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The city shops are all ablaze
With multicoloured festive haze
A million jumpers hang on rails
Among the clothes in Christmas sales.
And as we buy our socks and ties
The beggar in the doorway sighs.
He coughs and splutters in the air
He has not socks nor gloves to wear.
Young children queue outside the stores
To give their lists to Santa Claus.
Negotiating stairs and lifts
We cram our shopping bags with gifts,
With Yule-tide cakes and deep mince pies.
But somehere near a child cries.
His pillow made from rough damp straws,
While hunger at his stomach gnaws.
The crisp night air with carols rings
The whole crowd lifts its head and sings.
Angelic voices fill the skies
As just close by a young girl dies,
Beneath the City’s Christmas tree,
With the first flush of Ecstacy.
The cockles of our hearts we warm
With lots of cash in liquid form
Thus we all stagger,glass in hand,
Our backs well turned upon that land
That arid desert, dry and cursed
From where a man cries out “I thirst”.
In armchair comfort, watch the Queen,
On red-hot television screen.
With hearts a-glow we listen well,
But not the prisoner in his cell.
His name is scribbled on the wall.
He dies in pain for freedom’s call.
Upon some distant foreign shore
The soldiers fight a bloody war.
In slaughtered hundreds how they lie,
As grandad scoffs the last mince-pie.
It didn’t snow. Well, never mind,
A baby’s born to save mankind.
Stargazer Dec 1999