The winner of the under-12s section is Matthew Austin, aged 10 of the Wemms Educational Unit, Ashtead with his poem ‘Christmas Explanation’
One day closer, twenty-four to go
Christmas is coming,
Hopefully it will snow.
Christmas day is in December,
Let’s hope we will remember.
When Santa Claus will fly,
On his sleigh, through the sky.
The Winner of the adult section is Ange Treanor with a very funny poem about cooking under the influence!
The doorbell rings. They begin to arrive,
all smiles, initially.
‘Maybe it’ll be better this year,’
I say, unconvincingly
But soon the arguments ensue
over what to watch on the telly.
I stay in the kitchen, out of the way,
but I can’t help hearing the melee.
‘Don’t you talk to me like that!’
‘I want to watch the Queen.’
‘What on earth has Jim put on?
It’s utterly obscene.’
The turkey’s stuffed, the sprouts are prepped,
it’s all going to be just fine.
I eye the bottle in the fridge
and pour a sneaky wine.
‘Mum, Harry keeps on picking his nose,
it’s annoying and utterly crass.’
Chop, chop, chop, I grit my teeth
and pour another glass.
Whilst steaming this and basting that,
I put the potatoes in
and then I take them out again,
to add goose-fat to the tin.
‘Granny wants a coffee
and Grandad wants a tea.
Uncle Tim says he’d like a beer.
What time will dinner be?’
‘With all these interruptions,
it’ll be midnight, I should think,’
I drain the carrots and mash the swede
and pour another drink.
The tree-lights twinkle merrily,
Until gran trips over the cable,
Her landing is soft, though her legs are aloft
as she crushes the gifts near the table.
‘Look, Mum.’ Harry’s full of glee.
‘Samson’s wearing a hat.’
He’d pinched his grandad’s toupee
and put it on the cat.
‘Must get the crackers ready,’ I say,
arranging the cutlery.
Then I serve another round of drinks
and, of course, one more for me.
I’m not sure quite what happened next.
A time-warp, it would seem.
The pans are all bubbling over
and the kitchen’s full of steam.
The pigs in blankets are burnt to a crisp.
The Christmas pud has sunk.
The gravy has solidified
and has that turkey shrunk?
I prise the roasties from their blackened pan
and take another drink,
then hack the meat off the rock-hard bird
and drop it in the sink.
Scoop the gloop, splat the mash,
pour custard on the carrots.
‘We’re hungry’, they complain again,
like a bunch of flaming parrots.
They receive their food, eventually,
though some got in my hair.
Grandad puts his teeth back in
And fixes me with ‘that stare’.
It appears I’d finished off the wine,
whilst playing Christmas cook
and the fayre I’d produced looked nothing like
the pictures in Delia’s book.
But they all tuck in, none the less,
serving gravy by the slice.
And though Aunty Joan almost choked on a bone,
She said that it tasted quite nice.
As I look around I’m suddenly glad
that my whacky family is here.
For there’s no-one else I’d rather share
my Christmas with each year.
© Ange Treanor 2016