The catalogues came with the closing of August,
cards and presents on credit
and easy payment terms.
Street decorations, naked of light,
began to flank our streets -
bunting for the party season
to shine on merry drunks
in early celebration.
The shops have jumbled ‘xmas’
with end-of-line summer
In homes and houses
there is little room
for those who would suffice with stable:
the sign above their doorways
saying ‘no vacancies’
for future messiahs
with blood on their hands.
This is not blood-red Christmas
with salvation wrapped in swaddling,
uncomfortable in straw.
This is snow-white Christmas
sanitised and without batteries
in furry slippers with comic faces.
The carolled refrain of ‘I want’
rings from eager children,
regardless of age,
their noses pressed
against shop-windowed fantasy.
Pastors consider their wrappings
of a present without price
where truth and marketing collide,
what is the acceptable face
of unacceptable truth.
How many presents will lie,
abandoned and still wrapped,
at the foot of Easter’s tree?
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