Tuesday Poem: The First Drummer Boy of Xmas by Jennifer Compton

Monday, 29th November, 2010




The First Drummer Boy of Xmas


Yesterday I was at the Mall and I heard

my first rendition of Little Drummer Boy.

Dear Lawd above - I said to myself -

Xmas is hard upon us. For our sins.

It is time to head down the back paddock

with the chain saw and harvest a likely tree.

But alas, we have moved away from the place

that has feral and unwanted pine trees aplenty


which as far as I can see are basically weeds

although the local squatter made good money


selling them up in the Big Smoke come December.

What useless things they are. You can't eat them,


they don't burn well, they flare up and spit resin,

they poison the ground around them, nothing grows.


Except toadstools. Plump and gaudy like Xmas bells.

Deck them for their brief season, then chuck them.


At our new house I found the corpse of Xmas past

under the lemon tree. I put it on the burning pile.


Roll on autumn. Pa rum pa pa rum.



Jennifer Compton

Jennifer Compton was born in Wellington and now lives in Melbourne. Her book of poetry - Barefoot - was published by Picaro Press in May 2010. Her new stage play - The Third Age - which she completed while the Visiting Literary Artist at Massey this year, recently had a rehearsed reading by Khandallah Arts Theatre. In 2011 she will be a guest at Sarajevo Poetry days.

Jennifer recently won The Kathleen Grattan Award with her manuscript 'This City', which will be published by Otago University Press on National Poetry Day, July 2011. This poem is from that manuscript.

We thought this would be a fun poem to post as we enter the Christmas season. Congratulations Jennifer!

For more Tuesday Poems visit the hub.


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I really enjoyed this. (Actually, The Little Drummer Boy is about the only Xmas song I like.) I love "Xmas is hard upon us. For our sins." - great voice.

Great poem. I'm looking forward to Jennifer's Kathleen Grattan collection.

I love the 'feral and unwanted' trees like weeds! Fantastic christmas poem! Thanks for posting.

I love this! I'm another one looking forward to the release of Jennifer's book