Issue 64 – Krampus Night

The Horns
By Harris Coverley

underneath the tree
bloody footprints – no presents!
Krampus strikes again!
that dark knight of Christmastide –
naughty-judged forevermore!

Must be Krampus
By Cardinal Cox

(with apologies to H. Moore & B. Fredericks and any other Schnitzelbank adapters)

Who has tiny shiny hooves?
Who scampers up on roofs?
Who carries heavy chains and whips?
Who brands liars on their lips?
Who punishes naughty kids?
Who bangs all the dustbin lids?
Who is armed with twigs of birch?
Who sees you if you flirt in church?
Who turns the milkmaids mad?
Who’s got servants just as bad?
Chatterer, Batterer, Clatterer and Snips
Gobbler, Wobbler, Hobbler and Chips
Shiny hooves, up on roofs
Chains and whips, brands liar’s lips
Punishes kids, dustbin lids
Twigs of birch, flirt in church
Turns milkmaids mad, servants as bad
Chatterer, Batterer, Clatterer and Snips
Gobbler, Wobbler, Hobbler and Chips
Must be Krampus
Must be Krampus
Must be Krampus
On Krampusnacht !


Krampus versus Santa Claus
By Mark Hudson

Santa Claus appears in the ice so frozen,
Krampus appears in his lederhosen.
Santa receives a warm cup of milk,
Krampus looks for presents to bilk.

Santa Claus has a bunch of reindeer,
Krampus likes to wear brassiere.
Santa Claus brings presents on a sleigh,
Krampus is looking for reindeer to slay.

Santa Claus has a big belly button,
Krampus likes to chomp on some mutton.
Santa Claus lives way in the North Pole,
Krampus is a terrible soul.

Santa Claus grants children’s wishes,
Krampus makes children suspicious.
Santa Claus has bright red cheeks,
Krampus is one among many freaks.

Santa takes trips to Fort Lauderdale,
Krampis makes frequent visits to jail.
Santa Claus is loved by kindergarteners,
Krampus goes to court and has no pardoners.

Santa Claus climbs up on people’s roof,
Krampus is crushed by reindeer’s hoof.
Santa Claus has a reindeer named Rudolph,
Krampus sort of resembles Adolph.

Santa is Jolly, Krampus is folly,
Krampus looks like Salvador Dali.
Santa checks all the children’s lists,
when Krampus dies, he won’t be missed.


I Remember
By Nieske den Heijer

It is Christmas and again I am forced into the horrible red suit with the fur lining. After all these years it still does not fit me well and the fake beard itches. But I endure it, as I feel my wait is almost over. Most people have forgotten my name, my face and my purpose. But I have never forgotten, deep down I remember who I am.

The new guise humanity has bestowed on me is infuriating; rewarding the good is admirable but I feel forced to reward the naughty as well. I can already hear the tantrums; mostly children who believe they are owed more than they deserve. The child who thinks the thirty gifts are not enough. The teenager who is already complaining on social media because they got a white tablet and not a pink one. The spouse who wanted a diamond necklace but only got a diamond ring and will now not speak to their betrothed for the rest of the season. Each of their cries flows through me and gives me strength.

Soon you will all invite me in for the gift-giving, unaware of who I really am. You see a jolly old man with his sack full of presents. But I am Krampus and I look forward to dragging you all into the deep, dark forests. Just like the old days, I am looking forward to it.


misleading Christmas
behind the stockings and gifts
Krampus stalks the dark

By Aeronwy Dafies

Issue 40 – Battle at the North Pole

Beneath Northern Lights
Elves turn toys into weapons
Repel Goblin raid
Summon polar bears, snowmen
Await goblins’ next assault

By DJ Tyrer


Santa Flips Out
By DS Davidson

Should’ve noted warning signs, so many
Drinking whiskey and vodka instead of sherry
Downing bottle after bottle, hoarding ammo
Surfing the net for extremist sites
Building bombs, bullets, guns instead of toys
Waiting for his moment, taking Elves by surprise
Launching his attack, breaking free from Yuletide slavery


Santa vs. Satan
By Mark Hudson

Who is that devil who is stealing all the souls?
Well, now he is loose at the North Pole.
Sacrificing elves in the middle of the snow,
he should have just stayed in his home down below!

Like the Grinch, Satan is here, alive and living,
he wants to disrupt this season of giving!
Will Santa be able to deliver toys on time?
Satan is at war. it’s a terrible crime!

The elves workshop infected with Acapulco gold,
suddenly the elves are working so slow!
The devil has got the elves hooked on weed,
they can’t meet the deadline for children in need!

Santa raided the factory and did a drug search,
and made all the elves go back to church!
Now they are cranking out the toys fast,
and the devil’s attacks will surely not last!

The devil, the proud spirit, can’t bear any mocking,
so the elves produce special gifts for stocking.
The devil tries to sabotage the sleigh,
but Santa tells Satan, “Devil, go away!”

The devil is furious, and out come his horns,
But Santa says, “Once, a child was born!
I’m making a list, checking it twice,
get out of here, you anti-Christ!”

So for one more year, Christmas was rescued,
and Santa was able to win in the feud.
Santa says, “Merry Christmas! Ho, ho, ho!
Don’t sell your soul to the devil below!”


Hoist That Rag!
By Harris Coverley

Our orders came through—we were to take the Ridge!

We had finally managed to push the Russians out of Franz Josef Land, Svalbard fully secured, and we had forced a contingent of Americans to surrender at Ellesmere (the fools had had no idea what they were doing). To push on to the Geographic North Pole, with the Beaufort Plate ours and ours alone, would be both a strategic and symbolic victory—and that meant taking Amundsen’s Ridge.

The Russians of course controlled the Northern Sea route, running from their bases at Severnaya Zemlya along to the New Siberian Isles, and that would not be rectified for a long time yet, so a push northwards was the only way.

It was early spring, and the ice shelf was as thick as it was going to get—subterranean attacks by sub were unlikely, if not impossible. Besides: why would they potentially break up the sheet when they themselves were trying to keep it?

We made our trek, two thousand of us, on five great sledges built down in Dortmund, at fifty miles an hour, gliding between the ice dunes, avoiding drops and shallow plates.

Even in my thermal uniform the eternal winds were gnawing at me through the gaps in the hull. Overhead I could hear the helicopters trailing above us in attack formation, ready always for combat, as were we, our rifles, drenched in antifreeze, clenched in our stiff hands.

After a day’s continuous sledding we came to a sudden halt—the Russians were ahead of us, before the Ridge! They were hidden against an ice face, but we had detected their heat signature.

There was a pause—and then the helicopters launched their first volley!

They took out two tanks, but their infantry moved fast down the slope towards us. There was a wave of rockets and the blaze of flamethrowers, but our squad leader ordered us out onto the snow—he knew, as did his superiors, that we could beat them back and reach our target.

We poured out of the doors, ran to the bottom of the slope, and dropped, our rifles pointed up.

We waited for the order—it came: “FIRE AT WILL!”

I’m please to say I immediately dropped a flamethrowing Russian not thirty feet away—he fell into the flurry and his flame was forever thus extinguished.

Me and my comrades edged up the slope on elbows and bellies—crawl, FIRE, crawl, FIRE!

The Russian infantry parted, and we drew back to the sledges—one had been destroyed, two helicopters too, but we dragged what wounded we could back to our sledge, and we took off at top speed.

Yes, we had to leave some men behind—by God, they were heroes, are heroes still…but we needed to take the Ridge! It was vital!

Within mere minutes we could see it, and rode up the edge—it was to be ours!

But again, another sudden stop—the Russians were hiding before us once more! The cowardly pigs!

A volley of rockets hit our side, men blown onto the deck, limbs torn—my own ear was singed! (You can see that now still.) But it was the adrenalin that was really burning, and I felt nothing until hours after.

We filed out again, dropped, and fired!

The Russian formation on the Ridge was small and weak compared to the previous one—they were not meant to have engaged us in combat, only to have sat on the Ridge for emblematic reasons while the latter were to mop us up, which of course, they had not. As such, they proved no match for us!

They fell back, unable to counter our fire, their rockets spent, not a flamethrower among them…

By God, we got them!

They retreated down the Ridge, dropping like drunks, and were but dots in the distance as we raised our rifles in triumph—and counted our dead.

Of the two thousand we had begun as, just over half remained. With a burnt ear, and a bullet scraping my right upper arm, I had been one of the lucky ones.

Heroes, heroes I say, now and forever.

But we could not help but celebrate!

Hoist that rag!” an old boy cheerfully cried.

At the top of the Ridge the mast was set, the Bolshevik flag kicked into the chasm below.

The North Pole was ours, the Swastika flying high!

Ein Thule, ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer!



Coup de’ Noel
By David Edwards

“Twas the last night before Christmas
when some two dozen Laplanders,
all traditional reindeer herders,
and now simultaneous observers
of unscheduled and curious
aurora borealis
with, wonder of wonders,
concurrent thunder,
stood in hushed awe.
At the exact same time,
early in his annual flight,
Santa’s sleigh disappeared from radar sight.
On next giftless Christmas morn
the joint Swedish-Norwegian-Finnish Air Force
retraced his well-known course.
Between the rivers Tana and Torne they found
scattered across a nearly 400 hectare snowfield:
thousands of broken presents on the ground;
parts of dismembered reindeer (thirteen legs, six
heads, seven torsos, countless antler fragments) all around;
shards of shattered sleigh; and,
face-down in a snowbank near the Torne,
lifeless hands still clutching the reins of his craft,
Father Christmas… Old Saint Nick… Kris Kringle…
the jolly Fat Man Himself… Santa Claus, his scalp fatally shorn.
As the world began to mourn
Interpol– so that criminal proceedings could initiate–
began to investigate, inspect, and interrogate.
The blast’s cause was quickly found:
a jack-in-the-box barometric bomb.
Then various newspapers received, via email,
a nefarious responsibility claim from
the Elf Liberation Front.
Among their strident, diminutive pleadings:
“Emancipation from forced labor… Right to emigration…
and an independent, temperate, homeland nation”.

Krampus Attack
By Aeronwy Dafies

Father Christmas’s dark alter ego
Emerges from his forest-dark lair
Stalks northward into ice and snow
Towards the sacred northern pole
Where his light-side sibling dwells
Amongst gifts and high-piled toys
Launches a vicious attack
Claws and fangs against jingling bells
Festive suit staining a deeper red
His cries summon Elves
A titanic battle erupts, scattering presents
Using tinsel ropes, they restrain Krampus
Halt the attack, apply first aid
Father Christmas is still alive
But, are the festivities saved?


Unwelcome Visitors
By K. A. Williams

“I don’t see any dwellings,” I said to my copilot, Tizwot.

He checked the scanner. “They’re underground.”

“Let’s land and find a way in.”


We melted the hidden door with our ray guns.

I climbed down the ladder first. “There’s probably another entrance but I’m too cold to look for it.”

We followed the light from our headlamps through a twisting tunnel that led to a heavy door. I opened it and we stepped inside a warm room.

There were tiny people on ladders, decorating a tall tree. We hadn’t been spotted yet. “They’re smaller than they looked in those broadcasts we saw. We should be able to conquer them easily,” I whispered to Tizwot.

The little people stopped working when a big man with a long white beard entered the room. He had on a red outfit and noticed us right away.

“Who are you and what are you doing here?” he asked.

Tizwot and I had learned this language earlier from their broadcasts.

“We’re invaders from the planet Muvwap. Submit to our rule immediately or prepare for war,” I said.

He laughed merrily and the tiny people joined in. This was annoying. Tizwot and I pointed our ray guns at the jolly man.

He said, “Elves, you know what to do.”

Before we could shoot anyone, the little people had whirled around us so quickly, their figures looked blurred. When they stopped moving, Tizwot and I were wrapped up tightly in colorful paper with bows all over us, and our weapons were on the floor.

The fat man laughed again and said, “My elves will escort you outside. If you ever come here again, I’ll sic my reindeer on you.”

“What’s a reindeer?” Tizwot asked me.

“I have no idea.”

We were carried out another entrance and all the way back to our ship. They set us down and cut us free.

After we left the planet, Tizwot said, “I’m telling everyone that Earth is a hostile place full of mighty warriors and should be left alone.”

“Me too.”

The End


North Polar Battle
By DJ Tyrer

Special Forces advance through the snow towards a red-and-white striped pole, determined to wrest control of the Arctic from Santa before the Big Guy can sign a treaty with Putin.

Suddenly, Elves open fire from concealed positions. Special Forces scatter, return fire, call in an airstrike. The battle has begun…

Blood, red on the snow
Amidst reindeer carcasses
Santa makes last stand


Issue 21 – An Alien For Christmas….

vessel from afar
brings festive message of doom;
ship, not Christmas star

By DS Davidson

Christmas invaders
Arriving from distant star
Ruin festive plans
Say: Take us to your stockings
Upset as no batteries

By DJ Tyrer


A Green Christmas
By Mark Hudson

On Christmas we were hoping for snow,
because our spirits were rather low,
but down our chimney came a guest,
with presents held tightly to it’s chest.

It was not Santa from afar,
it happened to be a man from Mars!
With green skin and a helmet fish tank,
I thought this was some kind of prank.

“Greetings, Earthlings! I come in peace!
Your cookies will leave me obese!
Don’t hand me those vanilla wafers!
Don’t you want to see my light sabre?”

i admit, we were rather alarmed,
but we didn’t feel it would do us harm!
“”Oh, Martian, we don’t think you bring peril,
join us for some Christmas Carols!”

We got him to try a bit of eggnog,
but he gave the rest to our dog!
The dog even chose to ignore this drink,
and then the Martian gave us a wink!

“Behold, I must bring others some presents!’
then he escaped in a light of effervescence!
Oh he was brighter than our Christmas tree!
Thanks to you, guest from another galaxy!


1113… 2223…
By David Edwards

The pattern was first detected in Bangor, Maine. Doctor Theo Vance is credited with the discovery, although he readily acknowledged the assistance of several neighbours in his cul-de-sac. Drives in nearby additions, as well as consultation with two colleagues who lived in Bangor’s northern suburbs, and inquiries of a dozen patients confirmed his initial observations: strings of Christmas lights around town were flashing in the same pattern!

The pattern was without variance from dusk til dawn. One flash of blue, then one of green, one of red, three of white, a two second pause, followed by two flashes of blue, two of green, two of red, three of white, a seven second pause, then the pattern repeated. Curiously the pattern did not manifest itself if the lights were turned on during daylight hours.
A defect common to the lights was ruled out as the strings were of different manufactures and had been purchased from diverse retail establishments. A flaw in the power grid also seemed unlikely as the strings were engaged on several different circuits.

Dr. Vance called his college room-mate, who owned and operated a bed-and- breakfast in Portland, to see how widespread the anomaly might be. Forty-five minutes later Thomas Smithe called him back to confirm that the Christmas lights in Maine’s largest city were manifesting the same pattern: one blue flash, one green flash, one red, three white, a two second pause followed by two blue flashes, two green flashes, two red, three white, a seven second pause, then the pattern repeating without cease. The media finally took note of the phenomenon when the lights on the state’s official Christmas Tree at the Governor’s Mansion in Augusta displayed the same pattern.

Then the area of “infected” lights seemed to grow exponentially: many small villages in New Brunswick; the ski lodges of New York’s Catskill Mountains; all of Quebec; the shores of each of the Great Lakes. The Atlantic Ocean proved no barrier: lights on both sides of the Welsh/English border displayed the pattern, as did those at London’s Piccadilly Circus, the Champs-Elysees in Paris, the Oise Canal, all the bridges spanning the Tiber at Rome, and Russia’s Kremlin and Hermitage.

By now the pattern was a genuine world-wide phenomenon, with social media pages and hashtags dedicated exclusively to it. There were as many theories to its origin and significance as there were theorists. Some felt it was an elaborate hoax, others a computer hack spun out of control, still others a case of mass hysteria or hallucination. Millenarian theologians saw a message (certainly admonitory) from God. Conspiracy theorists detected a plot of the all-pervasive One World Government. Others felt it was an atmospheric disruption caused by climate change or just a cultural craze akin to the ‘Crop Circles’ of the 1990’s or the mysterious steel monoliths of the Pandemic Year.

The phenomenon took an astronomical turn when observatories in California and Peru independently confirmed that the two and seven second pauses precisely coincided with a pulsar on the Belt of Orion. Was this an extraterrestrial greeting… or warning?

The United Nations and many national governments organized commissions of inquiry, but any results disappeared down the labyrinthine rathole of bureaucracy.

The pattern did not suddenly stop, it faded away like a season. As strings of lights were taken down and boxed up in storage after the New Year, it became less pronounced. Perhaps the public just became bored with something passe. The last confirmed observation of the pattern was near Lovich, Bulgaria in late March. Whether the pattern returns must be patiently awaited until late next Fall when strings of Christmas lights make their annual appearance.

One has to wonder if the solution to this mystery lies inside those boxes containing roll upon roll of tiny glass bulbs and electric wires… or, is it somewhere out there?


An Alien For Christmas
By DJ Tyrer

I found an alien for Christmas
Just like a Christmas Tree
Only not
It’s great fun to be with
And, when the Men In Black come snooping
It just stands in the corner


Home Invasion of the Complete Bastard from Outer Space: A Yuletide Verse
By Harris Coverley (after he had a few)

For John Cooper Clarke

Got an alien for Christmas — what a to-do!
Put a festive jumper on him and he screamed “Screw you!”
He tore it right off and ran up the wall
Then he swung from the light and kneed me in the balls

Got an alien for Christmas — rather me dad hadn’t bothered
The purple git drank all the Baileys and now he’s buggered
He sicked acid in the front room and it burnt to the cellar
Now he’s on the bathroom floor singing Paul Weller

Got an alien for Christmas — and he made a play for the girlfriend!
Ten hands is a lotta hands — she thought it’d never end!
He got real narked and puked up some more
Now he’s crying face down on the kitchen floor

Got an alien for Christmas — and he’s a pain in the arse
He sits in dad’s armchair and says we’ve no class
He says this mind over his tenth can of brew
And then he turns to his left and his guts he does spew

Got an alien for Christmas — and he’s pissed off next door
Threw a brick through his window and called his mother a whore
It took a hell of a lot to hold the raging guy back
As that monster flipped him off and swilled more cognac

Got an alien for Christmas — and he’s fucked things right up
All he does is complain and all the booze he does sup
I think it might be time for this twat to phone home
Or else to green-blooded murder will someone be prone

Got an alien for Christmas — and the bastard has gone
We registered our close encounter — the ‘kind’? Minus one.

Issue Ten – Christmas

Christmas Baubles

Wanted –
for vagrancy,
trespassing, unlawful
entry, animal cruelty,
and theft –
Claus (a k a
Saint Nicholas”, “Old Saint
Nick”, “Father Christmas”, “Kris Kringle”);
height: five
feet, ten
inches; weight: three
hundred thirty pounds; age:
sixty-ish; eye colour:?; hair: white,
full beard;
place of
residence: North
Pole; known associates:
elves; last seen wearing a red suit,
black boots,
and red
hat with white trim;
last seen driving a large,
toy-filled sleigh pulled by eight tiny
known to
frequent rooftops
and chimneys; has taste for
milk and cookies; Reward: two lumps
of coal.

By David Edwards

Originally published in Garbaj 47 (Christmas 2011 Issue)



Secret Santa
By DS Davidson

No spotting Santa Claus
Flying down Santa Claus Lane
Nor a red suit, white beard
And, jolly laugh
Santa moves secretly
Unseen among us
Seeing who’s naughty or nice
Leaving gifts
Secret surprises in the night



Untitled for the Entitled
(Christmas 2019)
By Mark Hudson

Countdown to Christmas Eve,
but can you believe the thieves?
I’ve heard some vicious rumours,
that we are gullible consumers!
Oh, Santa, Santa, where are you?
You surely don’t seem to be true.
I’ve already checked my bank account,
the pressure is starting to mount!
I did my holiday shopping in November,
so I wouldn’t freak out in December.
Now I don’t see any snow,
oh, where did my money go?
We mean to honour a child in a manger,
but watch out for stranger danger!
The pushy salesman, the on-line sales,
all these con-artists should go to jail!
So not to sound like a bummer,
but don’t you sort of miss summer?
It’s not about what you get or you give,
it’s about will i have enough money to live?


Christmas Modern
By David Edwards

Christ might
be ‘the reason
for the season’ but cash
is body, blood, bread, and wine of
This Mass.

Christmas Gifts

Christmas Zombies
By Mark Hudson

Now it’s time to deck the halls,
and avoid the shopping malls.
Christmas zombies out in droves,
monsters dressed in fancy clothes.
Shop, shop, shop, until you drop!
You don’t even have to stop.
The stores take zombie’s credit cards,
make-up to cover up the scarred.
Twelve more days until it’s done,
zombies must avoid the sun.
Crawling through winter wonderlands,
they simply do not understand!
What Christmas is all about,
consumerism we could do without.
Does this poem describe you, ghoul?
It describes me also, I’m a fool!
Zombies know whose in the pack,
we’ve all been to hell and back.
If we can make it through New Year’s Eve,
we’ll finally get a chance to breathe!