• Vol. 06
  • Chapter 02
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Father Christmas, Sinterklaas,
Saint Nicholas, Santa Claus. Poor old Santa
has had one hell of a makeover.
Twinkling eyes, rosy cheeks, snowy beard
now subsumed into an inky blob.
Rorschach would be proud of it.
What can you make of it? A nothingness?
A travesty of a face, unkempt beard flaring
in broad strokes; eyes on stalks, a parody
of cartoon marine creatures?
Some say Jesus was a black man.
Look again, it’s a black silk chrysanthemum,
petals curling inwards like a mother’s fingers;
an eviscerated armoured tank, metal splinters
opening like an anemone. It's a wave at midnight.
A foot-and-mouth funeral pyre;
a crushed carcass of our final elephant;
the thumbprint of a nuclear explosion.
The human psyche.

Gold; the lodestone of commerce,
the excuse for dirty tricks.
Frankincense; an aromatic resin to sweeten
the stench of war, famine, and apathy.
Myrrh; the bitterness that remains.

Poor Santa, dressed in Remembrance-Poppy Red.
His broken face dwarfs his huge belly,
bulging thighs, his leather motorcycle boots.
All around, the Christmas message, written in tongues,
lies on the air like tattered paper chains.



Are they dissolving or coming into existence?
Is this Rorschach’s black hole of extinction?
Might it be the Big Bang again, a second bite at the cherry.
Father Christmas pulls off his ridiculous boots,
treads a tiny infant’s footprint into virgin snow.
An echo on the wind – HO-HO-HOPE!