Christmas Poem 2022

A Visit from Saint Nicholas

A Poem by Jonathan Potter – December 2022

‘Twas the first mask-free Christmas, when all through the stores 

The vaccinated children were spewing their spores;
The shoppers were eagerly starting to riot
As the introverts longed for some quarantine quiet.

The public healthcare workers were tracing the path
Of the flu and RSV, and doing their math;
And mamma with her slight cough and I with anxiety
Were praying to be spared Christmas cards full of piety.

When on the TV, an ex-President appeared
Who seemed both too familiar and utterly weird.
Away to the kitchen I fled for to grab
Some fortified eggnog for my pandemic flab.

I looked out the window at the new-fallen snow
And wondered why mamma and I shouldn’t go
To some tropical island with palm trees and drinks
And nary a mention of ice-skating rinks.

So off to the airport, so lively and quick,

No lockdowns to keep us from this handy trick.
More rapid than llamas, still wearing pyjamas,
We boarded a plane destined for The Bahamas.

“Now, Covid! Now, Lockdowns! Now, Quarantine Masking!
On, Pfizer! Moderna! Vaccines for the asking!
Take a shot in the arm, let the virus begone!
Now dash away! dash away! Like a bat from Wuhan!”

As snowflakes that in the windchill gently fly,
And blind you by flying right into your eye,
So out of this snowscape mamma and I flew
(After waiting a while for the de-icing crew).

And then, in a twinkling, I was drinking some rum
On a beach that made me forget where I’m from.
And suddenly Saint Nicholas appeared with no sleigh
And said, “I’m retired, now what do you say?”

And then, in a twinkling, I was drinking some rum
On a beach that made me forget where I’m from.
And suddenly Saint Nicholas appeared with no sleigh
And said, “I’m retired, now what do you say?”

Jonathan Potter

Jonathan Potter is my son-in-law. He is a managing librarian at Washington State University, Spokane, Washington and a published poet. He is often featured on Garrison Keillor’s “Writer’s Almanac.” Look for:

  • Tulips for Elsie published by Wishing Tree Books
  • House of Words published by Korrektiv Press
  • Sunrise Yin published by Korrektiv Press
  • Sunrise Yang published by Korrektiv Press

Sunrise Yin and Sunrise Yang include daily photographs of the sunrise and are accompanied by six-line poems. Jonathan took all the photos and wrote all the poems. I can attest to his All publications are available on Amazon. He also wrote last year’s Christmas poem.

We Should Know Better

August 26, 2023

I know! I am going to sound like a grumpy old man. Maybe that is because I am. I have been scratching my head in wonderment at the Taylor Swift phenomena. Is she an Incredible song writer, composer, and performer? I really don’t know! A discussion for another time? But probably not. At my age […]

Not in My Back Yard

August 4, 2023

Don’t build it! At least, Not In My Back Yard ! I acted as an advisor  in the sale of a beautifully natural, 14-acre urban waterfront estate. Existing zoning allowed for the development of 30 to 35 single-family homes, which after road dedication would leave very little green space. I did not think that was […]

Glasgow – That Dear Green Place

July 31, 2023

We were visiting Glasgow (literally that Dear Green Place in Gaelic) to see where my father was born, grew up, and went to University. Fortunately for me, my cousin John from Australia had just visited and had met with historians, Bruce Downie  and Norry Wilson.  So,  we too arranged to meet them in the Govanhill […]

Vienna on Top Again

June 25, 2023

Vienna on top again. This week both Monocle Magazine and The Economist unveiled their quality of life / most liveable city indexes. There are differences in the way each publication sets its index. So it is even more impressive that once again, Vienna tops both lists. I am a bit lazy today so rather than […]

Large interior courtyards

From Hot Bedding to Superblocks

June 20, 2023

Many Viennese went from hot bedding to superblocks overnight. Could they even imagine  an apartment complex 1000 metres long built along two streets with even more massive landscaped courtyards? Could they conceive of 1400 apartment units built to house 5000 people on 56,000 square metres or 38 acres of land.  Or a vertical build-out that […]

Vienna – the World’s Most Livable City

June 16, 2023

Vienna had been a poor city even before the First World War. “Normal” housing arrangements  meant six to eight people sharing one room and a kitchen. Then, in early 1919, just after the Armistice,  the cost of living tripled in two months. Bed lodgers could no longer afford their 8-hours a day in a shared […]