Pepparkaka Julgran – by Aziz Dixon


The tramlines track like a spider’s web
from the beating heart of town
across the urban forest, fringed with moors.
A yellow tram will take you there,
to Stockholm-under-Lyne.
This blue and yellow box
that might have landed quite by magic,
incongruous here among the mill-remains,
the chapels and the red-brick homes –
is this the northern power-house, or
something grimm, a fairy tale maybe?

So feeling brave and strong one day,
with little food but needing very much
a kitchen fitting of the Swedish sort,
I ventured just inside. And there at once I met
the pepparkaka Julgran, sitting snug
beside the glögg. Encouraged thus, and
crumbling at the edges, I stepped into
a labyrinth of show-house rooms,
contorted paths, and words mis-shapen too;
and as I went, I felt the forest
crowd around, the foernitur and fyt-tings jostling me
at every turn, and only a ghostly information desk
from where a long-lost lingvist
might once have cast his spell;
while those I passed, they left no clues,
their eyes were glazed, they moved bewitched
inside this forest in a box.

My crumbs were gone, but there I spied
the kitchen thing, the purpose of my quest;
and glad was I to break the spell,
to take the trail all backwards
to a check-out desk, where Hansel asked
(in English) whether I had found
just everything I wanted.
I did think so, but then
I had to buy another
gingerbread Christmas tree, and
I hope I’ll not have eaten it all
by Yule.



Aziz Dixon draws on local Pennine and Welsh landscapes and life experiences. He has been published in Pennine Ink and online with Irwell Inkwell. He launched his latest collection, Poet Emerging, with a reading at the Burnley Literary Festival 2016.