Written on the DSV Akademik Tofiq Ismayilov in the Caspian Sea offshore from Baku.
Christmas Eve 2010.
Twas the night before Christmas
And out here at sea
Everything was quiet, as silent can be.
I was asleep, dreaming of home, firelight, decorations the Christmas poem.
Goose, pudding and plates of mince pies.
Our children round the crib with sparkling eyes.
The Elf in the chimney taking James’ Santa letter.
Christmas in dreamland just couldn’t be better.
Then into my dream there came a warm light
As slowly a jingling sound, crept through the night.
I jumped out of bed and ran to the deck.
It was cold so I wrapped a scarf round my neck.
I looked to the stars and to my surprise, saw Santa in his sleight.
He circled us twice then stopped overhead.
Looked down at me, smiled, and to me he said.
I know it’s no fun being here out at sea.
But I stopped by to tell you so listen to me.
I go straight now to Crumlin.
17 Windmill Road.
I have plenty of gifts.
It’s quite a full load.
There’s a present for Daire and Caoimhe and James.
Some surprises as always but also Wii games.
Elaine’s not forgotten or the dogs or the cat
So don’t worry Jim I’ll look after all that.
More important than presents
I’ll bring your love and your wishes
For a safe loving Christmas
More precious than riches
If I don’t get a move on my time will be pressed.
And besides you should really go in and get dressed.
This is Azer-b-a-i-j-a-n and not the Bahamas
And you’re out in the cold in a scarf and pajamas
We’re off now he hollered to his team of Reindear.
“Crumlin Ireland” he added just to make the route clear.
With a whoosh they were gone, trailing star light.
He called back,
And to all a good night.