>A Christmas Wish: Poetry by Pete Marshall


A Christmas Wish

Darkened nights have come too soon 
As daylight saves the winters day
The wind that blows and rocks the trees
Its branches dance a frantic sway.
The spiders webs have disappeared
As rain has washed them all away
And hope is lost as candles burn
To save the lights of yesterday.

When hope will ride across the sky
And bring the joys to all who’s good
Your children’s eyes will open wide
And feel the pain that neither should.

For Tuesdays child is full of grace
Yet dares to ask what angers me
As wind blows through those hidden gaps
And chills the souls of all who flee
From truth that waits on Christmas morn
When roots are shown beneath the tree
And children’s tears are all too real
As gifts are passed from you and me.


Every now & then I receive an email, or a Twitter, thanking me for my collection of poetry about My Struggle With Unemployment. This is a collection of work that is very real to me, and the comments that I receive are very uplifting…because these comments aren’t praising my work but actually thanking me for writing this series as it has helped them come to terms with their own struggles. Although it doesn’t help my situation it does lift me to know that somehow, somewhere, my words have made a difference.

I haven’t written something for this series for a while, thankfully I have had One Stop Poetry to keep me busy as I threw myself into its creation, but yesterday I received another kind email which in turn inspired me to write A Christmas Wish.

We are now into November, the nights are longer, the rain is falling heavily and there is a serious chill in the air, yet Christmas is coming and as I am still unemployed money is even tighter! This poem is a reference to my hopes, that I am able to give my children a magical Christmas and bring them the presents they so deserve for they are wonderful people that I love dearly.Yet in their innocent eyes they will gauge their gifts on whether they have been good or not…and I so do not want them to think they haven’t. I will struggle through Christmas and I will make it special for them…but at what cost? That’s the bitter pill that unemployment brings.


I have entered this poem into One Shot Wednesday, a special day that unites poets, every week, from around our globe at One Stop Poetry. Opens 10pm UK time, 5pm Est, Tuesdays and open for submission all day Wednesday.

Image courtesy creative commons flicr http://www.flickr.com/photos/joel_r/

52 Responses to “>A Christmas Wish: Poetry by Pete Marshall”

  1. >The roots beneath the tree — it's a beautiful poem, Pete.

  2. >Pete,What a perfect opportunity to celebrate the REAL meaning of Christmas with your children without the distraction of trying to conform to the secular way of celebrating it. I don't know how old your kids are, but mine are under ten and they are more excited about the number of gifts they get versus the amount of money that the gifts cost. Thus, Dollar Store, here I come! In my experience, I have found that the more I trust in God, the more I am able to see that everything is exactly as it is supposed to be for everyone involved. Moreover, when I believe in Him with the same enthusiasm and conviction that my children have in their belief in Santa Claus, I find I am filled with a peace that no amount of money can buy.Finally, GREAT ONE SHOT! Thanks for sharing. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.

  3. >So evocative and deeply felt. Your gifts are in your poetry, in your love for your children, in the time you give to others, and in your belief in the promise that Christmas is. May roots well-tended show.

  4. >It's a lovely poem. Good parenting is the best gift you can give your children, and it seems you're doing that. Kids understand more than we give them credit for, so hopefully they'll accept a Christmas rich with love, simplicity and minimal consumerism. Take care.

  5. >The light one sees in a child's eyes can be compared to nothing else!! "Your children’s eyes will open wideAnd feel the pain that neither should." — these lines really made me choke! The thought is simply beautiful, Pete! The wish you have made here is noble and so sincere… Amen to that!! May each festival bring us joy and hope, and may each day be a festival in itself!

  6. >you have many gifts.

  7. >Lovely and heartfelt words Pete. It brings to mind for me how many 'absent" parents there are, who have all the money in the world. They send their expensive gifts when really all their children would want on Christmas day is some love and attention, the feel of a parents hug, and to know that they matter.It's so clear how much your kids matter to you and the love that you feel, but I won't for a minute try to lessen your desire to give your children all the gifts in the world that you can. Peace my friend.

  8. >Gifty and so easger now I feel for a Xmas wish…

  9. >pete, you know i pray for you often…i know this is a huge burden and working part time myself the last couple christmases have felt just like this. thank you for being a part of this team and continuing to inspire…

  10. >Some gifts are just there. Beautiful.

  11. >All you one stoppers are on a mission to make me more tearful that I already am tonight! I'm trying to teach the kids about the Spirit of the season even though their all excited about what they get. It's so difficult not to feel sad when you want to give them the world, but you're purse strings won't stretch.Touching and hopeful Pete. Wishing you well x

  12. >Read it several times, and still coming to grips with it. This is a hard time of year, leading to a harder one, and I feel that in your poem, but also a dogged hanging on that has its own grace and that hope that 'lives on lean pasture.'

  13. >How old are your children? I know you will come up with a magical time for them. 🙂 Does it snow where you live?

  14. >I here your heart and your hurt in these beautiful words, and pray God gives the grace to let your children know just how much you care. I have been unemployed for almost a year. I was devastated at first. But I have learned to see the beauty of life in the simple things–not in all the glitz and glamor the world tells us we need. God will provide. And I think you may just have the best Christmas ever. Blessings.

  15. >So beautiful. Children – there is a majesty in them uncomparable to anything else in this world. An emotional work filled with heartfelt words. Very touching.

  16. >Your words are brilliant. Wonderful work.

  17. >Such feeling…here Peter ..oh, I read as if from the era of a kingdom past, of Dickens his streets, his houses filled with children, with longing….God Bless us all, and fill for the world and yours its Christmas Stocking…..blessings…bkm

  18. >Your poem is very humbling. I am very lucky to have the job that I have. Sometimes I can forget that when I'm trying to climb the corporate ladder but fall. I appreciate your gift of words. I know for a fact that with a heart like yours, Christmas will be fantastic for your children. You and your family are in my prayers. Christmas is still a little bit away.

  19. >We try so hard to give our children everything they want, and what they want most is us. Good luck with the job search, and give your children your love, and all will be well.

  20. >This piece moved me to wonder about the real meaning of Christmas…commercial, family, faith…Thank you for making me look in.

  21. >Not a big fan of Xmas works – no offense to you, my friend – it's well written.Lest this be taken as a backhanded compliment, it's not. I rarely comment/critique Xmas (or religious) works, so for me to do so means I really liked your writing. . . even if I disagree with your religiosity. Peace.

  22. >well metered my friend but more than that it speaks from the heartPlease realize your gift is you!!children are amazing they really care more about family than things. I promise I speak from many years of experience. Let them surprise you on christmas moreyour fan and partner in this wacky site – MDW

  23. >What a wonderful poem. Certainly there is so much more to Christmas than presents. I love that there are roots–family–beneath the tree.

  24. >A lovely christmas wish.I know thoughts counts most.But I understand your wish to give your kids gifts,for they are kids.And Christmas for children are the wrapped parcels under the tree.You are a warm person.I know you will find a way to give your kids the best Christmas without them feeling lacking in anything.I see people around me who suffer from unemployment,too.A sad reality about life today.

  25. >Made a regrettable error with my previous comment – I misused the word "religiosity" – which means an "excessive show of piety" – when I meant religiously inclined.And, rereading your poem, I realized I was reacting more to COMMENTS about your poem. So, deepest apologies, my friend, I (probably) sound like I was being insulting and/or negative. . . which was far from my intent. Can you tell it's been a crazy day in my nose of the woods??All that aside, this is an achingly honest comment-worthy work, as usual, from you. 🙂

  26. >You really have a talent for expressing the deep connection between raw emotion super-imposed over imagery. The power of your words is such that even someone who has never celebrated Xmas(i.e. myself!) can feel your longing to be able to provide everything you can to your family. I greatly admire your dogged pursuit of developing means through which to share your life's story with the rest of us out here on the edge of the Milky Way. A wonderful poem, and I think if you can give the gift of creative beauty to both your own family and the web-poetry community at large, you come out way ahead in karma points. I know this is of cold comfort, but your contribution to the literary life is certainly no small thing, and no matter what happens, an achievement you can always be proud of and share without ever running out. Best of luck in the coming winter from one unemployed poet to another. Thanks for sharing your gift with the rest of us, it is always a joy to read your words. Hope all is well (or as well as can be under the stresses of the day!) crb.

  27. >A thought provoking poem, well expressed and penned,with a smooth flow. Nicely done.Anita.

  28. G.K. Asante Says:

    >I really dig the cadence and strong imagery of this poem. Beautiful.

  29. >expressed very well. You are an amazing poet!

  30. >its very beautiful Pete. I have enjoyed it so much… thanks for sharing.. I have to check your verses that you mentioned… thanksॐ नमः शिवायOm Namah ShivayaTwitter: @VerseEveryDayBlog: http://shadowdancingwithmind.blogspot.com

  31. >hi steve…just wanted to pick up one your one comment…not once did i ever take it as negative…so please feel rest assured…in fact i took it in the spirit you meant and completely understand…thanks my friend…pete

  32. >a very touching poemthat stayed with me all day

  33. >This is beautiful Pete…a gift from the heart of a poet indeed! 🙂

  34. >Touched my heart Pete..you are always a delight to read..i think this Christmas will be more special for you my friend..:)best wishes always..:)

  35. >Pete, I'd be pissed at you for bring up Christmas (especially before Thanksgiving) if this wasn't so darned good! Nice One Shot!

  36. >i was engrossed with every line. deep and moving beautiful piece.you will have a blessed Christmas!

  37. >A beautifully written and honest post about life and circumstance. Thanks for keeping it real.

  38. >This is a fabulous, fantastic poem…Great flow and a great read.. 🙂

  39. >Pete – My daughter is just ten (nearing thirty but that is a different story) Her paternal grandmother shows love in gifts so finds my daughter frustrating as she wants for nothing (except sax reeds and a new spit rag) as she has been raised with the idea that the gift is time spent to gather or experiences shared (or just experiences). Your poem is heartfelt and genuine. It is the first that if have read today… and it was a wonderful example of why I have joined this community and the talent that gather here. It isn’t much breath a tree – but the gift of time shared is priceless.

  40. >I am sorry to hear you are still struggling with unemployment. You portray those feelings for this problem, linked to making Christmas a magical time for the family, in such a heartfelt way.You are a true talent.Christine

  41. >Pete – i think you have sth very valuable to offer your children – and that's time. In a few years they won't remember how tight money was, but they will remember you were there and played with them and cared for them.Thanks for sharing your heart – i have high respect for what you're doing

  42. >Beautifully written poem, Pete. The rhyme and rythmn flow so well.Victoria

  43. >We were looking at pictures of my friend's family at Christmas in the 40s, they were very poor. The parents made a big deal of drawing names. They couldn't afford something for everyone but the "name gift" was the one you bought for. Everyone got one nice gift and thus made the holiday special in that way. The tradition still lives in their family. There is more money now but the original family members still draw names and those presents are still the "best". Looking at those pictures, the family said, "we didn't know we were poor; we had love and one another." Your poem is beautiful and your heartache understandable but as everyone has said.."love and togetherness is the greatest gift." ..sending mine Gay

  44. >I would like to say what an evocative poem this was to read. I think it is something that a lot of us would have experienced at some stage…at least I know I have many,many times.We live in such a commercial world that a lot of us get caught up in the expectation to meet certain standards & in fact we are totally missing the true meaning of Christmas.My husband and I have faced these same struggles throughout our marriage several times whilst raising 3 sons & felt these exact same thoughts and feelings as you but amazingly you do get through it. My children have very fond memories of Christmas. When they talk about the Christmas' they experienced as children, it's not the presents that they recall but the traditions surrounding the festive season. Singing carols, reading Christmas stories, watching Christmas movies on Christmas eve, decorating the Christmas tree, & the house with home made decorations. Making ginger bread men, white Christmas, rum balls & our very own bon bons. I think it's good to know that children are quite resilient and that if they see the spirit of christmas shining through you they will feed off it!!It is actually these Christmas's will forever remain the most precious to me.Your children, I am certain, know you love them and you will have a wonderful Christmas because you have eachother.

  45. betweenhearts75 Says:

    >Such beauty in this poetry of yours Pete, I've known for a long time of struggle…and still…very emotional time of year for me..thank you for sharing your gift of words..~April

  46. >Whoa…amazing use of seasonal imagery and emotion. Just amazing…

  47. >gorgeous pete. love the bit about roots exposed. i felt it.

  48. >Hi Pete, Thank you for sharing this lovely yet sad poem with us. It must be incredibly hard to be approaching Christmas unemployed… We have an income and we are struggling so I cannot imagine how difficult it must be for those who don't have any meaningful source of income. I'm not going to offer you any advice 'cos I'm sure you've already heard it all other than to say 'don't see yourself as unemployed'… every day you are employed writing poetry, employed making others happy, possibly employed doing God's work… constantly remind yourself that you are employed… who knows what could come from that altered consciousness…

  49. >i have been wonderfully choked by all the lovely supportive comments thats i have received and i would love to address you each individually but i would only be saying the same thing…thankyou…as sad as this series might seem…i do enjoy writing it as i know that its not just for me its written…thanks again pete

  50. >wow, too many lines to quote… I loved reading this but I'm left with an ache. "And hope is lost as candles burn To save the lights of yesterday." and the lines about your children's eyes opening wide, only to receive pain… quite emotional.I say, keep giving them all the love and attention you can muster it is truly the best gift any parent can give a child. I wish you and your family the best. 🙂

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