Jeanna Shepard

Twas Christmastime so Santa Claus
   
Was readying his pack
And filling it with candy canes
    And holly and knickknacks
And calling up his reindeer
    Who love the journey so
And telling them exactly
    Where it was he wished to go.
St. Nick said how he needed them
    Their sleigh would be his ship
To take them from their North Pole home
    Above the Seven Seas.
Once, where they lived, there used to be
    In winter a deep freeze,
But now with global warming
    There’ve been glaciers melting fast
And snowfields disappearing
    And a shortage of the grass
That reindeer like to munch on
    (It’s really reindeer moss)
Though Donald Trump denies it
    ’Tis for reindeer a great loss
What global warming’s doing
    To deer and polar bears
And other Arctic wildlife
    With which the land they share,
So the reindeer were delighted
    Not just to tour the world
But to find good grass to chew on,
    Wherever it might be,
So the idea of a journey
    Made them pleased as you can see.

Jeanna Shepard


They made sure the sleigh was ready —
    That all was spick and span
For all the toys and trinkets
    The chocolates and pecans
St. Nick was carrying with him
    To give to those below
So off they flew into the sky
    ’Midst a few flakes of snow.
They headed south and ’twasn’t long
    Before into their view
An object odd to everyone
    Including me and you —
Was on the ground below them —
    A tree of lobster pots
On Martha’s Vineyard Island
    Where the deer have landed lots
Outside Menemsha’s Chandlery
    Where Everett Poole holds court
With fishermen and cronies
    Of every single sort.
The tree’d been put together
    To welcome Christmas Day
But there was something missing
    Lack-a-day-ah-lack-a-day
The tree of pots had on its top
    A lobster pointing skyward
Not north or south or east or west
    Or even port or starboard.

That wasn’t right, St. Nicholas said,
    Atop a Christmas tree —
A lobster simply wasn’t right

    For all the world to see.
It didn’t matter if the tree
    Was pine or spruce or pots
A star was what there ought to be
    Not lobster since it rots.
And from his sack St. Nick pulled out
    A starfish pinkish-white
And placed it in the lobster’s claw
    So Everett’s tree was right.

Jeanna Shepard


And while he was in Chilmark town
    Wherein Menemsha lies,

St. Nick for Julie Flanders’ Bert
    Had peppermints to eat
He’s been off-Island for awhile
    So they should be a treat.
For Robert Ganz, who likes old cars,
    There was, of them, a fleet.
And then there were,
    For the Allen farm,
A rare new breed of sheep
    With fleeces that were
All in plaid
    As all the town can see
The fleeces were a special sort
    For Anne Vanderhoop to use
For the wool sweaters
   That she knits
In pinks and greens and blues
    They’re perfect on cold winter days
For Islanders to wear
    Ideal for shivering sailors,
Who then will have no cares.
    St. Nick made sure
There was plaid wool
    For all of Scottish ilk
Who’d scorn, of course,
    A garment that was made for them
Of silk.
    So Duncan MacDonald got some
And Cathlin Baker, too,
    And that is just to mention
A very, very few.


 

Jeanna Shepard

And then St. Nick
    Said to his deer
For Susie Bunker he had chicks
   A rooster chick among them.
(At any time both night and day
    The rooster should keep
Hawks away.)
    Then Fiona Brown got a princess gown
To wear when she goes
    To Edgartown
And Winky Keith got a macaw;
    For the Sam Harts
There were oysters raw.
    There were tickets to Frisco
For Tobin, Matt
    To see his Emma
And that was that.
    For Robin Smith
There were crayons and chalk
    For the Chilmark youngsters
Who’re in her flock.
    Monina von Opel
Got more hospital art
    While for Dan Levintritt
Was a Broadway part.



Roe Belain got loops for her loom
    And Betty Eddy

Plants in bloom.
    While for Rhoda Diamond,
Who likes to dine out,
    Was a Black Dog luncheon
About which she could shout.
    Chris Murphy got a swordfishing hat
And for Jerry Catlin
    Was a Welcome mat
For his new home
    Up Chilmark way.
And then there was a rose a day
    For Anna Duarte
Who loves them so.
    For Karodina Sullivan and Milo
There were tasty bones
    For Polly the pug.
Grace Vanderhoop got a great big puzzle,
    While for Quiddie Shanor
Was a star-studded muzzle.
    Megan Ottens-Sargent got a bigger gallery
While for Chris Belain
    There was plenty of celery
For the tasty dishes he does prepare
    The Philip Weinsteins
Got some Quimper.
    That nowadays
Has become quite rare.
    For Emily Robinson
Was a scarf of red silk
    While Lynn Christoffers’ Diana
Got a year’s worth of milk.
    Martha Moore got a horse
And a sturdy old plough
    To get her from her woods
Even in heaps of snow.
    For Oscar Flanders
There was a football.
    He’ll be able to kick it
Even after he’s tall.
    For Rhonda Backus
There were more hula hoops
    While for Ann Burt
Were earrings that were loops.
    Ben Moreau got a big, bad Chevy;
For Benjamin, Nat
    Was a bronze cleat-heavy.

Jeanna Shepard

Cheryl Maltais for the tribal fire
    Got plenty of wood.

for Jane Slater
    There was a sapphire.
The reindeer were stomping their hooves
    About then.
’Twas time to have dinner —
    To find a nice glen
With grasses to eat —
    If not reindeer moss,
They did need to eat something
    They said to their boss.
St. Nick in his red suit
    Was not at a loss.
Ocean Park in Oak Bluffs
    He told Blitzen and Donder
Was the right place to go
    And it was just yonder

If you flew through the air
    The way reindeer can do
When it’s Christmas time
    And they’re just here for you.
For folks of all towns
    And the villages, too
And of beachfront grand dwellings
    (There are more than a few)
In no time at all
    They were in Ocean Park.

Jeanna Shepard

They arrived at a time
    When it was just dark

But everywhere, there
    As it came into view
Bright tree lights were gleaming —
    Some green and some blue;
Some orange and some pink
    On trees made out of wire
Ocean Park seemed, indeed
    To be all afire
Designed, Santa said,
    By Mark Crossland and Co.
’Twould have been at its best
    If there had been snow,
But the reindeer were happy
    To find grass to chew
While St. Nick kept on giving
    His gifts to those few
Who still hadn’t had them.
    For Gina DeBettencourt
Was a mighty Mixmaster
    Not that she ever
Has had a disaster
    With the one that she has
At the Edgartown School.
    But Nick thought it was time
For a new one this Yule.
    Then Loretta May
Got a trip to the moon
    For she likes to travel
It’s none too soon.
    And Roger Calla
Would like one too,
    While Kevin MacDevette
Got crunchies to chew
    Then Charlotte Goeckel
Got a new teddy bear,
    Though it won’t replace
The one that’s there.
    John Thayer got wood
For his cabinets grand
    For McIntosh, Bruce,
To beat the band
    There were lots of golf balls
To roll into the sand.
    There were for Bob Douglas
Fair winds and right tides
    For sailing Shenandoah
When summer arrives;
    And then Laura Silber
Got a garden of chives
    For the fine dishes
That she can prepare
    That have all of her patrons
Walking on air
    Dr. Steve Feder
Got an Island home
    So he no longer
Will have to roam.

Jeanna Shepard

There were Bruins tickets
    For Williamson, Pete
He really should find them
    Very neat.
For Phronzie Vibberts
    And Lesnikowski, Anne,
For the MV Museum
    Santa gave them a plan
For a room of their own
    For their flight memorabilia
Then there were new recipes
    For Betsy Corsiglia
Hiraldo Plascimento
    Got his own house.
Then Marjorie Peirce
    Got her own pet mouse.
For Molly Finklestein
    Was a kitchen new,
Then in Santa’s sack
    Was a squirming alpaca
He really was hungry
    To have a cracker
Or to go out grazing
    With the reindeer
Who were munching away
    Wherever ’twas clear
Of geese in the park
    But he was a gift
For Houman, Yvonne,
    So that on cold days
She’ll be kept most warm
    By wool from his fleece.
While For Elliot Dacher
    Was a trip to Greece.
And for Elaine Miller was a lobster roll,

Jeanna Shepard

And for Robbie Manning
    Was a totem pole.
Kate Derosiers got garden clippers
    And for Jill Macy
There were dancing slippers.
    Tim Merriman got a chimney sweep’s hat.
Tall and impressive
    And that was that.
John Harris got a Rhode Island red
    And for Dick Knabel
Was flour for his bread.
    Lolly Hand got a new
Bowling ball
    While for Mark Lovewell
There was his own yawl.
    For Everett Healy
Was a coffee machine
    Along with a lot
Of dark roast beans,
    For Anna Tomlinson
There were late birthday wishes
    While for Jill Nichols
There were lovely dishes.
    And Richard Pratt got a racing car
While for Linda Alley
    There were many jars
For the jellies she makes
    That are so fine.
And for Brandy Wight,
    Now 100-plus
Were special good wishes
    And Christmas fuss.
Ginger Norton got lessons in Dutch
    Then Billy Merry, for his good deeds
Got rocks for his walls
    That aren’t in the reeds.
And then Mike Wallo
    Got a Cuban cigar
While for Cindy Meisner
    Was Arctic char.
The reindeer by then
    Thought it was the time
To be on their way
    Though the park’d been sublime.
So St. Nick climbed aboard
    Their high-flying sleigh
And ’twas off to the sky
    And away and away.