‘Twas the Night Before Christmas (Almost)

Merry Christmas from CCC!

A Visit from St. Nicholas

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
while visions of sugar plums danced in their heads.
And Mama in her ‘kerchief and I in my cap,
had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
gave the lustre of midday to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear
but a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment he must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers* they came,
and he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:

“Now, Dasher! Now, Dancer!
Now Prancer and Vixen!

On, Comet! On, Cupid!
On Donner and Blitzen!

To the top of the porch!
To the top of the wall!

Now dash away! Dash away!
Dash away all!”

As leaves that before the wild hurricanes fly,
when they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
so up to the house top, the coursers, they flew
with the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.  

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
the prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
and his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
and he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes — how they twinkled! His dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
and the beard on his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
and the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly
that shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly. 

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
and I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself.
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
and filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
and giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
and away they all flew like the down of a thistle. 
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight — 

“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

-Clement Clarke Moore**

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to all of our loyal readers and supporters! Thank you for all of your likes, comments and shares in 2014. We appreciate every one of you and look forward to a tremendous 2015.

How are you spending the Holidays?

*What’s a courser? A swift horse, a charger.
**Some scholars now believe that Major Henry Livingston, Jr. wrote this popular poem.

CCC's head elf

Your favorite elf,
Jaime

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How amazing can you be?

How amazing can you be?

Wisdom from the amazing Dr. Maya Angelou, an inspiration to us all. Rest in peace. Your words and actions will continue to have a positive impact for years to come. You truly were a phenomenal woman.

Phenomenal Woman
by Maya Angelou

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need for my care.
’Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

The Road Less Traveled

the road less traveled

Sand Run Metro Park : March 13, 2014


The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth; 

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day! 
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. 

–Robert Frost

How has taking the road less traveled made a difference in your life? Where has it led you?

Making my own path,
Jaime

Follow CCC on the road less traveled…
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Bleeding

Clearly Conveyed Communications is excited to share a guest blog post, Bleeding, by Sage Doyle. Following is an original poem by Mr. Doyle that he was willing to share with our readers. Enjoy!

Who is Sage Doyle?

Sage Doyle GravatarSage Doyle is a mainstream novel writer pursuing
publication. On his blog, he features a mix of
poetry and short fiction, including the ongoing
story, The Journal of Wall Grimm (which
contains mature content.) Mr. Doyle has a B.A. in
English and an M.S. in Psychology/Counseling.
His approach to fiction writing is character-
based, psychological and literary. You can
connect with Sage on Twitter @sagedoyle or via email at sagedoyle@yahoo.com. Sage Doyle is a pen name.


Bleeding

by
Sage Doyle

I feel it inside corrupting the
moment of each plaited
glance you press
upon me
intense and
formulaic
I understand
those subtle grimaces as
they express pain I’ll take it
in order to sedate
your worried heart
do not ever think I am not
man enough for
an occasional beating
of my soul
beat me
beat me and i will
carry you upon my own
broken feet as
I prevent your feet
from bleeding

Related Reading: Table Top, The Opera: Chapter One 

*****     *****     *****     *****     *****

We hope you enjoyed Sage Doyle’s original work! Please visit his blog to enjoy more of Mr. Doyle’s writing and leave a comment with your thoughts below.

We would love to host more guest bloggers! If you’re interested, please review our invite and get in touch!.

Cheers! 

Curiosity // by Alastair Reid

Curiosity

by Alastair Reid

Curiosity may have killed the cat; more likely

the cat was just unlucky, or else curious

to see what death was like, having no cause

to go on licking paws, or fathering

litter on litter of kittens, predictably.

Face It.

FACE IT. Curiosity

will not cause us to die —

only lack of it will.

Never to want to see

the other side of the hill

or that improbable country

where living is an idyll

(although a probable hell)

would kill us all.

Only the curious

have, if they live, a tale

worth telling at all.

Dogs say cats love too much, are irresponsible,

are changeable, marry too many wives,

desert their children, chill all dinner tables

with tales of their nine lives.

Well, they are lucky.

Well, they are lucky.

Let them be

nine-lived and contradictory,

curious enough to change, prepared to pay

the cat price, which is to die

and die again and again,

each time with no less pain.

A cat minority of one

is all that can be counted on

to tell the truth. And what cats have to tell

on each return from hell

is this: that dying is what the living do,

that dying is what the loving do,

and that dead dogs are those who do not know

that dying is what, to live, each has to do.

*****

I’m not typically into poetry — writing it or reading it. But this poem caught my eye in high school and I’ve loved it ever since. It’s graced a wall (printed out on tie-dyed paper) at various stops along the way and always has a prominent place in my mind.  

What do you think?

What does this poem say to you?

Chime in with your thoughts!

Cheers,
Jaime

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Table Top

Clearly Conveyed Communications is excited to share our second guest blog post, Table Top, by Sage Doyle. Following is an original poem by Mr. Doyle that he was willing to share with our readers. Enjoy!

Who is Sage Doyle?

Sage Doyle GravatarSage Doyle is a mainstream novel writer pursuing
publication. On his blog, he features a mix of
poetry and short fiction, including the ongoing
story, The Journal of Wall Grimm (which
contains mature content.) Mr. Doyle has a B.A. in
English and an M.S. in Psychology/Counseling.
His approach to fiction writing is character-
based, psychological and literary. You can
connect with Sage on Twitter @sagedoyle or via email at sagedoyle@yahoo.com. Sage Doyle is a pen name.


Table Top

by
Sage Doyle

I see my hand spread broad across the table top

empty upon the flat of my palm

with nothing to grip but the energy of my conviction

without a source to comfort the calm

and the swallowed voices of the years ahead

a golden lashing across the table

slashes my hand in a band of shadows

breaks my mind as my urges are fed

golden shades turning amber

turning gold and dark again

the bending dusk imparts the room

branded, awaiting my moments of pain

no thoughts are left, no more to hold

swollen from the passing day

bearing each moment to come, each time foretold.

Related Reading: The Opera: Chapter One 

*****     *****     *****     *****     *****

We hope you enjoyed Sage Doyle’s original work! Please visit his blog to enjoy more of Mr. Doyle’s writing and leave a comment with your thoughts below.

Also, we would love to host more guest bloggers! If you’re interested, please review our invite and get in touch!.

Cheers!