Tom Macdonald

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A COVID CHRISTMAS By Tom Macdonald (poem)


tom sept 21 

Tom Macdonald

 A Covid Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas, but Covid was here,
So we all had to stay extra cautious this year.
Our masks were all hung by the chimney with care
In case Santa forgot his and needed a spare.
With Covid, we couldn't leave cookies or cake
So we left Santa hand sanitizer to take.

The children were sleeping, the brave little tots
The ones over 5 had just had their first shots,
And mom in her kerchief and me in my cap
Had just settled in for a long winter's nap.
But we tossed and we turned all night in our beds
As visions of variants danced in our heads.

Gamma and Delta and now Omicron
These Covid mutations that go on and on
I thought to myself, "If this doesn't get better,
I'll soon be familiar with every Greek letter".

Then just as I started to drift off and doze
A clatter of noise from the front lawn arose.
I leapt from my bed and ran straight down the stair
I opened the door, and an old gent stood there.

His N 95 made him look pretty weird
But I knew who he was by his red suit and beard.
I kept six feet away but blurted out quick
" What are you doing here, jolly Saint Nick?"

Then I said, "Where's your presents, your reindeer and sleigh ?
Don't you know that tomorrow will be Christmas Day? ".
And Santa stood there looking sad in the snow
As he started to tell me a long tale of woe.

He said he'd been stuck at the North Pole alone
All his white collar elves had been working from home,
And most of the others said "Santa, don't hire us!
We can live off the CERB now, thanks to the virus".

Those left in the toyshop had little to do.
With supply chain disruptions, they could make nothing new.
And as for the reindeer, they'd all gone away.
None of them left to pull on his sleigh.

He said Dasher and Dancer were in quarantine,
Prancer and Vixen refused the vaccine,
Comet and Cupid were in ICU,
So were Donner and Blitzen, they may not pull through.

And Rudolph's career can't be resurrected.
With his shiny red nose, they all think he's infected.
Even with his old sleigh, Santa couldn't go far.
Every border to cross needs a new PCR.

Santa sighed as he told me how nice it would be
If children could once again sit on his knee.
He couldn't care less if they're naughty or nice
But they'd have to show proof that they'd had their shot twice.

But then the old twinkle returned to his eyes.
And he said that he'd brought me a Christmas surprise.
When I unwrapped the box and opened it wide,
Starlight and rainbows streamed out from inside.

Some letters whirled round and flew up to the sky
And they spelled out a word that was 40 feet high.
There first was an H, then an O, then a P,
Then I saw it spelled HOPE when it added the E.

"Christmas magic" said Santa as he smiled through his beard.
Then suddenly all of the reindeer appeared.
He jumped into his sleigh and he waved me good-bye,
Then he soared o'er the rooftops and into the sky.

I heard him exclaim as he drove out of sight
"Get your vaccines my friends, Merry Christmas, good-night".
Then I went back to bed and a sweet Christmas dream
Of a world when we'd finished with Covid 19.



tom sept 21

Tom Macdonald

We have all witnessed China’s recent misbehaviour and its refusal to play nice in the global sandbox. The Chinese “wolf warrior” diplomats are howling. Chinese authorities seem impervious to Western criticism of their human rights abuses. The chokehold on Hong Kong is being tightened. Chinese fighter jets are buzzing Taiwan and artificial islands being built in the South China Sea. China’s economic tentacles are spreading globally through supply chain networks, strategic investments, massive loans to developing countries, and the Belt and Road initative. Billions are being poured into China’s military machine (albeit less than 40% of what the US spends annually). Where will this all end?



 Tom MacDonald

Tom  MacDonald

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal characterized current events in the US as “an American Jacobin moment”, citing the efforts to tear down historical symbols and alleging that a new and intolerant liberal orthodoxy is sweeping America. Although I don’t buy this right-wing scare-mongering, it is an interesting historical analogy to see dredged up. Jacobin Paris went through a true “bonfire of the statuary”, with royal monuments toppled all across the city. Perhaps the grisliest episode was at the Basilica of Saint-Denis where the bodies of deceased kings and queens, including Louis XIV the Sun King, were disinterred from their sculpted sepulchres and scattered in a mass grave outside the church.



Tom MacDonald

Tom Macdonald

“I know the monster. I have lived in its entrails”. So said Cuban revolutionary and Guantanamero poet, Jose Marti, about the United States in the late nineteenth century. Marti was an outspoken critic of America’s imperialism, racism and rapacious capitalism. But his long-time residency there also leavened his views and afforded him greater perspective on both America’s virtues and its vices. Saudi Arabia is often depicted in monstrous terms by Western media, including Canada’s own Globe and Mail. And while there is undoubtedly a great deal to criticize about the country, much of the Western media coverage is woefully lacking in balance or nuance and is often penned by journalists who have never even visited the Kingdom. Some perspective from one who has “lived in the entrails of the monster” may therefore be of interest.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - by Tom Macdonald


Tom MacDonald

Tom Macdonald


The following were printed in the Globe and Mail's Letters to the Editor Section:


Bombardier, Bombardier,
How can your bosses get such pay ?
Your C-series required a bail-out;
You can't get your Toronto rail out;
You sent your workers out on lay-offs
While begging governmental pay-offs.
You're living off the public purse
And now to make it even worse
The Beaudoins and the Bellemares
Get more champagne and faster cars.
And when I hear "It's private sector",
I just get vexed and even vexter.
But then I'm middle class, you know;
It must be different with True Dough.