How To Paint the Perfect Christmas Tree

I pinched this off a friends blog as I thought it was worth sharing. 

Above you paint the sky
delicate as maidens hair.
Below, pour a little darkness
heated to room temperature
or slightly more.

With a cat’s claw in the dark
scratch out a little tree,
the finest tree in the world,
finer than any forester
could ever imagine.

And the tree itself
will light up,
and the whole picture purr
with green joy
with purple hope.

Right. But now you must
put under the tree
real big thing,
the thing you most want in the world;
the thing pop singers
call happiness.

It’s easy enough for a cat,
a cat will put a mouse there,
Colonel Blimp will line up
the largest jet propelled halberd
which shoots and bangs and salutes,
a sparrow will gather
a few stalks for it’s nest,
master junior clerk will submit
a stuffed file tied with red tape,
a butterfly will put there
a new rubber peacock’s eye,
but what will you put there?

You think and think
till the day grows grey
till the river almost runs out
till even the bulbs begin to yawn
you think

and finally

there in the darkness you blot out
a hazy white spot,
a bit like a florin,
a bit like a ship,
a bit like the Moon,
a bit like the beautiful face
of someone (who?) else,

a hazy white spot,
perhaps more like emptiness,
like the negation of something,
like non-pain,
like non-fear,
like non-worry,

a hazy white spot,
and you go to bed
and say to yourself
yes, now I know how to do it,
yes, now I know,
next time
I shall paint
the most perfect Christmas tree
that ever was.

Miroslav Holub


One thought on “How To Paint the Perfect Christmas Tree

  1. Pingback: Your poems about places: Six of the best

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s