Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Real Life Christmas Card - Norman MacCaig

Pic by Nick Cantle
This is one of my favourite Christmas/winter poems; I have a thing for robins - I'm sure most people do. The poem is by Scottish poet Norman MacCaig (1990 - 1996). There's an interesting/entertaining YouTube video of him in interview about writing here.

Real Life Christmas Card

Robin, I watch you. You are a perfect robin -
except, shouldn't you be perched on a spade handle?

Robin, you watch me. Am I perfect man - except,
shouldn't I have a trap in my pocket, a gun in my hand?

I, too, am in my winter plumage, not unlike yours,
except, the red is in my breast, not on it.

You sing your robin song. I my man song. They're different,
but they mean the same: winter, territory, greed.

Will we survive, bold eyes, to pick
the seeds in the ground, the seeds in my mind?

The snow man thinks so. Look at his silly smile
slushily spilling down the scarf I gave him.

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