Crisis artist Lucy performed this poem at Crisis Skylight Oxford’s Carol Service, 2019.

“Shatter the baubles, all jagged & jinxed”.

That set the tone on one Christmas.

Her mythic enshroudings, like dragon or sphinx;

a cigarette smouldering darkly.

Like magic, she rose: a spectre intent

on taking the tree tumbling hostage.

The angel askew, her halo half-off;

her dress ruffled wrongly around her.

Its mouth forming ‘o’, reflecting the shock

that silenced the family sitting.

Like storms, or like soundscapes, we hadn’t a chance;

the glamour evading around us.

Inside the wreck, a lady appeared: mother?

It can’t be. It’s blistered.

Her voice was all off & face somehow mismatched,

as demons fell out from inside her.

The presents weren’t wrapped, in a cupboard half-bare

where they sighed ‘midst the cobwebs and spiders.

Christmas with boozers ain’t Christmas at all,

not like I have that much reference.

Let’s cut to a blur of pilgrim years,

that rendered a point unto speaking.

That stick, stutter, shift to tables at where

a shadow picked all unwilling.

It’s hard not to grieve for the child you were:

a cliche both cloying and blinding.

An essence dissolved, like stained city snow.

You find the lights are no longer twinkling.

Their glinting scored rays, burning like scars,

while reindeer wheeled in their torment.

A carcass to carve. Magic to pick

and bones that evolve and recover.

A solitude takes on another.

Encapsulates hell in a lover.

Christmas with boozers ain’t Christmas at all,

not like I have that much reference.

We joked about coal; or I did alone,

for it was the gift most forgiving.

But a single lump, as quotas dictate

would dwindle away as if nothing.

As crimson cola Christmas is bleeding overhead

Masquerades as Santa; parcels wrapped in dread.

I’ve got some bones to pick with you,

as toothless gums do suck these ribs;

taughtening. Paper-cracking. The outside’s seep

ing in.

Carved out innards. Re-arranged;

decorate and blame. Disdain.

Less by definition becoming outline

through which I find my life and time

taunts in tandems; trundling till late.

A soaring sickened rising,

it always oscillates.

Christmas with boozers ain’t Christmas at all,

not like I have that much reference.

This year, bring some cheer as less is now lost.

And becoming more the objective.

Ring out the bells and set out your plates

And may harmony be reflected.