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I quit.
           I've handed in my resignation --
This job is one continual aggravation;
I'm feeling uninspired.
It's time that I retired;
I've given it, yes, due consideration.

And on this all-too warm December night
The sleigh is loaded for the final flight.
Half-finished toys are packed;
The workshop tables stacked.
For once (thank God) we're going to travel light.

Old Rudolph and the others look relieved;
(I feel the same, though I'll admit I grieved) --
I very well recall
That every year, come fall,
They'd gotten grumpy and the elves all peeved.

Each morning brings a starving polar bear;
The pools of melting snow are everywhere;
The ice floes keep on shrinking,
My workshop's started sinking,
And none of you much really seems to care.

So off we'll travel to a distant land;
I'll miss the children's letters (done by hand),
Toys built and wrapped with love,
The Northern Lights above --
But soon there won't be any place to stand.

O for those first flights, once upon a time
When to the echo of some silver chime
Into the air we flew
To soar on southward, through
A starlit sky still free from smog and grime.

Now from the sleigh we peer down through the gloom
(Our noses running from some deadly fume)
To see the trees replaced
With pits and sludge and waste
That bear a strong resemblance to Mount Doom.

And having felt for years in endless volley
The consequences of your global folly:
An Earth that's deathly sick --
This jolly old Saint Nick,
Though older now, is quite a bit less jolly.

Don't get me started, too, on my frustrations
With iPhones, DVDs, Wii's, and Playstations...
Who vetoed books and trains?
I fear for children's brains
(And, even more so, their imaginations).

I'm sick of simply bringing what I'm told;
Deliverymen are not supposed to scold.
You write the list, I trim it --
But now I've reached my limit.
Who'd give an iPod to a 4-year old?

And -- CEOs -- the workers that you hire
To make those soaring profits you admire,
For just a buck a day:
I'd think that you could pay
To stop them all from dying in a fire.

The earth's not something we can Supersize
Unlike the rest of what you advertise.
(You think your life's a bore?
That's right, go shop some more.
Don't call me when the oceans start to rise.)

And you elected reps that can't stop squawking
To drill and burn the fossil fuels you're hawking...
Perhaps you'll change your mind
When you wake up to find
A lump of coal inside your Christmas stocking.

The world should have enough to go around...
But human greed just knows no upper bound
(Nor is my sleigh expanding;
With all that you're demanding
This year, I doubt we'd get it off the ground.)

You've quite mistaken my intent, I fear.
I said: spread love and joy and Christmas cheer,
Not this mad rush of buying…
I guess I'm done with trying.
You'll have to find your own goodwill this year.

Background on An Advent Canticle:

In December 2012, I wrote a series of 25 poems in total (one for each day of December 1-24, plus a Prelude) and posted each one here on Daily Kos as I completed it. The poems dealt with common Christmas themes, as well as with issues highly relevant to Daily Kos readers: commercialism, climate change, and interfaith dialogue, among others. The wonderful feedback and support I received from Kossacks was a big part of what kept me going throughout this project!

It was suggested that I repost them on Daily Kos as a yearly event, and after some thought, I've decided to do so. (If you want to read them all, they're archived here; scroll down to the bottom.) Enjoy!

Originally posted to Green Canticle on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 08:09 AM PST.

Also republished by Street Prophets .


Would you quit, if you were Santa Claus?

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