everything glistens -

retail assistants are run off their feet
answering to the beck and call
of short-fused customers
who refuse to queue
but grudgingly sink into deeper debt

and everything glistens -

as they throw their money away
on one stress-filled anti-climactic day,
that in a twinkling is over and gone

while the long, cold torpor of winter lingers on.

And everything glistens.

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