I’ve had it up to here with Christmas lights!
Don’t get me wrong – I like those in the town.
They cheer us up on dreary winter nights,
gracing the streets as jewels grace a crown.

It’s not communal efforts that I curse,
but unchecked individual enterprise –
the clown who swathes his house in lights. What’s worse,
he leaves them on all night to plague our eyes.

I live in Cranbourne Crescent – number two,
and opposite my house, at number one,
the Hunter-Dobsons lurk, a desperate crew
hell-bent, it seems, on rivalling the sun.

They’ve decked their bungalow with flashing lights
including carport, garden shed and fence,
while high above these down-to-earth delights
eight flying reindeer draw a sledge immense.

It’s driven by a giant Santa Claus,
who waves at me ten thousand times a night.
His bulging sack of toys without a pause
glows white, blue, green, then back again to white.

As if that weren’t enough, at number three
the ‘pious’ Jacksons – not to be outdone –
have mounted an entire Nativity
to trump the Hunter-Ds at number one.

In line with this ambitious stratagem
they’ve flashing shepherds tending flashing sheep,
a flashing stable, big as Bethlehem.
(The Infant doesn’t flash – that would look cheap!)

And while my wanton neighbours warm the sky,
consuming four months’ fuel in a night,
I draw my flimsy curtains with a sigh
and turn to face the wall – to save my sight.

I’d like to call at numbers three and one.
‘I’ve come to read the meter,’ I’d explain,
and while their backs were turned I’d think it fun
to disconnect these wasters at the main.

But as it is the season of goodwill
I won’t do anything that might cause fights,
tho’, while I do not wish these dear folk ill,
I’ve had it up to here with Christmas lights!

John Barclay


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