A Christmas Poem

As I look back, this time of year,
across decades of sobriety
I am moved by the message
running through them –
hope underlies everything.

The torch was lit long time ago;
although it sometimes flickers,
its light remains forever there.
It was the return of hope
which gave me my life back.

So I sit quietly now
in the glow of lights
on my Christmas tree,
Today nothing is perfect;
exactly how it should be.



45 Responses to “A Christmas Poem”

  1. I am smiling, and having come from about the same roots, I couldn’t agree with you more!! Thanks for the reminder.. Christmas hugs!!!

  2. Even without a tree, I can feel those lights.

    Cheers for returned hope.

  3. I like the wry humour running through this poem! I also enjoy the natural, easy voice. I’ve just discovered your blog and read the first three poems so far. I’ll come back for more.

    • belfastdavid Says:


      It is good to see you here and thank you for coming back. I will be along shortly to partake in your blog

  4. This is wonderful. There’s nothing better than to be reminded that if I’m sober, everything else in my life will be OK.

  5. exactly how it should be

    with hope

    This is for everyone. But we are all recovering from ourselves in some way, aren’t we?

  6. “Oh, these are lovely words aren’t they?” LOL!

    David, when you gave me the original four lines of this I was to have no idea that I would give them back to you 12 years later and you would expand them into a beautiful poem such as this. And what an appropriate time of year to post this, Christmas itself being a time of hope and renewal.

    The whole poem flows so naturally. as though the words were just waiting to tumble from you onto the paper. The expansion of words by no means dilutes the meaning, rather it enhances and concentrates it into a very strong message. It is a poem full of warmth and optimism and I can picture myself by the side of a cosy log fire with you, absorbing the essence of the poem and watching wreaths of hope encircling the flames.

    The hope for me is not that of wishing things to be perfect, or indeed, wishing them to go well. It is hope that I will find within myself the strength necessary to manage whatever life gives to me on a daily basis. That means that perfectionism has to go (as you are aware I used to be a devout perfectionist!) As the poem says, “Today nothing is perfect, exactly how it should be.” What a desolate place this would be if we did not have to strive and learn through mistakes, in our aim to achieve our various goals.

    I have been given some difficult stuff to deal with this year, but also many things to be grateful for, not least of which is that I have you back in my life. This has been a gift which I shall treasure.

    My wish for you and me this Christmas is that of contentment, and that we spend many hours of such contentment, and sobriety, together in the coming year.

    Lots of love
    And a big warm Xmas hug



    • belfastdavid Says:


      Clearly Christine I was a poet 12 years ago – I just didn’t recognise it then.
      The lovely thing of course is that the message hasn’t changed at all over the intervening period and that the torch of hope is still available to us on a daily basis.

      You have indeed been given some difficult stuff to deal with and I remain impressed by how you are doing that – the old you would not have been able to do that!!

      Although I may have recourse to quoting your own words back to you – “Devout Perfectionist!!” – Brilliant 🙂

      We can both look forward to some contentment in the next year – one day at a time

      Lots of love
      and a big warm Xmas hug back to you


  7. Elaine Randall English Says:

    Glad you posted this bit for the holiday. Hope you have a wonderfully warm Christmas with all the quiet beauty that you need! We might have a white Christmas here….I’m watching our weather!

    • belfastdavid Says:

      Thank you Elaine,

      We still have snow here and it is forecast to continue past Christmas. But as long as I am warm I can be content 🙂

      Wishing you a contented Christmas
      Look after yourself

  8. purple paul Says:

    Nice one David. As leonard Cohen said: “There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.”

    • belfastdavid Says:


      Good of you to drop in from Dublin Paul. I hope by now you are on your way to the U S of A.

      Love the quote

  9. Beautiful David!

    I can imagine your tree aglow with lights, snow falling outside your window and hope so tangible in the smile upon your face.

    I do believe you’ve encapsulated the heart of this season and time of year. Hope.
    In the face of challenges past, sad memories, obstacles to come. We can be warmed and feel a peace because that hope that carried us forward will always surround us and continue to light our paths in life.

    I have just celebrated the Summer Solstice here down south where we have a feast of lights for one night to celebrate the joy of warmth and sunlight and the bounty of life. There is a slight connection with everyone elses lights, to light up the world with hope and joy.

    Your poem helped me too feel some of that joy for the hope of tomorrows.

    I wish you and yours a very blessed Christmas. May it be filled with much warmth and love and may it be full of light. 🙂

    extra warm

    • belfastdavid Says:

      Thank you Tikarma,

      No matter what we are celebrating it is good to be able to step back among the festivities, reflect and be grateful.
      I can imagine your feast of lights and smile at your enjoyment of them 🙂
      I have been out today and drove past Golden Acre Park – tomorrow perchance I will get well rugged up and go again with my camera.

      The beautiful fairy lit the torch of hope for me — I have a picture of her on my living room wall – she always brings a smile to my face. 🙂

      Thank you too for those Christmas wishes — they are very much appreciated


  10. Peter Doyle Says:

    Greetings and salutations… just as it should be. : )

  11. It think the problems begin and we try to be perfect. We set ourselves up to failure. Imperfection is simply perfect, and what we should really strive for.

    • belfastdavid Says:


      I think you are right Rose. I did think I was perfect during my drinking years – trouble was it took more and more drink in order fo me to maintain the illusion!!

  12. Quoting a few lines from a poem I wrote about my son, Richard (The Dude!):

    A place doesn’t have to be organized,
    a thing doesn’t have to be unblemished,
    a person doesn’t have to be perfect,
    to be truly beautiful.

    I hope your Christmas is truly beautiful, David.
    Much love,

    • belfastdavid Says:

      Lovely and meaningful words Shirley.

      Thank you for them

      I hope you too, and Richard, have a beautiful contented Christmas
      Much love

  13. Vera Hazelgrove Says:

    I’m standing in line to send you a Christmas hug, and to thank you for your wonderful poem!
    Have a nice Christmas!

    Christmas hug,
    Vera & Karley

    • belfastdavid Says:

      Ah Vera,

      You are more than welcome to move to the head of the line any time you want. 🙂

      (((Big Christmas Hug)))

      You and Karley have a good Christmas

  14. A very cosy & honest poem that is full of hope. Even for those who’ll spend Christmas alone there’s always sentimental memories & feelings as well as the present glow & twinkle of the Christmas tree & its lights. Perfect is imperfection-nicely put (: Be merry.

    • belfastdavid Says:

      Delighted you could make it Jeff

      I will spend Christmas day itself alone but my house will be full of memories and therefore full of good friends. 🙂

      I hope you have a good, contented Christmas

    • belfastdavid Says:

      Hi Jeff,

      I have put up a link to your web site on my home page – I hope that is ok with you

  15. Being a huge fan of hope and imperfection, I love this poem! I envision you sitting in the glow of your Christmas tree and wish you the sweetest of Christmases.

  16. David, that ‘flicker’ is such a great metaphorical image for life. Those moments inbetween light can, with a little sight and help, be a place of content reflection and grounded hope for the future. A timely reminder for us all, thanks.

    Have a lovely Christmas.

  17. Hi David, hope you had a good Christmas. Liked the poem and wishing you lots of light.

    Where you sitting on your Christmas tree or did I read it wrong? 🙂

    • belfastdavid Says:


      I doubt Ina that the tree would survive me sitting on it!! 🙂

      I did have a good Christmas thank you. Now emerging into a dull, grey, damp landscape in which all the snow has melted. But with several plans and changes to put into place.

      I hope you too had a good Christmas.

      • Everything is back to green here now too – for a while- New Year is ready to take off 🙂 After last night, we still have all eyes and fingers in the family, hope your NYE was good too!

        ♥ 2011 ♥

      • belfastdavid Says:

        Happy New Year to you too Ina.

        I start the New Year owning a television set – some thing I haven’t had for over 10 years – This will either be a very good thing or a very bad thing – only time will tell. But it will be a difference 🙂

  18. Hi David,

    Thank you for this wonderful poem and the wisdom the holds it all together. I think if you could only ever share one piece in your life, this would be the one that can make a difference to so many! I just love everything about this piece! There is true wisdom here, especially in those last two lines. I will always take this with me.

    Thank you my friend.

    Beannachd leat,


    • belfastdavid Says:

      Thank you Jamie,

      I often reflect on those last two lines – they help keep me in a safe place.

      I am now loking forward to the arrival of your CD as the backlog of the Christmas post sorts itself out. Hopefully it will be here to help me celebrate the New Year.

      Beannachd leat to you too my friend


  19. TV can be great 🙂 There are very good BBC programs. Enjoy! 🙂

    • belfastdavid Says:

      🙂 I got it mostly for the sport. But I shall enjoy finding out what else is worth watching – as long as I do not make myself a prisoner to it!!!

      • I love the BBC shows about houses, like Escape to the country.
        And the costume drama’s.
        Sport… you meen the snooker games? I know someone who watches that. never understood why 🙂

      • belfastdavid Says:

        Ah, I had the football more in mind than the snooker – although I am sure I will watch that as well!! 🙂

  20. I have been thinking about trying to write a Christmas poem, but the wryness found in this, along with the depth of its honesty and directness, makes me wonder if I have the ability. This is not your typical Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, and you deserve honor for that and the courage of writing anything about Christmas.

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