Echos Of a Yule Log

Is there Christmas music that isn’t cheesy? I do love cheesy music but even I have my limits. There’ll be no Alvin & The Chipmunks in my festive music collection. Elvis is close enough, right? Over the years my seasonal music collection has grown to include traditional to ‘modern’ classics & the wtf! All of which gets at least an annual airing.

It’s not all music though – On two cds I have a nice bunch of Dicken’s Christmas stories, thanks to LibriVox. I started with A Christmas Carol – by far my favorite & I love having this full, unabridged version. Over the years I’ve added The Chimes, The Cricket on The Hearth, The Battle of Life, The Haunted Man. Carol is the only one I can listen to every year. There’s also two radio shows: Ronald Coleman in Carol; Charles Laughton reading a Pickwick Christmas. Add Dylan Thomas Welsh memories & the cheese crown goes to Million Dollar Man’s 4 little season tales.

Scattered over several mp3 collections I have classics by the Beach Boys, Brenda Lee, Kirsten Sandwich, The Ventures, The Supremes, Stevie Wonder. Two holdovers from my youth Eddie Fisher, and my mother’s crush Mario Lanza. Jazz with Jimmy Smith, Jingle Bell Jazz, Jazz To The World. Modern classics by Phil Spector – a must have. Old school with Doris Days, Jo Stafford, Gisele McKenzie. New skool with Big Freedia, Myke Massei’s Flurries

But wait there’s more: The Surfers: Christmas From Hawaii is delightful. Rojak’s Christmas soul collection is a masterpiece. Top these off with various sets of clarions, bells & choirs, Early English Christmas. Bryan Trefel doing Welsh carols, music mix in James Brown’s great work and we’re cooking for the season. Added this year: Liberace: Christmas Music. Finally two of my favourites: Booker T’s In The Christmas Spirit; Rotary Connection’s Peace – ever wonder what Hendrix would do with Silent Night? Fa la la la.

Fog Tarantella

for too many years

I was in a tree top

shouting out for love

I didn’t care where it came from

the louder I shouted the less I heard

the higher I climbed

the further I was from it

I didn’t think of climbing down

I wanted the love that was in the air

not the common stuff of the earth

 

a snow flurry

ended a long hot autumn

of yelling myself hoarse

give me love  I want love

flakes at first a few darting specks

then a steady scrim hush

to cool my fevered tongue

letting the sky satisfy

as best it could because

the sky doesn’t love back

except with echoes

 

while the snow cloaked me

my own limbs mantled like branches

a peacock

that at a distance has stunning beauty

clumsily descended squawking

it settled by me

this close it was motley stinking

our eyes met as he opened

a breathtaking fan of tail feathers

my shouting stopped

I reached out to touch

fell into a mist

earth bound by beauty

 

through the winter fog

men danced

their arms around wisps of white

the imagined bodies of lovers

caressing the backs

touching the hair

making it as real as they could

kissing empty haze

 

would I be bold enough

to allow one of these dancing men

to dance with me

before I escaped the snow

before I climbed a tree

lost in the fog

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Do You Hear What I Hear

 How quickly do you get tired of festive music? Two minutes? Two days? Over the years I’ve built up a little collection of Christmas music that covers languages: Welsh, Russian, Swedish, French and even some Elvis. I dig them out once a year & give them their annual listenings.

lane02does it come in green

I do favour the campy/cheesy side of things with the Beach Boys, The Ventures; special favourites Booker T & The MG’s go hand in hand with Jimmy Smith. I even have one of my family’s Christmas lp’s: Eddie Fisher. I can’t say as I have an absolute favourite though. Brenda Lee’s Rocking ‘Round the Christmas Tree is pretty close to perfect though. Plus Silent Night sung by a choir of starving children on an ice flow (just kidding).

lane03lane way bargains

One thing I always enjoy is a A Christmas Carol beautifully read in complete – a free download – takes a couple of hours to listen to but it has spoiled me for any movie version. I have it burned to a cd along with Dylan Thomas reading A Child’s Christmas in Wales, plus the Million Dollar Man’s Christmas adventures, and (could it get any better?) Charles Laughton reading a Pickwick Christmas and (too much?) Ronald Coleman in a very abridged Christmas Carol.

lane01red daisies

Yeah I love Christmas but I’m always happy when its over.

 

samples

another piece out of the archives:

Circle

it’s hard to resist the notions of patterns

how the repeated gets repeated

the notion

that if you go back to the same bed

you leave in the morning

you have really gone nowhere

start to finish

at the same point

doesn’t equal progress

yet   for many that is progress

to maintain the same pattern

to have the comfort

of ending back where they started from

I do not resist the comfort and ease

of repetition

that gives structure

funny though

how much quicker and smaller these

rituals become

the older one becomes

the aching years and summers of youth

are the all too fast and brief

flash from one winter to the next

winters coming too close together

and summers never long enough

flowers come go  come go

and the gardening continues

when will the circle be broken

things are done

to keep that break from happening

the right foods for the heart

exercise  avoid the sun

drinking lots of water

a few less morsels at every meal

to cut down on the burden of the waist

each a little ritual

in hopes of avoiding the break

each

to add a few morsels of days

the gift of the moment

the miracle of breath

and joy of experiencing

what there remains to be experienced

days are numbered

but no one knows what those numbers are

we don’t know

what they are going to add up to

what will remain

is rarely equalled to

what we may have done

the mark made disappears with time

I decided not to worry about the mark made

but to enjoy what there is to enjoy

to create sustain without concern

leaving a legacy

is the least of my intent

a few memories will linger

till the last of those

who remember me

are gone

that is enough for me

another of the aging details

I sometimes forget

is about what may remain

who gets what

maybe I’ll give it all way

before the break

shedding is a good stage

to prepare me for the transition

into the next one

shed all that I wouldn’t want to move with

pretend my life

is to be reduced to a single room

what would I want to keep

make it that simple

and see what

loses its hold on me

what is really wanted

and what is there merely

because I have a place for it

those things that are pleasant enough

but which it

may be time to live without

to move on

to clear and clear

make more empty shelves

and leave them empty

invite the emptiness

into the present day

to prepare me for

what may be the void

when the circle is broken

ice01

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