The Yuletide Dragon

There is a dragon within the wind
whose bite cuts straight to the trembling bone,
and though no wounds remain aft to mend,
the bite lingers, still, like seeds deep sown.
The dragon seeks with its pallid eye
heartbeats by hearth, by fire, those warm lives
that flee from it as it roams nearby,
its keen unseen teeth like icy knives.

The backcloth sky is but harsh white wool
through which the bleak, blank sun often glows
cold, far-off, like a corpselight of Yule
when the biting air swells up and blows.
We are scorned by that distant-drawn sun
for yesterday’s oft ungrateful cheer,
our Summer arrogance now undone
by the Yule dragon’s icicle sneer.

Elder-aged, now, I lay all alone
in this Yuletide season of the cold
and try to sleep, but I toss and groan,
wondering how I became so old.
The dragon snorts, then groans, too, and sighs,
and licks at me through a frosted crack;
will I survive till the dragon dies,
just long enough for Spring to come back?

The True Spirit Of Christmas

When they think of their holly-jolly season
have they not the wherewithal of reckoning or reason
to think of the jolly fat man with his rosy-cheeked smile
but an avatar of delusion, an effigy of denial?
Think back to our ancestors and their bitter winters
that bit with winds and snows, the icy splinters
of that fanged desolation with its arctic blasts
and the famine and the silence, the starvation that lasts
much overlong, as a cruel-clawed hag of want
whose every kiss leaves us shivering and gaunt;
and so do not deceive yourself with dazzling lights
or warm fireside carols, or candied chocolate bites,
nor smile in cheer of a frosty-bearded elf—
rather, see it from the distant ancestral self;
look back through the cold and the darkness
to see black and white, life and death, in all its starkness:
see this wendigo calamity of each passing year
returning round again with the gift of fear,
and humility, and the keen awareness of Death
as they huddled in huts together, their communal breath
heavy with cold, an apparition of prayer
frosting upon our lips, stillborn upon the air,
and recall, too, the jolly saint withered, frost-bitten,
his fingers fallen off after he has eaten each mitten
and his red suit now white with the furious blizzard
while he wanders, snowblind, like a deranged wizard.
See him burn down a whole forest of Christmas trees
to raise his body temperature by a few degrees,
and now he calls out to children, shakes his sleigh bells,
and hungers for youthful meat while the wind wails.
His reindeer shun him, for they all wisely know
not to trust a starving man, or his laughing “Ho ho ho…”
I suppose we ought feel merry for a bellyful of Christmas hog
rather than long-pig roasting over the cruel yuletide log.