Poems for a Busy Time by James R. Coggins

No one has time to read blogs in the busy time around Christmas. It is appropriate, then, that today I post some poems since no one reads poetry either.

Seasonally Affected Disorder

Our Christmas cactuses

have glorious practices

in November,

but are bereft,

have no blooms left

come December.

A serious dereliction,

a complete contradiction,

like a Christmas tree

without ornamentation,

it’s a misrepresentation

of botany.


Christmas colors mark the sign:

“Discount book sale, $9.09.”

Unforeseen ironic twist:

Wal-Mart’s profits swell from this—

A Christmas Carol, Dickens’ tale,

And Bob the clerk rings up the sale,

Who must increase his meager pay

By taking shifts on Christmas Day.

The next in line is pushing near.

Bob turns away and doesn’t hear

Charles’s echoes in the mall:

“It’s just business after all.”

To Seek a Better King

A couple of thousand kilometers

these pagans travelled,

several million footsteps,

taking months.

But the priests of the household,

who had studied their whole lives to be ready for this,

couldn’t be bothered to spend an afternoon checking out what they had heard.

God does not send stars and signs

to those who aren’t willing

to follow.

After All Expectation

(Genesis 35:16-20)

The birth came late

but far too early,

falling a few miles and many years short

of the destined nation.

She cried out that the birth brought only sorrow.

The father spoke of a prince coming,

but she could not see it.

They buried her beside the road to Bethlehem.

For those not Home for Christmas

In the season of joy,

pain and grief return for those no longer here.

The loss does not grow less with each passing year,

but is seasoned with peace

as the separation recedes in the past

and the distant time of reunion draws near.

On a journey going Somewhere


zipping down the high way,


tossing prayers out the window

and starting fires.

About jrcoggins

James R. Coggins is a professional writer and editor based in British Columbia, Canada. He wrote his first novel in high school, but, fortunately for his later reputation as a writer, it was never published. He briefly served as a Christian magazine editor (for just over 20 years). He has written everything from scholarly and encyclopedia articles to jokes in Reader’s Digest (the jokes paid better). His six and a half published books include four John Smyth murder mysteries and one other, stand-alone novel. In his spare time, he operates Mill Lake Books, a small publishing imprint. His website is www.coggins.ca
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2 Responses to Poems for a Busy Time by James R. Coggins

  1. Louise M. Gouge says:

    I read your poems!


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