Christmas Rounds – Jane’s Circular Poem – The Twenty-Eight – December 17, 2015

spinning tree

Following their ancient rounds
Sounds of joy floats through the town
Down the alleys ‘cross the mall
All the children dream of this:
Kris Kringle’s bright reindeer sleigh
Away on Christmas evening
Following their ancient rounds …

In children’s dreams:
Creams and candy
Dandy toys too
Blue berry pies
Skies with snow-flakes
Skates on lakes – spin
In children’s dreams.

© G.s.k. ‘15

This morning I had a really stimulating meet with The Secret Keeper about her last week’s poetry prompt (Weekly Writing Prompt – please click to see the interesting prompts she puts up), intrigued that she’d written with the combination of the circular poem and the twenty-eight for her 18 December post (spoilers!)  I thought I’d like to try it – but forgot that the twenty eight is a seven syllable poem in  only four lines, however, thank heaven’s there’s a variation  .. so I wrote the variation as a “twenty-eight circular poem” (seven lines with four syllables each).

I’ll link this to B&P’s Shadorma & Beyond – Jane’s Circular Poem … (also The Twenty-Eight)

The Old and New – Kurisumasu Haibun – December 10, 2015

“T’is the season to be jolly!” sang little Akira Daichi* at the top of his voice as he walked in the snow-covered woods. He loved the crisp cool air, the red holly and the white mistletoe berries, all this said to him: Merīkurisumasu**!

Kitsune watched from her hiding place as the boy gathered the white and red berries, she was curious, so she took on human form, to find out what this new game was.

“Konnichiwa! O-genki desu ka?***” she said bowing.
“Genki desu!****” he replied respectfully.
“What are you doing?”
“I’m gathering holly and mistletoe for Christmas. I’m going to help decorate my sister’s home for that festivity. Her husband is American.”
“Ah so! Kurisumasu is American?”
“No no .. not just American. It is a mixture of the old European religions and Christianity.”
“Ah so! Like with our Shinto and Buddhism! That is good. Teach me your song … of “jolly”.” said the kami.

And so Akiro Daichi taught her his song and she helped him to find the most beautiful mistletoe and holly for the holiday.

This is how Kitsune learnt about Christmas and even today she helps anyone who comes to her woods to find the best and brightest berries remembering her friend’s love of Christmas. And when the bright day comes, she sings her “jolly” song at the house of Yuki-Onna.

the old and new
with bright winter colours
Merīkurisumasu

 

*bright great wisdom
**Merry Christmas
***”Hello. How are you?
****I’m fine

Kitsune

Is the Japanese word for fox. Foxes are a common subject of Japanese folklore; in English, kitsune refers to them in this context. Stories depict them as intelligent beings and as possessing magical abilities that increase with their age and wisdom. According to Yōkai folklore, all foxes have the ability to shape shift into men or women. While some folktales speak of kitsune employing this ability to trick others—as foxes in folklore often do—other stories portray them as faithful guardians, friends, lovers, and wives.
Source: Wikipedia

Yuki-Onne

The Lady of the Snow, the Snow Queen or Winter Ghost in Japanese mythology. Sometimes she appears as an earthly woman, marries and has children, but sometimes she will disappear in a white mist. To those lost in blizzards, struggling futilely against the cold, she came, soothing them, singing to lull them to sleep, then breathing a deathly cold breath on them. The “snow maiden” was the spirit of death by freezing; a calm, pale woman who appeared to the dying, making their death quiet and painless.
Source: Japanese Goddess Names

The Japanese religious tradition is made up of several major components, including Shinto, Japan’s earliest religion, Buddhism, and Confucianism. Christianity has been only a minor movement in Japan.

Carpe Diem Extra #43 Carpe Diem Kamishibai Kurisumasu

In today’s episode of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai – Extra we are invited to “kamishibai Kurisumasu” … write a Christmas Haibun.  My favourite kami – Kitsune came to mind immediately, so please indulge me on my imaginary voyage to some unknown time in an imaginary Japan when a little boy taught Kitsune (whom I imply, taught Yuki-Onne) about Christmas.

A Lone Tree – Chained Haiku – December 20, 2014

Winter_tree_by_NickKoutoulas

alive
in a snow glaring field
stands a tree

misty thoughts
of years ago when others stood
pass through its rings

memories
of moving life and swaying friends
long past

in the distance
lights cover the valley
a singing wind

alive
on a lone tree in an empty field
a sparrow lands

© G.s.k. ‘14

Christmas_Greetings_scrapofangel_elements (111).png

Alive, adjective: (Of a person, animal, or plant) living, not dead; (of a feeling or quality) continuing in existence; continuing to be supported or in use;(of a person or animal) alert and active; animated; having interest and meaning.

Glaring, adjective: Giving out or reflecting a strong or dazzling light; staring fiercely or fixedly; highly obvious or conspicuous.

Misty, adjective: Full of, covered with, or accompanied by mist; (of a person’s eyes) full of tears so as to blur the vision; indistinct or dim in outline; (of a color) not bright; soft.

 

(Linked to Three Word Wednesday – Mindlovesmisery’s Menagerie

* the photograph of the tree was published on the Fairy Tale prompt from Mindlovesmisery’s Menagerie.

Speakeasy #141: The Christmas Play

trees-xmas-550x412

The Christmas Play

Everything was ready.  She’d been working on the project for three months.

The actors knew their parts, the costumes were ready.  The music had been chosen carefully, now, it was just a matter of sitting back and watching the play.

Her son smiled at her: “A Christmas Carol?  You know the only reason I watch that is because you’re obsessed with it!”

“Yeah, but this one’s different, this one I’ve put on…you’ll like it!”

The snow began to fall on the evening of the 22nd…the play was to open on the 23rd.

The gentle flurry turned into a blizzard.

The city was completely covered in snow in a matter of hours.  The power went down at dawn.

At 5:00 she somehow reached the theater, no one was there. No one came.

Her son drove up in his car.

“I thought I’d find you here.”
“Yeah…well, hope is always the last to die.”

“Let’s go get some hot chocolate…maybe you can open tomorrow night.”

“No…The Nutcracker is scheduled.” She sighed.  He gave her a hug and they both got into their cars heading for home…

There was nothing left for her to do but walk away.

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Speakeasy 107! The Night Before Christmas: Grandpa’s Story

My FireplaceThe Night Before Christmas: Grandpa’s Story

We all went to grandma and grandpa’s house that year for Christmas.  We’d arrived just in time before a blizzard hit and that was no mean feat, we were something like fifty people from all over Illinois.  Grandma had made lots of pallets for us to sleep on the floor.  Now, thinking back from my 60 some years, I guess it looked more like an emergency shelter than a house.  Except for the huge Christmas tree in the living room.

The pot belly coal stoves were blasting out their heat.  As well as the 50 some odd people, so it was really hot that Christmas eve, though outside it was very cold indeed.

Grandma distributed egg nog and hot chocolate as well as Christmas cookies and we all waited for Grandpa’s Christmas story.  Grandpa told the best stories.  Every time we visited he’d tell a story about “the olden days”.  This was the story he told us that night:

“Well now, in the olden days, seems that Santy Claus didn’t have no reindeer you know.  There weren’t so many places he had to go to give gifts back then.  America hadn’t been discovered yet, and the Christmas star hadn’t begun to shine…util…well now I’m going to tell you about that when!

Old Santy Claus lived in the dark woods of Germany…the Black Forest I think it was called.  He loved his forest and he loved little kids too.

One year, it came to his ears that the terrible snow storms had blocked everyone in their houses.  The Yule log, which you had to burn to welcome the new year, had gotten wet and wouldn’t burn.  All the proper cleaning had been done for the festivity, but without the burning of the log…well, the Sun wouldn’t come back bringing spring with Him.  The children of course couldn’t have their Yule gifts unless the log burnt.  It was a right terrible situation, I can tell you.

So old Santy, as he was more or less the king of his forest, chose a greatbig ash log that he’d put asides for a long winter’s night, and he pulled out his sled, hooked up his horse and put the log and a whole bunch of little wooden toys he’d made over the year into the sled and started off for the village which was pretty far from his home and it was still snowing too, by gum!

It took him no little while to get there and night began to fall.  It was very dark at first then, up high in the sky, he saw a brilliant star that seemed to sit right over where the village should have been.  The snow kept falling, and it was right cold.  His trusty horse though just kept moving along going towards the star.

It was close to 10:00 of the night, just like now, when he saw the first lights of the village.  The bells on his sled were a jingeling away, and the people looked out to see who’d come to visit them.  He pulled up to the great house, were all the people used to go to celebrate their feasts…it was nearly abandoned, but the Chief of the village was there.

“What have you come here for in this terrible night?” asked the Chief.

“I’ve come to bring you warmth and light…and a couple of gifts for the children too.” he replied as he pulled off the skins that protected the Yule log and the toys.

The Chief rang the bell that called all the people to the great house.  They came in droves, thinking maybe there was an emergency…in those days, there were quite a lot of barbarians around, like Romans and Huns you know…and when they saw it was Santy’s sled they were not a little surprised.  But very happy!

They took the log into the great hall, and the gifts too.  Everyone ran back home to bring food and drink…like grandma did a little while back.  And the people sat around the fire, singing songs for the Sun who would now surely return.  At midnight…the people went outside…the snow had stopped at last, and the star that shone in the sky was so bright, they were sure that it must have been the Suns’s own son who’d come to tell them that all was right in the world and spring would be early that year.  You know, I think that must have been the very first Christmas in the world, nows I come to think about it.”

We kids sat in awe, and then one of my older cousins said:  “Look, it’s stopped snowing!  Let’s go see if the star has come out too!”

(I’m afraid I went a little over the word count, this is 784 words)

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  • Submissions must be 750 words or fewer.
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  • Your piece must include the following sentence ANYWHERE: “Grandpa told the best stories.”
  • The Speakeasy is for submissions written specifically for the grid. Please don’t submit an entry if you intend to showcase it to another blog link-up. Such posts are deleted without notice, like tossing re-gifted fruitcake.
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