The Tourist Visa. A poem by Sylvia Petter

Sylvia Petter.fiction

The Tourist Visa
 “The North Pole is melting
 so where do we go?" 
 "Why, off to the Jungfrau,
 she's covered in snow.
 I'll call myself Rudi,"
 the last reindeer said,
 "and we'll fly down to earth
 and just park our sled." 
 "But what about visas?
 They're sticklers, I hear.
 We can't say we do chimneys
 and spread loads of good cheer." 
 "No worries, Santa,
 as tourists we'll go.
 You'll clip your whiskers
 and I'll turn off my glow." 
 "But the gifts from the North Pole,
 so many, so fine?" 
 "We'll get us a laptop
 and send them online.
 Then we'll sit in the sun
 surrounded by snow
 and your beard will grow back
 and I'll turn on my glow." 
 And so on the day the North Pole dissipated
 Santa and Rudolph to Schweiz relocated. 

First published in Ex Tempore, An International Literary Journal, Volume XII – December 2001 Third prize in the 3rd Annual Poetry Competition ‘Christmas in Switzerland’ run by Bergli Books, Basel; featured at

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Vienna born Australian Sylvia Petter trained as a translator in Vienna and Brussels.  Founding member of the Geneva Writers´ Group, she holds a PhD in Creative Writing from UNSW (2009). Her stories have appeared online and in print since 1995, notably in The European (UK), Thema (US), The Richmond ReviewEclecticaReading for Real series (Canada), the anthology, Valentine´s Day, Stories of Revenge (Duckworth, UK), on BBC World Service, as well as in several charity anthologies, and flash-fiction publications.Her latest book of short fiction, Geflimmer der Vergangenheit (Riva Verlag, Germany, 2014), includes 21 stories drawn from her English-language collections, The Past Present (IUMIX, UK, 2001), Back Burning (IP Australia, Best Fiction Award 2007), and Mercury Blobs (Raging Aardvark, Australia, 2013), and translated into German by Eberhard Hain, Chemnitz. She has led flash-fiction workshops in Vienna and Gascony, France. Writing as AstridL, several erotic stories appeared in anthologies in the US (Alyson Books) and the UK (Xcite) and subsequently in her collection of 17 erotic tales, Consuming the Muse, (Raging Aardvark, Australia, 2013.) In 2014, she organized in Vienna the 13th International Conference on the Short Story in English. In March 2020, her debut novel, All the Beautiful Liars was published as a Lightning Bolt eBook by Eye & Lightning Books, UK. In July, 2020, she served on the jury for English-language flash fiction for the Vienna Poetry School’s second literary magazine to be issued in October. Sylvia works part-time at the University of Vienna in education science, and blogs on her website at where there is more on her and her writing.

Published by darcie friesen hossack

Darcie Friesen Hossack is a graduate of the Humber School for Writers. Her short story collection, Mennonites Don’t Dance, was a runner-up for the Danuta Gleed Award, shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Ontario Library Association's Forest of Reading Evergreen Award for Adult Fiction. Citing irreverence, the book was banned by the LaCrete Public Library in Northern Alberta. Having mentored with Giller finalists Sandra Birdsell (The Russlander) and Gail Anderson Dargatz (Spawning Grounds, The Cure for Death by Lightening), Darcie's first novel, Stillwater, will be released in the spring of 2023. Darcie is also a four time judge of the Whistler Independent Book Awards, and a career food writer. She lives in Northern Alberta, Canada, with her husband, international award-winning chef, Dean Hossack.

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