A Sick Holiday Poem for the Pandemic The tradition continues

By Royal Calkins

‘Twas days before Christmas but, gosh darn it, not the Christmas of 2021

It was still the world’s longest year, felt like five years around the sun.

I was tucked into bed scrolling the web for the very latest numbers

About recovery rates, ICU capacity, surge spots and other big bummers

Herself was in the den skimming through this week’s New Yorker

Those Santa Claus ads all make him look like a proper porker.

The kids, well that’s another thing, they’re right where we left ‘em

When the sweet one scampered off to college, and the other one, well, he’s no gem

So it’s just the two of us this time, this period of pandemic, wish us luck making merry

Our plan is to open a bottle of something and can opener the cranberry

The Warriors are playing so I’ll be content and hope that Herself likes her new tent

That maybe she’ll be able to use right around the next Lent

No reindeer hooves on the roof this time,

no rosy cheeked carolers trying to keep time

No running to Macy’s for last minute gifts

We’ve filled the family baskets to give some needy some lifts

We might have gone to the Unitarian Hall for some holiday carols

Or dropped off a case of sanitizer over at the Ferrells.

Should have but we didn’t so there really isn’t much to do

Considering that we can’t find the damned Roku

Still we’re counting our blessings and thanking so many souls

Who’ve kept us fed and warm, no oxygen tubes in the facial holes

We worry about the folks across town, the homeless, the meek

We cry for the people on the wards, the familiar faces they seek

For it’s a virtual world this year, online shopping, digital cheer

Thank goodness there’s hope now, the vaccine’s finally here

May the many survive this, may the people stay strong

Confident that we have voted out the guy who did us so wrong

So since it’s a virtual holiday, we’ll content ourselves with simple greetings

Like in Xmases past, which looking back now seem awfully fleeting

Instead we’ll present mythical presents, full-throated greetings, appropriate signs

Of the regard we hold you in, mostly good or at least sorta fine

So to Wendy Root Askew we gift you with courage and grit

You’ll need it in Salinas, county politics are tough, but we know you’ll get it

To Jane Parker, a gift of traveling shoes and meetingless Tuesdays

And thanks for your service, you’ve helped keep things sane by the Bay(s)

For that nice Ian Oglesby, we’ve wrapped a serious chainsaw, a Stihl

So you can cut the ties to the old ways that kept Seaside behind

Be your own fellow now and Seasiders’ stockings you’ll fill

To Craig Malin, Jason Campbell, Acme Coffee, just try to be kind.

To Susan Ragsdale-Cronin, Allison Kerr and that nice Brenda Lewis

Here’s hoping for a year filled with only Can-Do-Its

To the Marina types like Cristina Medina, Kathy Biala and that silvery Delgado

May your new council arrangement create Ho Hos, not No Nos.

To the county boys, like Phillips and Narigi, we’re wrapped up some transparency

So we can know what’s happened to all that pot currency

To those under subpoena and FPPC scrutiny

Let’s hope it ends quickly without need for mutiny

To the press corps, The Weekly, KSBW and Herald and whatever’s left

A gift of more subscribers to give you some heft

So you can go after the big stories, the ones about corruption

Instead of nothing but COVID’s latest eruption

Kimbley Craig, Wes White, Luis Alejo and Ray Corpuz

Each should in their stockings get a sweet baby porpoise

To the Carmel Council’s Bobby Richards, the nicest politician around,

Let’s unwrap a restaurant business plan that’s unusually sound

Ginger Cabrera, the Gigers, and the Wray boys, Vinnie and Miles

Christmas sweaters, holiday fudge and toys in big piles

Monica Sciuto, Mary Barker, the twins, Sarah and Summer

Let’s hope the quiet holiday is no kind of crumbler

For Joe,  Loma, Kathy, Claudia, Julia and her precious beau

Set the Christmas table with cakes and honey aglow

Parsons and Dr. Woods, and all four of my eye docs

Mix that Christmas ham with water, spices and fat ham hocks

Let’s not forget Janet Brennan, Glenn Robinson, smart Beverly Bean

Sara Rubin, Asaf what’s his name, the smartest ones we’ve ever seen

Marc Del Piero, brother Eric, Greg Furey, Irwin Speizer, Morley Brown

Some of the best folks who have ever been in this town

To your health, Gordon Smith, grateful David Jackson, crusty Rick Cope

And Jane Haines, Denise Adams, the Dukes and even the pope

An apology to the high schoolers who are losing their senior years

And the athletes who are practicing or playing without any cheers

A virtual hug to artistic Denese Sanders and her whole artsy crew

Being alone doesn’t have to be terrible, throw some crab in the stew

To your health, all you nurses and doctors. ambulance drivers

And nursing home people, teachers and other key strivers

A special thanks to this who have risked themselves

And worked through the deadly year like anonymous elves

The Souzas, the Downeys, John Norman, the Dukeses

Should be glad they’re not in Massachusetts

The Scattinis, the Pezzinis, the Perelli-Minettis,

Each get a pumpkin pie from the back of the delis

Elijah Ramirez, Daniel Fedman, Olivia C and Lauren Polo

Nancy Selfridge, Mel Mason, Phil Penko, the family Pomo,

Each of you toast Zan Henson, Michael Stamp, Jane Wallace and the dogs

Don’t forget Albert Maldonado, Molly E. plus Erin and the other Foggs

Tony Barrera, the Gagne girls, Gail Morton, Edith Chinn

Hold up the mistletoe, don’t it smell like gin?

Sing carols to Charles Lester, and Mary Adams and of course Kelly, Kiley.

Tom Moore, Dave Stoldt, George Riley, George Riley and more George Riley

Ho Ho Ho to every foster child, every ward of the court

Every forgotten kid, every person without a home port

Along with Mikey Hale, the KRML crew and Davey Kellogg of little hair

The Scattinis, Tommy Wright and the kids, Karen Ravn and the dogs, a pair.

To everyone actually, to everyone still reading

This exercise in nonsense, seasonal and possibly misleading

It is not meant to endorse, condone, oppose or even recognize the existence

Of any religion or lack thereof.

So Happy December to all you good souls who have kept Voices of Monterey Bay alive through your knowledge and your willingness to share it, through your encouragement — spoken, silent or merely imagined — and through your donations at a time when there are so many organizations that also deserve support. Cheers!

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Royal Calkins

About Royal Calkins

Contributing writer Royal Calkins has worked for newspapers in Santa Cruz, Monterey and Fresno. For the past couple of years, he has produced a local news and commentary blog, the Monterey Bay Partisan. He can be reached at calkinsroyal@gmail.com.

One thought on “A Sick Holiday Poem for the Pandemic The tradition continues

  1. May I add Big Kudos to Melodie Chrislock and hubby, Phil Wellman for keeping the PWN masses well informed and the Public Water drumbeat going! Onward into 2021!

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