THE BALLAD OF HARRY PALMS
His life was sweet no more because
His job two years ago
Was lost in economic storm.
Now, he was out of dough.
The winter came to reap his shame,
Unwelcome as he was,
Within his daughter’s basement, where
“Apply for Santa Claus”,
His daughter and her boyfriend gnawed,
“You’ve got to pay some rent!”
“But, we are Jewish!” Harry kvetched.
Yet up the stairs he went
Into the hall and out the door.
The blizzard was a shock.
The once and future Harry Palms
Behind him heard the lock.
His breath condensed into his beard,
His cheeks with cold did burn.
He got onboard the empty bus
Some money for to earn.
He got out at the Shopping Mall;
The stores so gaily lit.
Before he could apply himself
He had to give a shit.
Beside the bathroom stalls he stopped
And saw two men a’kissing.
He grabbed their collars, banged their heads.
They beat him. Teeth a’missing,
Still Harry Palms had got the job
Of Santa Claus, First Shift.
“I guess my life is now complete”.
His pride he had to sift,
Like cat-box turds, beside his bed,
The night he set the clock
For five AM to catch the bus.
He couldn’t find his cock.
As Santa Claus he did preside
Above the World Toy™ scenes
For Children of Jerusalem,
Sponsored by Marines.
All day long the shoppers climbed
To leave their gifts of toys
And sit their children on his lap.
He almost lost his poise
When three young Persian girls appeared
In line to visit him
Dressed like ornaments with jewels
And voices like a hymn.
“I am Sofa Kush” one spoke
“And these, my sisters, be
Avesta and Daeva”. Wise
Beyond her beauty she
Was dressed in gold, Avesta white,
And Daeva shaped in red.
The three of them leaned to his ears
And this is what they said:
Daeva: “Listen closely now,
To warn you we have come”.
Avesta: “Toys you gather here
Will harm Jerusalem”.
Said Sofa: “It’s the TNA”.
But Harry looked bemused.
“The Terror Net Alliances.
And we three stand accused
Of being traitors to our lords;
Mawlas, to whom we’re wives,
Will surely stone us three to death.
We offer you our lives:
Please help us save Jerusalem.
Allah’ cannot want this:
There are the toys that will explode
And open the Abyss.”
Poor Harry sat there so confused
Because their Sirens’ voice
Had spun enchanting arabesque
That left him with no choice
But to believe them; was he nuts?
They clearly were afraid
Of something that was going down
That wasn’t a charade.
He turned to find the host Marine
Did have his weapon drawn
And pointed at his geezer brains.
The three young girls were gone.
The mothers screamed and children ran
In chaos so appalling
The soldier had to drop his gun;
The Christmas Tree was falling
Onto his head. The needles rained
And stuck him in the eyes.
He fell down to his knees and screamed
Vile curses to incise
Whoever had pushed o’er the Tree.
He swore in Farsi tongue
To cut the heart of those who laughed:
Three Persian girls so young
They could not hide their merry laugh,
For they had done the deed
To no Marine: a terrorist
Who thought he could mislead.
Poor Harry Palms had tumbled back
And fallen from the lair
Of Santa Claus, onto the floor,
At circling stars to stare.
“You must arise and follow us”,
He heard the Angel say.
She looked a lot like Sofa Kush
And so he did obey.
Into the Manger Scene they fled
And lifted Baby Jesus.
A trap-door opened at their feet,
So down there Harry squeezes.
Below, past tense and present fear
A tunnel lead them out
The Service Exit Door. The girls
The parking lot did scout
As if they knew what should be, they
The World Toy™ truck did see
Without a guard nearby. Not luck:
Avesta had the key.
So off they went with reckless speed.
On, Daeva! Sofa Kush!
Avesta! And on, Harry Palms,
But watch your sorry tush!
“Where do we go?” did Harry cry.
He saw they were pursued
By someone in a Cadillac.
He was not in the mood!
His basement room seemed pretty good,
Retreating in his mind.
If he could just get out of this
He nevermore would find
A fault within his broken life.
It always can be worse!
To Harry, like the Bible’s Job,
Jehovah seemed adverse,
Because just then they overturned
The World Toy™ truck and smashed
Right through the lobby, where the staff
Of Trumpet Towers dashed.
A shroud of smoke concealed the four,
Untangled from debris.
Avesta, Daeva, Sofa Kush,
And Harry all did flee
Into the elevator car,
Penthouse Floor they keyed
To where the Persian girls did live.
It cost not chicken feed.
But suddenly their motion stopped,
The elevator dead
One floor below the penthouse suite.
They exited instead
And ran into the studio
Of KABL Radio.
The three girls knew the DJ well.
The DJ exhaled, “Whoa”.
Kid KABL Rock, as he was known,
Did listen to the girls
As he stared at Santa Claus,
His stoner mind in whorls.
He locked-up tight the studio
In record time, for then
Upon the door fell pounding fists
Of several angry men.
Kid KABL Rock was monitoring
The evening TV news
That pictured Harry (Santa Claus)
“Police uncovered clues
That Santa Claus had helpers who
Conspired to steal each toy
Donated for Jerusalem
Baseerah, Hebrew, Goy.”
The World Toy™ lawyers fed the news
And Sofa Kush just knew
They had to broadcast their own side
To rescue what was true.
Kid KABL Rock was ‘way ahead
And sat down at the mike
To spread the “Siege of Santa Claus”
Which children wouldn’t like.
The children listened everywhere
To hear their hero speak.
Kid KABL Rock laid down the scene
And it was getting bleak:
“Our door those men are battering down,
With force to hit home-runs.”
Kid KABL Rock beseeched the kids
To get their parent’s guns.
“Come up to Trumpet Towers, all!
To station KABL Rock!
Help us to save Santa Claus!”
He rallied them ad hoc.
Avesta cried “Time’s running out!”
But Daeva had a scheme,
“If Kid can hack the broadcast net
We can send a beam
That reaches to Jerusalem
Before they land those toys.”
Kid KABL Rock was on the case;
“His talent he employs”,
Said Sofa Kush, “to hack for fun
The broadcast net before.”
Avesta held a cell-phone high,
“I took my husband’s phone.
It has the code to detonate
The high-explosive bombs,
Before the children have to die
And grief consume their moms.”
But Harry saw the door give-in
And shatter to the floor
As men crashed through and aimed their guns
Upon the other four.
What happened next was like dream
As Harry leapt between
The gunmen and the other four,
Screaming, so obscene,
As bullets patted Harry Palms,
And so did Santa slay,
Avesta plugged the cell-phone in
Where Kid KABL did say,
As Sofa Kush a doll did throw
Toward a gunman’s face,
Avesta pushed the icon dial
And blew the coup de grace,
So fire ate alive those men
And ruptured in the lobby.
The plane above Jerusalem
Was hailing Abu Dhabi,
When in a super-nova blast
It blew to smithereens
And starred above, just like all those
Nativity night scenes.