Sorry for the late post. I was ensconced in my own preparation for the holidays, making cookie, pierogi and Placek (Polish Coffee Cake). The day just got away…

Last week we laid out our traditions. This week we highlighted the preparation for the season. The response has been great this December and thusly has made the selection  process a bit arduous. But we have come to a conclusion.

Marie’s Beautiful Bloom:

Janet Martin’s “reminder note to myself” creatively taps into the very ambiance of the season: sights, sounds, scents, joy, emotion, stress, and exhaustion. As I read through, I took particular pleasure in the joy and festivity. I was also impressed with (and can relate to) the descriptions of the unpleasant aspects of “volumes quite obscene,” “dollars become brave,” and “describing greed as need.” Janet’s note concludes with the solemn reminder that it is the state of my heart that needs tending. Janet, this is a superb Christmas poem that I hope finds a home in a card or publication.

reminder note to myself…

Poinsettia for the table
Bloom of festivity
Pretty little angel
To grace the Christmas tree
Lights and pretty candles
Lending their gentle glow
In tiny golden circles
Wee choirs in the snow

Cookies, cakes and puddings
In volumes quite obscene
Large and tiny presents
Wrapped in bright red and green
Songs extol the season
And malls the latest rave
Excuses become reason
As dollars become brave

Stress finds brand new victims
And cheer loses its mirth
All in the preparation
To celebrate His birth
Shopping lists extended
Beyond the budget’s creed
Holly, jolly merchants
Disguising greed as need

Christmas Eve descending
We brave the cold perhaps
To find within a chapel
A pew, where we collapse
My house sure looks amazing
The food, a work of art
Wouldn’t it be something
If this had been my heart

Walt’s Selection:

This piece by Marian Veverka has touched a familiar chord with me, playing on very similar traditions and their preparation from my own Polish heritage. She has captured the essence of some very time honored customs. My Bloom goes to Marian.

Worlds upon worlds by Marian Veverka

On Christmas Eve we eat pierogi
Some filled with potatoes
Some with cabbage Not eating
Meat is no longer required.
We do it because it is something
Left over from our childhood
We learned about the Christ Child
Before our friends told us of Santa
Who slides down the chimneys with
A sack full of toys..

We always knew it was mother
And father filling the stockings
and all the bright packages under
The tree. Which came from a field
Back of our house. Our father chopped it
We decorated together. We helped our
mother roll the dough for kolachke with
fillings of poppy seeds, or honey and nuts

On holidays when memories rise to the surface
like bread in the oven which later we will eat
What do we take with us? What is forgotten?
What do our children pass on to their own?
The ocean is wide, not as wide as the past.
What do we teach them of the faith of their
Fathers in a world of images, plastics and woe.

My daughters ask me how to make bread. How
Does this delicate .yeast make it rise? This I
Can show them, from flour and water, some sugar
And eggs some mysterious process I don’t quite
Understand. Like the faith that we carry in a world
of unkindness a spark of caring we can show for
each other, all brothers and sisters, most blessed of ties.

Congratulations to Janet and Marian for your selections today!  Poets – another great response.