IMAGE OF AN EVE
By Mark Head.
HEAR YE OH HEAR YE to the sleighing of bells and rustling red velveteen ruffles and frills down some chimney’s end sooty black while the snorting of sleigh bells roofhigh mane-toss smokey steam fumery high.
Is that a slight sound down that chimney to ground is that boots scraping and sliding down down to the fire-place round?
Creep closer like creeper like sleeper so nearer and nearer then CLATTER HIGH HEY DE HO! HO ho HO ho HO ho that fades to the stars glides by moving moon and there the sun soon is brewing to throw light shrouds over night.
Let us fly and there to the sky aswaying and rocking the clouds are a clapping some far trip from the toyshops of North.
But there in each dell are small faces
They’ve forgotten their places in bybyze
A scamper and flurry of small forms that hurry in the washed moonlight that flickers
See the small faces that scurry white and excited to star high tree starry, hear the tinkling of bells little trills and the twinkle of silver shred tinsel that rustles from passage of forms-
The small patter of feet crams dark corners and night brighty eyes glowing they peer far and low-
Small arms clutch and cuddle each other but no-one is there?
What did you hear?
“THERE’S ONE WITH A BEARD!”
“He’s got no beard!”
But the feet beating of sleighbells roof high gave the lie.
Small faces turn quickly to side “We’re not here!”
But the soot came down swirling and ghosting black smelling ATISHOO! ATISHOO! AHAH!
SSSH. The red toysack upscrambled a-wheezing to self and a sneezing
“—-too old—- too cold for this!”
It really WAS him, you see.
All my poems are for reading aloud, and I used to read this one and many others on poetry days and especially on Xmas Eve at the Storey Bridge Hotel in Brisbane. In those days I was a practising poet person and this one was one of my personal favourites and I hope you enjoyed reading it. It is my intention to have video clips with myself doing the reading but that technology raises logistic problems I have not mastered yet but I dare say I will get there since I have seen it in action in other places.