A Holiday Greeting
from Melanie Anne

This is the season of hope. Yet, as we all know, hope is often tempered with fear. Speculations can run wild as we contemplate the future. We might accept a terrible situation because we hope it will lead to a better one in the future. Or, we might turn down a real opportunity because we fear it will cost us what we already have.

Problems arise when we look at hopes and fears as certainties, for they are anything but that. Our projections into the future are merely indicators of the direction of things, if the present course remains.

Dickens understood that in A Christmas Carol, where Scrooge is shown that his bleak future is but a shadow of what MAY happen if he does not change. The key here is that hope and fear show us where we are headed, not where we have to end up. In this way, they can guide us to better choices in the here and now.

It is only when we assume that these "shadows" MUST come to pass that we make poor decisions for the present.

I penned a phrase the other day that sums this up nicely:

"Never count on Inertia,
Never depend on Change."

Things seldom turn out as well as we hope nor as bad as we fear, because we CAN take action to alter our course. As we approach this season of hope, we might (like Scrooge) better appreciate what we have by comparing it to what might have been. In this spirit, I offer a reprinting of a short book published by my writing partner, Chris Huntley, and myself in 1983, when the future looked a lot darker than it turned out to be.


by Chris Huntley & Melanie Anne Phillips

'Twas the Day After Christmas
And all through the house,
Not a creature was living,
Not even a mouse.

The Children were hung
By the chimney with care,
To spare them the horrors
Their parents would bear.

The day before Christmas
The warning had come:
The bombers were airborne,
The WAR had begun.

Our Christmas eve dinner
Was silent with dread,
While Visions of A-bombs
Danced in our heads.

We toasted, "The End"
with a potent nightcap,
While the world settled down
For its long, final nap.

Suddenly - Outside the house
There occurred the explosion
That set all of Mankind's
Demise into motion.

The panes of the windows
Blew in with a crash,
Tore open the shutters
Revealing the flash.

I saw, to my horror,
The gray, ashy snow
That buried the bodies
That lay down below.

Then what to my watering
Eyes should appear,
But a nightmare in red,
His intent all too clear.

He seemed so obsessed
That it could be no fluke.
I knew in a moment
It must be Saint Nuke.

And perched 'top his coursers
Of thundering flame,
He fondled his missiles
And called them by name.

"Now Helmut, Now Thatcher,
Khomeini, and Reagan.
On Castro, Chernenko,
Kadafi, and Begin.

"The land we shall scorch
With a great fireball.
So blast away, blast away,
Blast away all!"

As bodies before
A great holocaust fly,
When hitting a wall
And are thrown to the sky,

So up to the housetop,
The missiles they flew,
Saint Nuke at the reins
of his great Pershing II.

As I covered my head,
Barely stumbling aside,
He blew off the rooftop
And tumbled inside.

He was dressed all in lead,
From his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all glowing
with 50 rad soot.

From his smoldering coat
Formed a small mushroom cloud,
And the smoke it encircled
His head like a shroud.

He hadn't a face,
But the hair on his belly,
Fell out when he laughed
As his flesh turned to jelly.

He reached in his S.A.C.,
But the presents were scrambled,
(And so was our future,
his presence preambled).

He spoke not a word
But went straight to his work
And demolished the house.
Turning round in the murk,

The look in his eye
And the twist of his head,
Gave me to know that
I soon would be dead.

He sprang to the air,
And ignited a missile;
Away we all blew
Like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim,
In the moment I died,
"On the Day After Christmas,
There's nowhere to hide!"

Always remember that day by day, moment by moment, each of us creates the future - for ourselves and all those we touch. If there is to be true hope, it will come from all of us joining in and working toward a common vision of understanding, tolerance, and kinship as brothers and sisters - every one.

Happy Holidays from Melanie Anne
And Best Wishes
For All You Hope
To Do And Be

For more poems, visit
Melanie's Poetry Page

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Copyright 2003 Melanie Anne Phillips