Christmas music fills the airwaves these days. And it’s easy to find inspiration in a good song title. Using one such title as your poem’s title, write that poem!


The week before Christmas you’ll hear them clearly
telling you that it’s nearly Christmas day.
You know their familiar sound,
a carol that will resound through the valley
and down every alleyway and thoroughfare.
It is there where you’ll hear them,
they’ll endear themselves to you.
And when their peal is through you’ll know,
that Christmas Day has come to pass at last.
We will join in their ringing while
townsfolk will be singing their tune.
Christmas bells certainly make me swoon.
I am Santa Claus and I must say,
I hear the bells each Christmas Day.

(c) Walter J Wojtanik

40 thoughts on “PROMPT #364 – THE MUSE IN MUSIC


    Part 1

    A morning sweet melody refuses
    to be trapped within the confines of walls.
    It rouses the dead from the deep halls of sleep.

    The enigma of its flowing rushes like a river.
    The abundance of its inspiration cleanses the hearer.
    It compels the belief that hope is nigh, or even nearer.

    The snaking of reverberant verse is angelic.
    The slight effect of soothing echo is therapeutic.
    The bellowing of tune carries the joy of music.

    Benjamin Thomas


    Part 2

    I will sing with tears in my eyes
    from the secret place that songs do spring.
    I will sing while drenching wet—showers of waters coursing over me, although some try to cling.

    I am confused as to which is the rain,
    and which are the teardrops that fall,
    although they do cleanse from the grief—
    both, will freely fall down the drain.

    One is the purity of the heavens presence,
    quenching the thirst of nature’s calling.
    The other bears the pain of the living…
    Yet an eager earth still beckons their falling.

    I will sing with tears yet in my eyes—for they
    were never mine to keep. I must emancipate
    their rightful release. I must administer their
    freedom, their final escape.

    I will sing with tears in my eyes—for they
    are the melodious sound in which I weep.
    Their joyous plunking I’ll always remember,
    inscribed in heart, that—I’ll always keep.

    Benjamin Thomas

    • I love this and I never thought of tears not being ours and we had to free them… wonderful spiritual visual

  3. One Can Dream

    I so want this to be
    our Christmas Song,
    Inviting all ye faithful,
    on this, oh holy night.
    Praying you hear what I hear,
    that it’s possible to bring
    joy to the world,
    and rest at last to merry gentlemen
    (and gentlewomen).
    Santa baby,
    all I want for Christmas
    is a truly silent night,
    no artillery drummer boy
    simply angels we have heard on high,
    singing Christmas is the time
    to say I love you.
    Let us rock around the Christmas tree.
    Let us tell it on the mountain…
    …Happy Xmas (war is over).
    Praise all that is holy,
    let this be our Christmas Song.

  4. I Wonder as I Wander…

    I was born a wanderer…
    Some say I am a wayfaring one…
    They might be right.

    I learned this song
    When I took voice
    Back when I was young…

    I went to college
    And learned that one building
    Had the best acoustics.
    At night when I walked the streets
    To think about things,
    And reminding myself not to give up
    Or give in but to keep going
    For one more day…
    I would find myself to this building,
    Before I headed home,
    And I would sing this song
    Into the building…

    I sang it because it gave me peace.
    I sang it because I felt connected to home.
    I sang it because it stilled my soul.

    I went back to my college
    After I graduated,
    And several came up to me
    And said,
    That they missed hearing me sing.
    I thought no one had heard me.

    In the dark of night,
    I still sing this song
    For the same reasons…

    In the music and the words
    I hear my people…
    Those of Appalachia speaking,
    And I see the rolling of the hills,
    Being so close to the stars
    On a cold night.
    I have lived my life
    A stranger far from home
    Until it became home to me.

    This life of mine is filled with wonders,
    And I am a wanderer for sure…
    My life is a journey…
    To places I have not been
    Especially those that concern my heart.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    December 12, 2021

  5. For my sister who lost her son one year ago today

    I’ll be Home for Christmas

    “I’ll be home for Christmas”
    The last words that he said
    He knew where he was going
    As he laid down his weary head
    One hand held his mother’s hand
    In the other he held his wife’s
    Both were there to say farewell
    As he prepared to leave this life
    The preacher had already visited
    A salvation prayer was prayed
    He knew that Jesus was waiting
    He knew that he could not stay
    Before he breathed his last breath
    He told mom, “It’s okay.
    I did this to myself, Mom,
    My choices brought this day.”
    His words stirred great emotions
    But did not ease her pain
    ‘Cause soon he would be leaving
    Only memories would remain
    Yes, he’d be home for Christmas
    In his new eternal home
    But he’d be missed in this life
    Just like others that had gone
    The pain of his departure
    Would linger on for years
    Thoughts of him and what was
    Would bring smiles and many tears
    He’d live on in her memories
    And she’d long to see his face
    Even though she knew for sure
    He was in a better place
    Yes, he’d be home for Christmas
    In that better place above
    Where one day we’d all gather
    Praising Jesus and His love

  6. Card Lying on the Table

    To Eric Clapton’s Christmas Tears

    Dark skies rain tears
    stars and reindeer
    as I look out the window.
    Children and cherub sing
    but not for me
    as I look
    at a card left unsigned
    on the table.
    I write another poem
    for you. Although
    it’s been years,
    it seems like yesterday
    the day we met.
    And that December,
    you said my card
    was the first that year,
    when my simple gesture
    longed to say more.
    Back then I wove
    our stories shared to keep warm
    even on the coldest days.
    Alone today I sit
    and take a sip of hot chocolate
    to the sweet taste of memory.

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  8. Little Drummer Boy

    Did you drum
    a busker at the city gate
    or did you precede
    the Pharisees as they paraded
    in their robes and phylacteries
    to the temple to worship
    at the Ark tossing
    you a coin now and then
    as they skirted past
    your dusty face
    your bare and dustier feet

    and when Balthasar took
    your shoulder gently
    in his big hand and began
    to shepherd you toward
    that rustic manager
    pungent with cow and sheep
    did you wonder as you wandered
    how you came to be the one
    brought to play so late
    at night and that glow

    like a low but steady hearth fire
    coming from the manager and
    the hay not burning beside
    the woman and her tall husband
    leaning on his staff after
    the long walk beside the donkey

    and you doing what
    you always loved to do
    skirling your sticks so
    softly like a lullaby
    to soothe the little one
    and Mary smiling at you
    with a mother’s love for
    another child but you
    didn’t see because
    you had your own eyes

    rapt upon the tiny babe
    his cinnamon eyes watching
    you so intently as if waiting
    for your final flourish
    then he smiled at you
    gave it like a special gift
    and you took it with you
    down the days of busking
    and heralding tucked inside
    your heart forever brighter
    than any coin ever tossed.

  9. Sweet Little Jesus Boy…

    I was sixteen
    When I was given this song to sing
    For my recital…
    I fussed…
    I didn’t believe in God.

    But the words
    That Jesus was treated mean…
    Took root in my heart…
    I was bullied and abused…
    And broken…
    For maybe He understood.

    At college I heard Him call me,
    And I answered.

    The words of this song
    Took new meaning…
    Some nights when I was so lonely
    I would stand in front of that building
    And pour out my sorrows in that song.

    I knew when I denied Him,
    And how badly I scorned Him.
    The words forgive reach deep
    Into my damaged soul,
    And I knew He did.

    I knew a singer
    That sang this song better than me
    For her voice never missed a note,
    But the words were just words…
    Some songs can’t be sung right
    Until you pour out your pain…

    I still sing this song
    Though my voice is rusty.
    I like to walk under a winter sky
    When the stars are like rhinestones,
    And pour out my soul to the night
    Knowing that no one hears me
    Except Him who saved me
    From myself.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    December 12, 2021

    • here are the words to the song

      Sweet little Jesus boy
      They made you be born in a manger
      Sweet little holy child
      We didn’t know who you were
      Didn’t know you’d come to save us Lord
      To take our sins away
      Our eyes were blind, we could not see
      We didn’t know who you were

      Long time ago
      You were born
      Born in a manger Lord
      Sweet little Jesus boy
      The world treats you mean Lord
      Treats me mean too
      But that’s how things are down here
      We don’t know who you are

      You have told us how
      We are trying
      Master you have shown us how
      Even when you were dying
      Just seems like we can’t do right
      Look how we treated you
      But please Sir forgive us Lord
      We didn’t know it was you

      Sweet little Jesus boy
      Born a long time ago
      Sweet little holy child
      We didn’t know who you were
      A traditional African American Song

  10. The Christmas Song

    There is nothing
    like a roasted
    chestnut. During
    holiday season
    I am always pleased
    to see a vendor,
    smoke spiraling
    through the air
    from roasted chestnuts.
    If you have a fireplace,
    bring chestnuts home
    in their paper sack,
    and watch the glow,
    and know you are warm,
    sated, and lucky.

    • This made me wish I had that memory… in the mountains we boiled our chestnuts much like people in the deep south boiled their peanuts… I miss going to school and someone bringing boiled chestnuts for us at recess.

  11. O Christmas Tree

    O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree
    How bedraggled are your branches!
    O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree
    How bedraggled are your branches!

    We’ve had you now these twenty years
    You’re losing needles, it appears
    O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree
    How bedraggled are your branches!

    The angel’s wings are broken way up there on your tippy top
    Ornaments hold many memories
    Sloppy creations by my children.
    A menagerie of souvenirs from trips

    O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree
    How bedraggled are your branches!
    O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree
    How bedraggled are your branches!

    But you still point up to the sky
    Reminding us the Lord is nigh
    O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree
    How bedraggled are your branches

  12. Some Children See Him….

    Their eyes were brown and blue
    But sometimes hazel…
    Their skin was dark brown like the walnuts
    Or lighter like pecans,
    Some had skin the color of soft pink
    Sprinkled with freckles…
    Sometimes they were the tan of summer
    That they wore each day….
    They had blonde hair touched with red hints,
    Or boldly red that shown like a copper penny,
    Of dark black hair straight and heavy…
    There were the curls worn as a halo
    That was slightly skewed…
    Some were always sad,
    And some pure trouble…
    Others were bright with hope,
    And wanting to love.
    How they trusted and saw hope
    In hopeless times.

    Some say they saw His face like their own…
    I just know that whatever their face was
    It shined with the light of creation
    When they were small and helpless…
    And it was the grownups in their lives
    That robbed them of that light…
    Who taught them the darkness,
    And I came to restore it…

    There is a beauty in a child
    Who is innocent…
    Within their faces and their bones
    Is the light of love…

    To those children
    Hearing the story of a baby
    Who was born long ago…
    A story of camels and donkeys and sheep
    And angels and a huge star,
    And farmers and shepherds and wise men…
    May those children that hear that story
    See that baby looking just like them…
    And may their innocence not be robbed by us.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    December 12, 2021


    The song most inspires
    And fires
    Up the season
    For some reason
    Maybe it is the mention
    Of Divine
    That appeals every time
    Or the fact
    I was asked to sing
    The song
    In the choir
    In sixth grade
    Or how wonderfully holy
    Everything appears
    The night before
    The Christmas crush of noise
    Overly excited girls and boys
    In the morning
    As the stimulation hits its pitch
    And what’s left, the
    Of the mad Christmas unwrap
    Before the clap
    Of clean up
    In that night before
    With just the lights of the tree
    So easy to see
    A true and perfect Holy Night
    A sight
    Of pure bliss
    That imagined kiss
    Of a Divine moment
    Still sparkling
    In the night sky
    And in the eye
    Of every child
    Before the sunrise
    Becomes too wild
    Maybe just a minute
    But each bit
    Just as precious
    On that Holy Night . . .

    (c) Janet Rice Carnahan 2021

  14. Il Est Ne le devin enfant…

    He is born the divine infant
    Made my heart sing…
    French Christmas carols…
    Dance with song,
    And instruments,
    And children….
    With animals and angels singing…

    With Willie bringing his drum,
    And lines like Pat-a Pan…

    And Jeanette bringing the torch
    To tell the village of the newborn baby…

    Then there is Angels singing Gloria…
    And my soul soars in that song….

    But the crown of French carols
    Is the beautiful song
    O Holy night….
    It will take your breath away…

    The one that makes me smile
    Is the one about the animals
    Paying homage to a baby in a manger…
    Saying Jesus our brother kind and good.
    It is the oldest of them all….
    Nine centuries it has been sung…

    So come one and all to dance with me,
    Bring your torches and let’s announce
    The birth of a newborn baby…
    Play our drums, and fifes and oboes,
    Fill the world with lovely songs…
    And join in as the angels sang
    Come rejoice with me
    A newborn King is born.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    December 13, 2021

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