A lonely XMAS village
I set off
I entered the village from the south side on a very long and winding cobbled path
I was slightly tired but happy to have at last come into contact with a settlement
I'd got there quite by accident and didn't really know of its existence beforehand
only a small batch of rumours had been circulating in the office
I seemed to believe them so off I popped
warm boots and thick Parka.
I look around
Well there I was then in the middle of
but wait where were all the people? why was it so quiet? Hmm
As I looked around I could some snowmen huddled together; they almost appeared as if they were talking about something
A small group of reindeer were trotting around
pausing now and then to graze on something beneath the snow
A couple of white rabbits came jumping by for good measure
I could see the village was dotted with lots of log cabins and were wholly prepared for XMAS.
Someone had been very busy
There was a small heap of presents left at a doorstep
A water wheel in the distance was turning slowly probably to generate the power for the village
The air was lightly covered with soft snowflakes
The settlement was sounded by smallish hills dotted with pine trees
The whole scene was reminiscent of a traditional Christmas play.
I walk in
Now that I was here
I had to get a warm drink and perhaps some food
I started to walk into the village past the snowmen and decided to head for the water wheel
For some unclear reason
I put my hand into the freezing water at the base of the wheel
The waterwheel made a gentle clicking noise as it span around and I could see its axle turning a belt that disappeared into a hut and came back out again at a leisurely pace
I sat down and looked up
After a short while
I got to my aching feet and started to walk to what looked like the largest of the cabins
Here I might meet someone and get some refreshments and perhaps a smile.
I enter a cabin
I walked a short way and arrived at the largest cabin in the settlement
The door was ajar
I could hear some music was playing and I could smell food
I cried out at the doorstep several times before being brave enough to enter
As I entered the main room there was a roaring log fire to greet me
no sign of anyone
no sign that they had finished anything either
There was a table set for two with food and wine and large Christmas tree by the window stoked with lots of colourful presents below its fir branches
With an old bench for a settee and a rocking chair
it was a comfortable as you get I thought and could be happy living here
But where was everyone and who had lit the fire?
After the briefest of visits
I decided to go back outside and deliberately try to find someone
I started shouting now in the belief that everyone would shout boo and come from behind the trees
Perhaps someone needed help?
Perhaps it was just me?
I talk to the Snowmen
A thought came to me that the newly created snowmen might offer some clues as to the people's whereabouts
I walked slowly to the snowbound creature gathering
Rather smartly dressed
they seem to emanate an aura
a kind of silent voice that seemed like chatter
I had the mad idea of talking to the bundles of icy white statues and asked many questions
when and how anything I could think of
They just seemed to grin at me and the music echoing from the open doors of the cabins was now haunting me
I couldn't resist touching them too.
I say my goodbyes
It wasn't by accident that I decided to leave
I knew it would be dark soon so I must try and get back home
As I stood by the snowmen I issued my goodbyes to them
the reindeer and rabbits and started to walk to the path I had arrived on
As I got to the path I could still hear the music coming from the whole villages
perhaps the people had turned into music or perhaps they had been taken or walked off for a meeting or ceremony
I would get home
sleep and wake up in a different world.
When a village is void of carefree souls,
When the ice and snow makes them hide again,
With the broken tears of an empty place,
Growing into another careless view.
All the trees and leaves lay a trapped ring,
Around the huts and tools and snow today,
And the creatures run in an empty play,
Now that the people have gone away.
Snow of an accomplished erratic grail,
Falls like beaded dreams from high,
Covering all the mistrusted paths and ways,
As the winter sighs get longer and stronger.
Clusters of timber for the warmth of your body,
And the shaken paper-born gifted presents,
Lightning among the holding of any dreams,
And the harshness of bed and the power they contain.
Beneath the moonlit evening sleepy and silent,
A fire-tipped snowy day lays somewhere ahead,
To feed anxieties and be entertained and fed,
By a special belonging or a homeland of love.
If I could pacify the thorn tree and its heights,
Of the dark grey thoughts that weave and write,
And leave nothing but the bank of the future,
I would let the village have eyelids and tears today.
20th December 2020