Royal’s Christmas poem


By Royal Calkins

It has become a holiday tradition hereabouts, an annual outpouring of doggerel from Royal Calkins, who, as far as anyone can tell, has never come up with an actually clever rhyme or anything beyond a merely acceptable attempt. Look closely and you’ll also see that the rhyme patterns change solely for his convenience. Please feel free to click on the comment button below and add a verse or two of your own.

Twas the week before Christmas

And all through the region

Not a creature was stirring

Not even a pigeon

The coastal elites were all tucked

Snugly in their downy beds

While the inlanders tried to stay warm

Thick hats on frowny heads

Pops was snoring, he’d sipped a bit before

Mama was drifting from half an Ativan

The kids, on their machines, zapping

Each zombie, each warlock, every sorta human

Then from up on the roof

There came quite a clatter.

Pops said he’d check it out

But the neighbor, he stole the ladder

So they simply sat there and waited

For a craft of some sort to get all landed

And a big bearded guy to get out and stretch.

Before starting to pass things out, evenly handed

He said there wasn’t enough stuff to go around

That he’d run out of cards, “Such a bummer.”

So all he could do was shout greetings

Only regards, no watches, not a tie, certainly no Hummer

But he figured his sincerity

Would wow the crowd

Combined with rotten poetry

Delivered in a voice way too loud

The heartiest and most vocalistic tidings

He/him sent to those we care about the most

Those who have done good work

Who deserve a hug and a hearty Xmas toast

Folks like Matt Huerta, George Riley, Libby Downey

Jan Shriner, Alvin Edwards and Jon Ordonio

Annalisa Mitchell, Ian Oglesby, Bobby Richards, of course

People in Spreckels and Big Sur and all over Californio

Denese Sanders and sweet hubby Grant Leonard

Have earned their rest and a world filled with art

Phil Penko, Melodie Chrislock, Aurelio Salazar, too

Along with Beverly Bean, they’ve all done their part

Kate Edwards, Peter and Robin, Mike DeLapa, Jane Haines

Take a seat by the fire, forget all your pains

Celeste and Dania, Paul Wilner, Claire Fay

Toss snowballs at Carmel’s Byrne family, but not all day

Sandy Nunnally gets an orange and so does Michael Jones

Alison Kerr’s stocking is filled with A’s for her efforts

Debra Gramespacher gets a chord from Bill Rawson’s banjo tones

Irwin Speizer earns applause, Michelle Welsh profits from her torts

For the Del Pieros, Eric and Marc and their families

Extra bowls of cioppino with garlicky bread

Packages of blankets and trinkets, baubles and beads

For Cristina Medina and that Hernandez guy, Fred

Dan Turner gets a smile, wife Jeanne gets a break

Larry Parrish some varnish, Keith Vandevere some maps

Loms Livernois a place for her figs, maybe a steak (for rhyming purposes only)

Nancy Selfridge and Joy Colangelo, some dumb Santa caps

Beat Giger, Patty Lamar, Steve Hunt, Bruce Delgado

All warrant chocolate cherries as does Janet Brennan,

A vacation for Charlie Marlowe, Mary Barker, Gary Figuero(a)

A cache of cash for Sara Rubin and Fahselt, OK, another Brennan

Not everyone deserves filled up stockings, of course

Cuz some of you were better

But some of you were worse

And there are those who deserve a little Xmas curse

We’ll start with Cal Am, the giant water hoarder

Which hopes to pump everything from here to the border

While raising fees for the poorest among us

And when called on it put up an unholy fuss

For the big Water Co. bosses, a gift of back pockets

For all the toadying officials they’re been carrying around

And to make room in the pants now for the LAFCO folks

Who stifled the voters with pale arguments unsound

So lumps of coal for Poitras, Lopez and Gourley

Who treated democracy and the people awfully poorly

That Mary Ann Leffel needs a shot of coal in her nog

And Kimbley Craig, instead of votes maybe a log

The best thing that happened this year

Was Sheriff Bernal’s announced retirement

Some of his charges will have less to fear

Regimes like his are a true test of government

There’s much more to say about this year that is passing

It’s almost 2022, this decade is obviously flashing…

By quicker than it should, even for a rough year

Another COVID year, a time with not enough cheer

Some fight over the words used as greetings

And refuse to wear masks as they gather for meetings

The Democrats remain timid, the Repubs have gone off a cliff

A mid-mid-term election will be here in a jiff

But back to the Ho Ho Ho stuff, enough of the snark

Cause the holidays should be like a walk in the park

A cold walk but a pleasant trek nonetheless

With him in his kerchief and them in their warmest dress

So on with you Donder and Blitzen, grumpy Larry Parsons

And Jessica Tomei and Julie Reynolds, some hot holiday buns

David Schmalz, Christopher Neely, Felix Cortez, even Dan Green

May your presents be the most acceptable that you’ve ever seen

Did we mention Gordon Smith, heck, we’ll mention him again

He’s a Santa of sorts and most of the kids deserve it.

When Glenn Church gets elected, he can get rid of some hen(s)

For David Jackson, how about some Dead and no Travis Tritt

A new tiara for Sygale Lomas and one for sweet Jeanne Marino

Christy H, Virg ‘N Ed, Marcos and Ginger, Vern Sullivano,

Each should look deep into their socks

‘Cuz they’re filled with good luck and Amazon stocks

Well enough of this already, the rhymes are getting dumber

The Voices layout people already see this as a bummer

So instead of more names I’ll be really inclusive

And wrap you all in last lines that are conclusive

Merry whatever, happy solstice, good luck, adios

Bon Voyage, Happy Birthday, hope you can still touch your toes

Times are tough, times are perfect, there is hope on its way

Happy or sad, tomorrow is another day

Yes for some times are tough, for others too easy

The loneliness of many should make us all queasy

But may we all enjoy the quiet, the songs and the lights

So Happy Everything, Everybody, and have a good night(s).


I’m reminded that I have neglected my Fresno peeps

The ones who are so often quite stunning

Folks like Mark Arax, Henry Graves and funny Leslie Cunning

Ned Saiki, old Ron Becker, young Tom Tom and of course Jim Guy

And for the Visalia folks, like Greg and Steve, here’s a slice of Christmas pie

Good bye

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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

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