Christmas Poetry

Ask Twice by Caroline Harroe
In a world of swift “I’m fines” hastily spoken,
Lies a truth untold, a sign that we’re broken.
We nod and smile, a masquerade so hollow,
But do you see the pain that we artfully swallow?

So I ask you once, “Are you doing okay?”
Your lips curve a smile; you say, “I’m fine” today.
Yet something stirs within your eyes’ quiet flicker,
A shimmer of a shadow, a soul that feels sicker.

There’s comfort in the asking, a familiar dance,
But the music’s too loud for us to leave to chance.
For “fine” is a shield worn thin by the wary,
A single word’s armor against a world so scary.

So I’ll ask you again, a gentle inquisition,
Probing past defenses with my quiet suspicion.
“Are you truly okay?” My voice a soft insistence,
A bridge across the moat of your silent resistance.

Now pausing the facade, you ponder the care,
In a world rushing by, why would anyone dare
To stop and to ask, not once but twice?
It’s a hand in the dark, warmth cutting through ice.

In this moment of pause, the truth starts to seep,
Through the cracks of the mask, so heavy to keep.
Eyes lower, a sigh, defenses worn thin,
You may reveal the storm that’s raging within.

It’s not merely a question, not a simple task,
But a moment of kinship, an unmasking to bask.
When fine is not fine, and okay not okay,
It’s the twice that I asked that unveiled the gray.

For once is just courtesy, a custom we do,
Twice is an offer to walk the dark through.
Asking twice is to say, “I’m here, it’s safe to confide,
Unburden your soul, I’m right by your side.”

In asking you twice, it’s hope I impart,
An understanding that mends the cracks of the heart.
So whenever you murmur that you are “just fine,”
I’ll be ready to ask again, reading between the lines.

In Yuletide’s Bright Splendour by Caroline Harroe
In yuletide’s bright splendour, where pressures amass,
Where tinsel and glitter obscure the true glass,
There lies a deep yearning for joy that’s uncomplicated,
Beyond the grand feasts, and the gifts overrated.

Amidst the loud carols and the bustling throng,
Find strength in the quiet, your spirit made strong,
It’s in a snowflake’s descent, a calming, soft treasure,
That the simplest of pleasures provide the truest measure.

Step out from the shadows of holiday’s weight,
Where lonely hearts whisper and longings abate,
Embrace the small wonders, let go of the musts,
And let your heart sail like breeze through the gusts.

For obligations, they bind, and angst holds you tight,
But your choices can free you, and set your soul right,
In your company revel, or in solace take part,
For peace comes not from the crowd, but the calm in your heart.

Offer thanks with a breath, a moment so still,
To be present, be you, and let your cup fill,
With laughter, or tears, if that’s what you need,
You’re enough in this moment, let that be your creed.

So this Christmas, may you find your true bliss,
Not in doing, or buying, but in being, just this;
A perfect imperfection, a heart that beats steady,
With simple pleasures alive, in their time, always ready.