Saturday, November 22, 2008

The War (on Christmas) Comes Early

From the Cape of Good Hope to the Newfoundland islands,
The sands of Iran to the Panama isthmus;
From Outback Australia to Inverness Highlands
It’s time to take arms in the War Against Christmas!

My weapons are mistletoe, Christmas trees, holly,
A yule-log, and caroling out in the snow;
Sleigh-rides and snowball-fights, eggnog and Jolly
Old Santa Claus, laughing his loud “Ho! Ho! Ho!”

We’ll make them forget all the Truth of the season—
The sacrifice planned by a god up above—
And have them believing some bastardized reason
Like giving, or kindness, or caring or love!

I’ll cruelly and callously help out a stranger
Who’s down on his luck or has suffered some loss,
I won’t even speak of the babe in the manger
Whom God sent to Earth to get nailed to a cross;

When the winds of December conspire to freeze us
I’ll help collect sweaters and coats for the poor,
Neglecting to make any mention of Jesus,
Whose torture is really what Christmas is for.

My hatred of Christmas will focus my labors
On weaving an atheist fabric of lies—
For instance, I’m giving to all of my neighbors
Gift baskets, cookies, and fruitcakes and pies!

I’ll say “Merry Christmas!” I’ll say “Season’s Greetings!”
I’ll say “Happy Holidays—Joyous Noel!”
Intending of course, that with each of these meetings
The Truth About Christmas can just go to hell.

The truth is that Christmas is not about presents
It’s no time for songs, It’s not time to be nice
It’s not time for feasting on turkeys or pheasants—
It’s sin, and redemption by blood sacrifice.

No time to be jolly; no time to be merry
It’s time to be solemn, and grim, and devout!
The heathens might find it depressing or scary
But that is what Christmas is truly about.

Yes, Jesus is really the ultimate reason
And Christmas is really redemption and sin;
The war against Christmas is early this season—
For God’s sake, let’s hope that the atheists win!

Support independent publishing: buy this book on Lulu.


Mikayla Starstuff said...

That is great! Mind if I post a portion of that on my blog, and link back here for the rest?

Cuttlefish said...

Please feel free! That's why they are here, I suppose...

Anonymous said...

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through slush,
Till on the twinkling lights we turned our backs
And towards our distant cars began to trudge.
Men shopped asleep. Many had spent their cash
But bought on credit. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the crash
Of tired, bawling children that had dropped behind.

Nog! Nog! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of drinking,
Draining the festive tumblers just in time;
But someone still was going out and shopping,
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
Dim, through the candy canes and colored light,
As under green chai tea, I saw him dropping.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, muttering, cursing, shopping.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the debt that we soon found him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could see, at every month, accounts
Drained dry of each last hard-earned dollar,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the mounts
Of pale riders, laboring under heavy collar,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for designer pants,
The old Lie; Adeste fideles,
Laetit triumphants!

Cuttlefish said...

Bravo, Howard!

*applauds, wipes tear from eye*

Alex said...

Cuttlefish, that was amazing!

You are spectacular.

Could you do a dramatic reading of your poem and post it? Would you mind if I made a dramatic reading of it, and posted it on the Internet, with a link back to your website?

Mike Haubrich, FCD said...

Poetry is the reason for the season!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for these poems. Turn of phrase is a rare gift and a treat to see done well.

Cuttlefish said...

Teleprompter--feel free to give it a go; I won't, but I have loved the readings that The Modest Agnostic has done of a few of my verses.

MH,FCD--I see you have grasped my cunning plan! Very good disinfo!

1minionsopinion--thanks, but I hear that's just one minion's opinion...

Anonymous said...

Since you like the last one, here's another pastiche from the Great War on Christmas, in the same vein:

In Target's lot the trolleys roll
Between the spaces row on row,
That mark our place; and in the air
Recordings of some festive air
Scarce heard amid the bells below.

We are the Godless. Days ago
We laughed, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we park
In Target's lot.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
This card to use until you drop.
If ye break faith with us who shop
We shall not sleep, though trolleys roll
In Target's lot.

Alex said...

Cuttlefish, thank you very much.

Here is the link for the video of my reading of your poem:

I put up links to your blog and to Pharyngula in the sidebar.

missingpoints said...

You, sir, are a wordsmith of the highest caliber.

makita said...

Hi DC!
I got my two copies of your book in the mail today. It's been a crazy busy day, so I haven't had a chance to look at it yet. But I will take it to bed with me tonight.

Cuttlefish said...

Oh, wow, Makita! Thanks!

(FWIW, your name makes me smile; "Makita" was the name of the local hardware store's resident cat, who kept the store mouse-free for many many years.)

Cuttlefish said...

Prudence, at Unattributable... I wish I could comment directly at your site; I hope you read this. You label my verse "A Secular Humanist's Poem For Christmas" ... I hate to tell you, but I am not a Secular Humanist. I have absolutely nothing against Secular Humanists, but I have never identified myself as one, nor do I speak for Secular Humanists.