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A Red Rose Of December

Beata works as a qualified primary school teacher, a councillor for drug and alcohol addiction and a farm caretaker for organic olive grow.

December is here time to attend to my roses on my sunshine farm. it is hot and dusty, wildfires are always ready to break out.


Here and now the image of a shiny red rose stuck in dark long hair comes to my mind..

They appeared with the first snow

on the outskirt of our town

Walking in one line

two strong men

followed by a slim girl

and a child.

In the fields of the first farm

they stopped their old wagon

while sun was setting down

they cooked fresh potatoes

over the fire.

A little trained monkey

tried to steal some

they laughed gathering fresh hay

and cuddled to each other

to chase away the cold

it was still snowing.

I watched them sleeping

my wandering gypsies.

I could not wait to see them

to dance and sing

on the ancient steps

of our church

on the Christmas morning.

And they did

straight after our mass

the youngest of the men

playing his harp

another one balancing

on a thin iron bar

a child sang in angel’s voice

safe in his mother’s arms

Then beautiful dark Mary

twirled her colorful skirts

her golden bangles

shimmered in the eyes

of lustful town men.

Their angry wives spit at her

crossing themselves

running back to shut

the door of the church.

Mary didn’t mind.

She was dancing to her own

ancient God of love.

My wondering gypsies

coming to our town

to give us free spirit and joy

with the tomorrow sun

they would be gone.

My wandering gypsies with empty hands and full hearts, I followed them all the way out of the town.


Mary stopped and gathered me in her arms: “Please take me with you,” I begged: “I am alone in the world like you."

She laughed opening her arms

to the wind

her child played with an empty

tin plate

watching us hungrily and I sighed.

“Everything what you need is

in front of you,”

she said to me while opening my palm.

“Your life will be good, trust me,

my little blue eyed one.”

Over the winter countryside

a pale cold sun was rising up.

I waved them good bye.

She looked tired my gypsy queen,

I missed her so much

but she said I see her again

next year to worship her god Odin

and laughing at us all

stuck in our small and miserable lives

while she roamed the whole world.

When I looked down

right in front of my old shoes

on the fresh fallen snow

lied a shiny paper red rose

that fell off Mary’s long

sleek dark hair.

I picked it up and stuck it

in my own blonde curls

hopping all the way back

to my granny’s house

‘Now I am a gypsy queen too,”

I thought.

It took me years to realise what my gypsy queen has read from my palm.


Mary has lived whole her life selling a dream.

She never came back to our little town.

They apparently found a big city

with more people

eager to buy a little paper rose

to make them feel

like real kings and queens

for a little while..

Real roses are not so pretty

neither so perfect

but real as one can be

and I have found plenty

wandering all around

my past fifty five years

never tempted again

to swap the imperfect real rose

for the perfect paper one...

My childhood gypsy queen taught me a lesson for life...


Beata Stasak (author) from Western Australia on December 07, 2018:

Thank you Shauna that is so beautiful what you said, I am a teacher and I use my stories to inspire my students too:) It works most of the time, thank you:)

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on December 07, 2018:

Beata, please don't ever delete your work, despite what your grown children think. Read my comment again. You have a unique gift. You touch hearts for those whose hearts are open.

Beata Stasak (author) from Western Australia on December 06, 2018:

Dear Suhail thank you for your beautiful sharing of the memories from your own past, I have been in Volgograd in the communist re-education camp because my father was a dissident meaning 'enemy of the state'. It was just a few months after Chernobyl happened and we travelled by train through the contaminated area not knowing what had happened. When we reached Volgograd the young boys had been dragged from their beds and sent to Moscow to quick training and sent to Afghanistan to fight Americans. They came back like zombies. What life throws at us hey? But we were meant to survive so we did:) All the best to you Suhail and yes I love Gypsies to this day, lots of them live in my homeland in the Eastern Europe and they are treated very badly by my native people, so shameful truly...I do not like to come back too much to the Eastern Europe anymore because my people after so long suffering under Russians have changed to ' very nationalistic white supremacists' and that is so sad to see...very sad indeed...all the best to you my fellow HubPages my goal is to see Pakistan even if for few days I have met very beautiful Pakistani friend in Doha last year...so maybe one day:)

Beata Stasak (author) from Western Australia on December 06, 2018:

Thank you my dear followers here on the HubPages. Funny thing is I was in the process to delete this poem from here because my grown up children who were born and raised in my adopted country of Australia are very critical of my writings that is not precisely absolutely grammatically correct as the Australian or any other English should be:) The problem is I can only write as me and the mixture of my feelings comes woven in three languages I am fluent in but maybe not truly perfect, perfect in any of them:) Thank you for accepting my writing for what it is...not perfect but just ME:)

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on December 06, 2018:

Beata, your story-telling is like no one else's. I imagine you sitting in a field of wildflowers, with children and adults sitting in a semi circle around you, listening to your wise words with rapt interest. You have a very unique gift, Beata!

Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent from Mississauga, ON on December 06, 2018:

Hi Beata,

This is a powerful poem!

I have been fascinated by gypsies since my childhood. It had all started with reading Enid Blyton's Famous Five series. The kids had many adventures around and with gypsy children of their age.

In northern Pakistan where I grew up, we used to have Kuchis and Powindas roaming between Afghanistan and Pakistan. I have some photographic shots of them from those days. Their wandering ways were destroyed during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan when Pakistan dragged itself into the war at the behest of the USA and Saudi Arabia.

The restless soul that I was, I found my next connection with gypsies through the hard rock bands of the yore. Bands like Dokken and Whitesnake have written their songs around gypsy ways.

My most recent connection with gypsies is because of my love of dogs, especially livestock guardian dogs and their deployment in transhumance grazing. For example, I admire the Gujjars of Pakistan who used to be nomadic herders of the yore traveling between the high northern mountains and the planes of Pakistan, on whom some big cities of that country have been named - Gujranwala, Gujrat, Gujjar Khan, etc. They still travel in the company of their livestock and livestock guardian dogs. There is a project going on to protect their ways.

All I wanted to say is that yes I can relate to the gypsies. And this beautiful poem brought everything out from my deepest memories. I enjoyed reading it over and over again because it also brought out the best in the feelings for other humans that you have.



Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on December 06, 2018:

And what a wonderful and valuable lesson that was....just a totally enjoyable poem, my friend.

Rinita Sen on December 06, 2018:

This is one of the most brilliant writes I have read in the last few days. There's so much feeling in the story, and you expressed so well - the hard life of gypsies, the innocence of the child that wanted to join them, the way things look to be something but on the inside turn out to be something else, and of course, the lesson in the end, which was so original. Glad I read this motivational piece today.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on December 06, 2018:

What a wonderful story woven into this poem. Great childhood memories and wonderful images.Thank you for sharing Beata.

Beata Stasak (author) from Western Australia on December 05, 2018:

Thank you my friend just finished editing it:)

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on December 05, 2018:

Amazing pictures, wonderful imagery, woven into a beautifully expressed poem!

I enjoyed going through your story.

Thanks for sharing!

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