Listen, Santa Clause is coming!
See his tummy bulge and billow!
All her cotton, as she feared...
What about the little boy that lives down the lane,
Ragged in the snowstorm, whistling in the rain?
What about the little girl the other side of town?
There's no one she can run to, and her world is falling down.
Dead father, drunken father, father gone away,
Sick mother, no mother, think of them today.
These are the lost ones, little ones alone.
These too are Maryland, these are our own.
Christmas is coming, and shall they be dismayed?
Send a Merry Christmas check to the Children's Aid.
Nash was a former President and long time board member of the Children's Aid Society.
(:30 second preview)
Make me a child again just for one Yule;
Reverse, an if please you, the flow of the river,
Let me be a receiver instead of a giver;
Tuck me cozily into a wee trundle bed
As visions of sugarplums dance through my head,
Which would be a superior substitute for
The seasonal nightmare of yore and Dior.
Please provide for this Christmas alternative symbols
To replace Lord and Taylor, and Macy's and Gimbel's;
If you stop being a miser,
And I hope none of us here will have to be haunted by ghosts to remind
us that Christmas is a specially nice time to be alive,
And I wish you all a very merry one, and a very happy 1935.
(:30 second preview)
And was then struck dumb as he watched a miracle.
He gazed aghast at his handiwork
As every experiment went berserk.
The bacteria, freed from their mother mold,
Settled down to cure the common cold.
Distant islanders sang Hosanna
As nuclear fall-out turned to manna.
Rockets, missiles and satellite
Formed a flaming legend across the night.
From Cape Canaveral clear to the Isthmus
The monsters spelled out Merry Christmas,
Penitent monsters whose fiery breath
Was rich with hope instead of death.
Faustus, the clumsiest of men,
Had butter-fingered a job again.
I've told you his head was far from level;
He thought he had sold his soul to the devil,
When he'd really sold it, for heaven's sake,
To his guardian angel by mistake.
When geniuses all in every nation
Hasten us towards obliteration,
Perhaps it will take the dolts and geese
To drag us backward into peace.
I’ve never seen an abominable snowman,
I’m hoping not to see one,
I’m also hoping, if I do,
That it will be a wee one.
The clock is crouching, dark and small.
Like a time bomb in the wall.
Midnight whistles, loud and clear.
Duck! Here comes another year.
P.S. It's not their fault, but just their luck,
Some children have no place to duck.
That is why this plea is made;
Remember, please, the Children's Aid.
Mirrored below upon the shifting waves.
Rejoicing as they bare their whitecap fangs
Snapping at every lonely gull who braves
Their dripping jaws upon his wheeling course,
And shrieks disdainful at their measured force...
Written as a student at St. Georges, Middletown, RI
Was wracked with pains,
When people addressed him,
He held the human race to blame,
Because it could not pronounce his name,
So, he turned with metronome and fife,
To glorify other kinds of life,
Be quiet please - for here begins
His salute to feathers, fur and fins.
'Carnival of the Animals' is a perennial choice for Christmas concerts. See an interactive exhibit of this work here.
She says all she wants for Christmas is no more suggestive songs about Santa Claus.
Myself, I am more greedy if less cuddle-y.
And being of '02 vintage I am perforce greedy fuddy duddily,
So my own Christmas could be made glad
Less by the donation of anything new than just by the return of a few things I once had.
Listen to a recent NPR story about this poem here
Or, Incompatibility is the Spice of Christmas
(Excerpt from The New Yorker 12/14/57)
Do you know Mrs. Millard Fillmore Revere?
On her calendar, Christmas comes three hundred and sixty-five times a year.
Consider Mrs. Revere's Christmas spirit; no one can match it -
No, not Tiny Tim or big Bob Cratchit.
Even on December 26th it reveals no rifts;
She is already compiling her lists of next year's gifts.
(:30 second audio preview)
Only the children clasp His hand;
His voice speaks low to them,
And still for them the shining band
Wings over Bethlehem.
God rest you merry, Innocents,
While innocence endures,
A sweeter Christmas than we to ours
May you bequeath to yours.