O Christmas Tree

The old tree shivered off his leaves and
dropped the blood fruit from his branches.
Gravid round balls glittering with gemstone sugar
grew from bare bark fingers and stiff-angled joints.

I am an edible Christmas tree! he shouted.
His new fruit ruptured, tossing their jackets
aside to leak loud raspberry blood,
drumbeat red.

The musician approached the tree,
held his hand under a broken globe,
and raised a red palm to his lips. His tongue
told him a cherry crackle tale of soda soul; he
looked up just in time

to see a champagne colored woman in a
gold dust dress and crowned in royal ribbons
of orange hair smile and wink at him before
disappearing behind a lithe evergreen.

When he looked down at his palm,
it glittered with gold dust.

Aanteekwa lifted an intact fruit from an
inviting wooden hand; it exploded and
drenched the air with cellophane burgundy
sweetness. As she lapped the bloody afterimage

off her palm, she heard a dry, ragged earthen
voice sing: guide us to Thy perfect light.
She looked up and spied an old brown man
with white woolen hair. He smiled: but

as Aanteekwa shouted Mr. Mandela!,
he disappeared. By this time, D.S. had
dug his hungry teeth into a purple globe
and sucked it juices into his belly: his
mind swam midstream in a sangria haze

through which he saw a pale strident figure
shaking a black wreath of hair and singing
Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do
the Fandango?
before he vanished. Babyface

wrung juice from a little golden fuzzy ball
with his bare hands and dribbled it into
his thirsty throat, whereupon he saw a
young knave with twilight hair appear and
declare: Le poète se fait voyant par un long,
immense et raisonné dérèglement de
tous les sens.
And he, too, vanished.

No one saw Nicole, black cloaked and
onyx crowned standing under a
thick canopy of fragrant needled arms.
A raven perched on her shoulder,
marble eyes watching the travelers drink
and hallucinate in the dark. Leaving only
a smile and a wink that no one saw, she
disappeared behind a lithe evergreen.

Written 12/26 and 12/27/13
© 2013 Nicole Nicholson. All Rights Reserved.

This poem was written for We Write Poems Prompt #192: Holiday Advent Poems in which Yousei Hime asked us to write some little poems (or maybe one big one). This is a continuation from “Wire Light“.

Borrowing from a prompt Jim Simmerman in The Practice of Poetry, she gave us 25 steps of which we could follow as many or as few as we wanted. I used the following in my poem:

  • Begin the poem with a holiday metaphor. (The Christmas Tree)
  • Say something specific but utterly preposterous. (“I am an edible Christmas tree!”)
  • Use at least one image for each of the five senses, either in succession or scattered randomly throughout the poem.
  • Use one example of synesthesia (mixing the senses).
  • Overhear someone unexpected singing your favorite carol. (Nelson Mandela singing part of “We Three Kings”)
  • Make the persona or character in the poem do something he/she could not do in “real life.” (The musician — the real life person he is based on would NEVER drink juice from the fruit of a strange tree)
  • Refer to yourself by nickname and in the third person.  (“Nicole” in the last stanza)
  • Use a phrase from a language other than English. (Freddie Mercury’s partial lyric and Arthur Rimbaud’s declaration in the penultimate stanza. Here is the quote and its English translation – you’ll need to scroll down to read it.)
  • Make a nonhuman object say or do something human (personification).
  • Close the poem with a vivid image that makes no statement, but that “echoes” an image from earlier in the poem (“Nicole” disappears behind the same evergreen as the redhead).


About ravenswingpoetry

I am a 37 year old writer from Columbus, OH and the creator of Raven's Wing Poetry. I am a poet, seeker, fellow traveler, and Aspie.
This entry was posted in Poems, Prompt Poems, WWP Prompt Poem and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to O Christmas Tree

  1. Yousei Hime says:

    How marvelously it melded. Feels a bit like the ghosts of Christmas. Really enjoyed the tale and thank you so much for participating.

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