The Wise Men

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 people jostled us with questions 

and insults as the camels shouldered their way up

narrow streets. Our wise servants buy from sumptuous, 

—–

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 he reveals the cruel tyranny  of 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. 

We worshipped 

that we did not know 

and hoped that this smiling gift 

would bear our hope.  

We gave him from our store 

Gold, frankincense and Myrrh, gifts worthy of him 

and believed in our hearts that God was here.  We left,

 quietly and travelled home on a God given route

with a burning in our hearts:

knowing that we had been

at a beginning.

The Coming of Hope

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. 

We worshipped 

one we did not know,

and hoped that this smiling gift 

would not be crushed by our hope.  

Christmas, what’s the point?

The lonely are lonelier,

the poor – even poorer,

the weak are slowly weaker,

the spoiled are so spoiled.

And there is a place

where you are either

outside or in. And no-

one asks you to enter.

—–

The sad are even sadder,

the glad somewhat gladder,

the fearful – more fearing.

The workers – hard working

and there is a place

where feet are on the rest,

food is served to the best,

And joy is an Offshore Bank account.

——-

Bastard! they called him,

born in squalor they said,

cuckolded his father she did,

and then he ditched them and

rebelled against their traditions,

Legalism and tyranny.     Instead,

He loved the sick into health,

gave sight to the blind,

restored the dead to life,

and hatred heartened them.

——–

Captured him, killed him quick,

denied him a future. Just to stop

the rot.   Tortured by lash.

Crucified,  Christ on a tree,

They tried to rub him from 

history but love rebounds,

restores and reconciles.

——-

Love gives the weak strength,

Love will feed the hungry,

Love befriends the lonely.

Love cares with the fearful,

Weeps with the tearful, and

Somewhere He is celebrated

still.  His sacrificial love 

flows and received heartens

and always a reason for joy.

——————————————-

Nadolig Llawen, Happy Christmas, Feliz Navidad, Joyeux Noel Frohe Weihnachten, 圣诞快乐, חג מולד שמח, Gëzuar Krishtlindjet, Ikrisimusi emyoli, ハッピークリスマス, Счастливого Рождества, Καλά Χριστούγεννα

The Pilgrimage of Life

My long legs reached to the farthest shore of my being,

shoving and pushing through the muddiness of rejection,

and the sucking swampiness of my serious certified sickness,

each step a challenge of my spirituality of distinctiveness,

of my direct thinking to wonder at the great unknown, and

still I’ll move, ever my blurred eyes looking for the briefest

of arrivals and departures, each harried horizon differing 

and developing in her persistence to a protected peace,

a hushed silence in the noise of extant voices, seeking

rest for my soul and a hidden haven of hopefulness.

Love

Those eyes, I look and see myself as he does,

He stares back with leisurely love,

It never wavers,

Each tiny cell speaking peace,

Each lash and brow saying, “Hush.”

Challenged I watch those eyes that watched the children play,

and Blessed them,

turned to the blind and dumb,

and healed them,

looked into the eyes of the broken,

and gave them back a life,

turned the shame of the rejected 

into the warmth of welcome.

greeted the unloved with kindness

and saw them beloved.

I watch and am warmed again.

A Rainbow of Grace

Deep in sorrow I walked the walk of grief,

Feeling in my hurting heart the pain of loss.

Each beat a reminder of them and their sweet

faces now facing an enemy grown by greed.

===

The rainbows arched across the sky, spilling

their palette of colours as it stretched until

it sank into the seething sea, and shared its 

delight in the writhing waves of the sea water.

===

I reached for a brush and paper wanting to

replicate the delicate hues, and share my own

pleasure in a prism given to us signifying that

God’s creation is a gift that cannot be compared.

====

I lay and watched and thoughts flowed through a

third eye to another place. There, there is water

and a dome of coloured rocks and everywhere

dancing painted arcs that ripple and flow with

======

every combination and complication forming

and reforming red, gold, fern green, palest pink,

prime colours and even those we cannot see,

as if a paint chart is playing its own concerto.

====

I opened my eyes and the sky was going grey,

the loss of the grace of that moment grieved

by the heart, yet still in my mind’s eye it lived,

and over the horizon a growing darkness filled

=====

the skies and brought me back to the gloom

of dying children and forest fires breaking

the chain of life and deepening the crush of 

a changing climate that will cause a cataclysm. 

=====

From a grateful gift of grace I walked on 

with a rainbow of hope pulsing with the

rays of refracted sunlight, a lighthouse 

of hope in a dark and troubled moment.

The Crucifixion

Jesus gasped for a breath, 

the pain reached everywhere,

the burning in is hands and feet,

his skin burnt in the strong sun,

the flies and ants and birds all

preying on his precious blood.

——

And I saw people from every nation,

every creed, every age, every tribe,

and they knelt before him and bowing

their heads worshipped him, and rising

cheered for the wonder of a God who

accepted horror, mutilation and death

rather than succumb to power and 

domination. A God who is ever thus.

——–

Jesus looked out and saw the crowd,

He saw the proud, the oppressor, the

rapist, sadist, warmongers and those

who had mete out injustice, abusers

of children and bore the torture with

hope in his heart that they will hear,

they will repent, and become like

cherished children and his beloved.

———

The pain tore into his mind,

It burned in his soul and searched

out each weakness. In agony he so

longed for his father and found him

gone. “Eloi, Eloi. Why have you

forsaken me?” he cried; and found it

echoed in the emptiness of a lie. For

Yahweh was there, lashed, nailed, 

bleeding and dying on the cross.

A Little Child Will Lead Them.

I looked and saw thousands of children, spilling

over the land, their eyes all alight and shining;

bright as the sunlight on the bright blue sea.

——

They danced and sang as they came, and their

many hued faces laughing with delight – for

these are cheerful children favoured by fortune .

———

I turned and saw a a multitude of small folk

walking to meet them; their gaunt faces and 

stumbling gait, like flotsam on a grey sea.

————

Some covered in dust from mines, some worn

thin by slavery, some battered by abuse and still

they come,  looking for kindling for their hope.

————

They meet in a garden, fruitful and seed bearing;

all things are possible. And, I see the blindness of

the privilege – as the dancing ones dance on, as

—–

if their world is their right. And the grimness of 

loss unreal. Taught so well by their parents and 

the guardians of our governments. Their lashes

———–

hid their peeping eyes as they swerved to avoid,

a hand raised to ward off wretchedness and waste,

I watch it -weeping in my soul and praying. Then

——-

a courageous number stop and take the sad hands of

boys and girls, they look into their eyes and learn 

of the terrors and terrible pains they have endured. 

————

Then together they turn and walk into a future, where

children lead the way to justice, fair shares are for all,

and build a world where every child matters and, yet

—————-

still the others march on, ignoring their oppression,

fearfully, fleeing away from uncomfortable feelings

to a self-centred future where shame has died. 

The Shepherds

Did the star, so bright, kill the night?

The baby silent in submission to the

hands of unloved men and women?

Did angels hover and sing so sweetly?

Filling the sky with their susurration,

articulating the glory of an organic God?

================================

Did Mary know that the sweat, pain

and agony of giving birth; was just the

beginning of his? Pain filled parturition 

of an embryo space where no-one need

protest, or claim difference or worthiness?

A love-in that shelters, equals and seeks

to redeem the bound world’s corruption.

===============================

The Shepherds knew. His life was like

their sheep, full of potential and then

the slaughter, the bloom of red 

spreading out to cover the blindness

of those; who saw their own images

and sought a sacrifice to cover their greed.

Hope in the Darkness

Darkness invites the weary,

and brightens their time,

with candles and fires, 

with glimpses of moons,

and sparkling stars. And 

through the darkening

sky peeps  the pallid sun, 

its silent strength grown 

weaker; and wearily now it

warmly shines in the myriad

eyes of the parcelled populace, 

squinting and smiling, to

see and feel the hope of 

wistful winter, lit by a

baby born at a time of 

plagues, fear and poverty.

Then, she will garnish the 

land with seed fresh shoots, 

snowdrops, and daffodils,

to hearten the weary, wintry

traveller with treasures 

in 

the 

dark.