Blacked Out, Sadly Not Liquidated  -  Christmas at Cambridge 1973

Charles Macfarlane

Lazily in hazy veils,
The mist dissolves the burning sodium
Of such few street lights not blacked out
Into smothered sulphurous suns,
But fails to stifle their languid trails
That wink and gleam like necklaces
Bestrewn amongst the Cam's damp winter ducks
That even in this cold hour of midnight
Clamour to be fed!

After preparatory weeks of storing up treasures on earth,
To the accompaniment of endless, mindless, jingled carols;
Of not being able to find everyday foodstuffs
Hidden behind seasonal trivia cluttering the shops;
Now at last Christ is born,
He'll soon have strutted and fretted his hour upon the stage,
And will be heard no more,
If ever even remembered, easily and guiltlessly forgotten
In the pointless excess that is the point of Christmas.

And next year we'll have to go through it all again ...

So few who find it natural to be practising Christians;
Yet so many who find it natural to be practising Christmas!


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