The Season – Day 23 of the Cupán Fae 2019 Advent Calendar

A poem by Paul Carroll.

They say "Tis the season",
But rarely quantify the statement, 
Barely justify the reason
Why we battle down the pavement 
For gifts and trinkets galore,
To wrap up messy or neat
Before we go door-to-door 
Upon our weary feet.
We do not talk of why
Old friends and family unite,
Whether to smile or cry
At good news or at plight.
Annually we gather,
For a tea or something stronger,
To say who's sick or fatter
Or with the rest of us no longer, 
To celebrate a job or baby,
And plan the following year,
When we'll meet sooner, maybe,
We promise, while we're near.
This time of year is magic,
With so much to begin.
We forget about the tragic,
Because it's Christmastime again.

Red Robin – Day 13 of Cupán Fae’s 2019 Advent Calendar

A poem by Helen Carroll.

Red Robin,
Pale coffin,
Distant thunder rumbles
Like a bauble tumbles
From a withered tree.
I see your image haunting me
As glass shatters on the presents,
A ghost of Christmas past and present,
No future ‘cause it’s dreaded.
The wrapping paper’s not torn, it’s shredded.

Christmastime will never be the same,
Watching robins through the windowpane,
I’m writing nativities on walls in red glitter,
Saw how your tiny wings panic and flitter,
Struggling against the storm; against the snowdrift.
I’m rattlin’ around this empty house. These empty gifts
Were once full of your laughter from last year.
The silence of your absence is so loud I can’t hear
My own thoughts, my own blood boiling at the memory
Of the glances and murmurs in the cemetery.

Cause what angers me most is the way they were right:
You were too turbulent, a brutal hurricane in the night,
Too young for the fight. But you were always fighting though.
Ever since birth, Fate, Herself, had made you a foe.
How could I abandon you to a life of criminality?
Had to channel your rage, a battle of integrity.
But your animosity for this city was too strong.
And now you’re gone, you’re gone, you’re gone...
I cannot accept your journey ended with a bomb!
It’s like you’re gonna breeze into the room like nothing is wrong,

But there’s broken decorations, smashed bottles
All around. I see you shattered; see you throttled.
Your little robin wings are mangled,
And as these thoughts are untangled,
The wind howls louder now,
Drowning out the carols. How
Dim are the fairy lights
On a winter's night,
Now you’re dead,

My Robin Red.

Cupán Fae’s 2019 Advent Calendar – Day 2, The Winter Folk


There’s something in the way that the first snow falls,
As the Ice Queen makes her entrance to the Winter Ball,
Where Jack Frost is in waiting with a chill down his back
As the Winter Folk start gathering to form a little pack,
And the wait begins for old Saint Nick to come into the hall.

The snow will plant down softly upon the frozen ground,
A billion unique snowflakes twirling round and round
In a gust of wind that clings to every woodland tree,
And blows the snow to place of work and childish glee,
Starting in the place where the Winter Folk are found.

A blanket of white snow will spread across the land,
A white carpet for the entrance of those with icy hands,
Jack Frost at the front of a march into the night,
To spread the cold of winter before dawn’s first light,
Soaring across whole countries, through forests, towns and sands.

Behind Jack Frost the Ice Queen rides,
On a carriage lined with warm animal hides,
A vehicle carved from ice and cold,
For a queen that comes from winters old,
In the white dress of an eternal bride.

She is married to harsh storms and drifts,
Frozen chasms and snow-filled lifts
Of icy air that hold the world tight
In fingers that cause a vegetable blight,
An unwelcome famine from the Ice Queen’s gift.

This is why the Winter Folk meet,
To keep the world from icy defeat,
To dance as three in a hall of ice,
With wine and music and all things nice,
‘Til all three are warm from head to feet.

For behind the Ice Queen on the long walk,
Old Saint Nick keeps up the talk,
Reading his list of who’s nice and who’s naughty,
Keeping up spirits with a laugh that’s doughty,
Watching out for trouble with eyes like a hawk.

Each one gets their day in the world, out for fun,
Jack Frost on the move since the clock struck one,
Calling down snow storms like the world is his toy,
And his favourite action figures every girl and boy,
Whose laughter and joy signal a job done.

The Ice Queen will follow as the moment suits her,
Her time on the Earth passing in a white blur,
For she lines the roads with ice black and white,
With no mind at all for everyone’s plight,
With her warm in her dress of faux animal fur.

Cleaning up her mess , as he trails in last,
Is jolly Saint Nick just out for a blast,
Racing about as if the sky were a road,
On a route so mysterious that no one else knows
How he’s travelled the world without a day gone past.

This is the secret of the Winter Folks’ tale,
And the balance that comes with frost, snow and hail,
For the three that gather at the Winter Ball
Are required together, not one but all,
Each of them important, from strong to frail.

That magic is clear in the first snow you see,
The one that draws out your inner-child’s glee,
For it tells of the future when Christmas will come,
With snow days and snow men and all of that fun,
And all three are needed for all that to be.