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Poetically Yours - Holiday inspiration

James Morehead holding "canvas" and "portraits of red and gray"
Provided by James Morehead
James Morehead holding "canvas" and "portraits of red and gray"

Welcome to Poetically Yours. Poetically Yours showcases poems by northern Illinois poets. Today’s featured poet is James Morehead.

Morehead is Poet Laureate of Dublin, California. He has two poetry books "canvas: poems” his debut collection and “portraits of red and gray.” He is also the host of the Viewless Wings Poetry Podcast. James' poem "tethered" was transformed into an award-winning, hand drawn animated short film, "gallery. This was set to music for baritone and piano. Some of his poems have appeared in Wingless Dreamer, Prometheus Dreaming and Prompt Press. Here’s his Christmas poem "Among the Scattered Ribbons and Crumpled Paper."

I watch Juno crawl between chair legs and swinging feet

over a bailey built of boxes

that surrounds a pine tree with red and gold

to paw at the twinkling lights suspended above.

When dinner ends, our feet shuffle to sofas and nooks.

Emily and Evvie are grown now—

too old to be children

not old enough to have them.

A leader is chosen

selecting boxes one by one, weakening the wall

and startling Juno who scoots back under the table,

silent and hidden with eyes wide open—on alert.

Paper is ripped with a chhh chhh chhh then tossed,

her ears perk as she readies to pounce,

claw and tumble, head over paws

in a bundle of fur.

It's her first Christmas with us.

Next year when the decorations go up

she'll be ready—waiting to roll in the ruins of

scattered ribbons and crumpled paper.

At this point

I think of Christmases past

when my daughters were kittens, scampering

and squealing for their next gift.

  • Yvonne Boose is a current corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project. It's a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms like WNIJ. You can learn more about Report for America at wnij.org.
Yvonne covers artistic, cultural, and spiritual expressions in the COVID-19 era. This could include how members of community cultural groups are finding creative and innovative ways to enrich their personal lives through these expressions individually and within the context of their larger communities. Boose is a recent graduate of the Illinois Media School and returns to journalism after a career in the corporate world.