Christmas Season Ending Earlier, Say Scientists

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The interminable United States holiday season, long considered a key indicator that the climate is doing just fine, thank you very much, may be ending earlier than we think. “The data shows that the Christmas season in the U.S. is actually ending earlier, and that the rate of change has accelerated over at least the past ten years,” said Harvard climatologist Dr. Noelle Baker-Taylor. Her team’s findings will be published in the next issue of Nature.

While those findings are likely to be controversial, they are based on solid science, says Baker-Taylor. “If you look at previous studies, they tended to rely on measurements of the entire holiday season, which show that the absolute length of the season has remained stable. But our analysis shows that the Christmas season now begins much earlier, too.” Baker-Taylor says that another possible factor is that Thanksgiving, which has traditionally demarcated the “no-earlier-than” date of the Christmas season, may have have deteriorated significantly. “There’s evidence that Thanksgiving’s influence has been steadily eroding since the 1980s, and in some areas it may no longer be enough to delay the start of Christmas.” Asked if Thanksgiving could be in danger of collapsing, Baker-Taylor said, “It’s a concern, definitely. That’s one of the things we need to look at.”

“I’m not a scientist, but my opinion is it’s bullshit,” said Oregon tree farmer Kenny Bupkis. “I mean, according to science, a bumblebee can’t even fly. So they have their opinions, but I have mine.” But Kenny’s sister and business partner Doris Bupkis wasn’t so sure. “I go downtown and I see Valentine’s day stuff in the windows in early January. So yeah, maybe. I don’t know. I’m not a scientist. After I left home, Mom used to keep her tree up till Easter some years. She just called me up the other day and asked me to haul her tree for her so she could put up her Presidents’ Day decorations. So maybe, I don’t know. I’m not a scientist.”

U.S. President Donald Trump disputed the study in an angry early-morning tweet: “So-called scientists must stop their War on Christmas! FACT: Even Darwin said global warming wasn’t real! SAD!”

Of magic doors there is this

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1.

Of course I have arrived here just too late.
Oh, well, I have nothing better to do than wait.

No sense in haring off hoping to find another way;
Surely a door that opened once will open again one day.

Anyhow the land all about here is much to my taste:
Abandoned, overgrown, waste.

2.

Not even Madame Sosostris could have foreseen
Despite her wicked cards and her eyes that were Gypsy green

From the butterfly’s chaotic flutter
What hurricanes might utter.

3.

I offer a modest voice, speaking
An old language, having lived
Not quite long enough to have attained wisdom,
A bit too long to maintain a plausible ignorance.

What I recollect in this my time of tranquility
Is the weeping that took me over, years of it, years earlier.
What I remember now are the waves that heaved
Me up out of the sea that was my past.

In this my time of tranquility
Which will also pass
There is little more to be said
Once so much has been said.

 

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Rodin’s Gates of Hell

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The Thinker contemplates a moveless turbulence: men, angels, children, women
agonize eternally, leaping or cast
from shrieking Hell into a lesser torment, seeking what can’t last
beyond this frozen moment. Here are long hands, long arms stretched tight of bone and skin

in knotted ecstasy of pain; tight mouths caught too tight to scream;
sleek writhing forms trapped bursting through the gate that swells and thins to let them pass
for this caught moment, too fleeting for relief before Hell draws them back,
back below the seething gate, back to the wailing dark and the company of the damned.

It must be balanced; an opposing Heaven must exist:
a timeless, flat, cool, blandly pleasant place, where no stark weathered bodies strive
for respite from the blasted murk, that lacks this endless
doomed struggle. Perhaps this is what the Thinker contemplates: that Hell is,
and so Heaven too must be; that somewhere men, in sculptured bliss eternal as
these damned he watches over, are content: are blessed: are not so much alive.

 

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10 Poems Written with a Found Pen

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Between the gray sky and gray
earth the darkling crowds
of those who
don’t and won’t look up
swell the concrete streets but
no cement can hold back time
no built thing can support the sky and
the earth holds me, but
I hold nothing:
holding nothing
back, again,
still.

 

3936737920_1b66337e7a_b2.

I can’t even
get lost just once, I
got lost then
right away
did it again. Later
that place I was headed for
changed into another, so
I never found it.

 

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Hip hooray for the Brooklyn Bridge!
A comic book for the Bowery Kids!
Nobody’s lost, nobody jumps,
We all stand up & take our lumps.
From here to Brooklyn, never back!
And into the great wide world at last!

 

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Never can remember
the endings of movies
quite right and then
I’m afraid to watch them
a second time
since what if the whole world
could come undone
just like
that?

 

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I used to love rocks and
talk about them. Now I don’t
remember why
I thought I knew so much, why
I thought the world was all
about the rocks.
Kids, huh?

 

choppy PS6.

If the bay froze – right now, right away –
I bet those sharp gray
waves would fetch a pretty penny
you could cut up the bay, not have any
thing left but sunken wrecks and fish
skeletons, and everyone would wish
they’d bought a piece while they could
yeah, you best believe it would be a good
deal while it lasted, buddy

 

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I have this friend
let’s call her Chris I
haven’t seen her in
a while and I
forget if I owe her
a call or if
she owes me so
anyhow it’s pretty
late now
maybe in a day or two
I’ll remember
again

 

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She got her world from
Headlines, so was always in
Despair, or shopping.

 

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That creek meandering through
the grass doesn’t want
a thing and moves
always. That bird poised like
death on the bank
wants what it can
get; it doesn’t move
but once.

 

bird on coffeepot with red bg10.

This morning she was up
before me, who used to be
my slug-a-bed, my slow waker.
This morning she has
opinions, who used to
wait and see what things
would be like.
This morning as
I reached for my
coffee cup I realized
wait
this is no dream
this thing is real.

 

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The First Time White-Corn’s-Child Came to the House Made of Dawn

2920375421_5eac7d6df3_bStumbling through the grounds at sunrise,
With dew-damp pollen clinging to my ragged pants cuffs
And having left all my friends behind,
I found myself here.

Beauty amazes me!
Charms hanging in the doorway!
Beauty amazes me!
I’ll dance with the alter-cloth!

Beautiful all that lies before me!
Beautiful all that creeps up behind!
Beautiful, every side I turn to!
I turn, and turn, and turn!

So here I am wandering around
In the house of happiness,
In the house of long life
That no one enters alive.

 

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The Woodman’s Reply

 (or, Some things you may not have considered)

little house big woods
Woodman, spare that tree!
Touch not a single bough!
In youth it sheltered me,
And I’ll protect it now…
George Pope Morris (1837)

All right, fine, I’ll harm it not!
Although it’s clearly got the rot.
You needn’t threaten me–I’ll go!
But first, there’s something you should know:

When comes a storm, this tree will fall
Upon your house, and crush you all:
Your mother, father, sisters too,
Will all be dead because of you.
 
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