Marcus Aurelius Christmas Fair


Gifts you find in my Christmas Fair
Include an Absence of Fear
Absence of craving Fame or Fortune Cookies
Absence of the Suffering both engender
So Absence too of Anger
I name this place of equanimity ‘Fair’

When you choose to open your Gift
Let there be a lamp of clarity
Separating false from real affection
Illuminating for each individual
The miracle you are

‘Everything Must Go’   –
All our frolics now are seen
Mistakenly for centuries
Exorbitant worship of Saturn
Extended all year round   –
When only in limited season
Could such ritual appeal   –

Where Greed is ‘good’
Where Impudent Misrule
Involves we wear half-masks
Playing ‘Simon Says do this/do that’
Jocular gifts once given between friends
Become impressive bribes to those
Who offer reciprocities of business

Set this Saturnalia aside   –
Gluttony and Bling and Bing
Crosby on White Christmas champagne binges
Charging as white rhinos party to party   –

This season I give ‘Nothing’ as a gift
Remembering in essence we must ‘pass’
And in our passing leave perhaps no trace
But history’s ‘Chinese Whispers’ for a toy

Once upon a time in Rome
I looked askance at Christians  
Hammering one empty tomb into a Mystery-Cult  
Now I see some merit in their bold mythology   –
I welcome new-born babies to The Senate
In whose eyes still earth and heaven meet
Inviting facile Senators the while
Shut their ‘traps’ in silence at this season   –
And let the future speak




Bernard Saint
Illustration: Claire Palmer




This entry was posted on in homepage and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.