It was slow and cold over the malevolent mountains
where icicle adorned camels tread on vague
suspicions of trails. Their bitter breath freezing
in the air and each of us huddled gasping against
the icy blasts. The camps were hard; starting a
fire and hiding under the rough rugs and skins,
sheltering under the lee of snow weary camels,
with whitened humped backs or cool rocky caves.
We thought we’d understand, but soon forgot what
it was that drove us here. A star hidden by dark
clouds, just glimpses to direct our guarded gaze.
Plodding feet of chilly camels. Holding on to the
idea that somewhere was a birth that was God
given. Months ago we’d spied the star as it rose,
spilling its golden beams over the earth. Each of us
serious in science, astronomy and have called us wise.
Though seeing us now, cold and blizzard blown, they
might not think it wisdom that sends us on the way,
but the desperate need to be in a place away from the
wolf howling, grinding, wind of violent living. The
drifts of snow became light dustings. And, we could
see trees and the apathy of mountain passes became
joy of green valleys where we rested, hunted and then
slept. But the beckoning star called us to continue on.
Thru’ the glittering night watches and gathering ourselves,
we walked on towards a future that may be no future.
Doubts come in droves in deserts, fearing our foolishness
we arrived at a place our forebears knew and called the
city of peace. The gold globe of the temple shone
in the late sun and the curious people jostled us with
questions and insults as our camels shouldered their
way up narrow streets lined by newly laden stalls.
Our arrival noticed. We are coldly summoned and
invited in to see the suspicious king whose questions
hurt. Gradually we learn that he is a tyrant and a
jealous man and we are caught in his spider web,
and there is no new- born king, only a silly hope
born of scientific observations and superstition.
and now with wounded pride we hear his hidden
snarl as he ask for our return with eyes of iron.
Twas the news of the baby he wanted. Like an asp,
he would worship the opposition. Perhaps we
were wise after all – searching for goodness and
seeing through his veiled threats and violence.
As we left, the star brightens on the horizon.
Faith, like a newly lit candle wavered and held.
It was not far the unfolding. O’er Bethlehem it
shone. We murmured and mumbled as it stopped.
And we asked of a baby. And we met a few ’til
we saw the child, and felt the surrounding holiness.
No need for words,
we fell down.
one we did not know,
and hoped that this smiling gift
would not be crushed by our hope.