Archive | December, 2018

Days Gone By

29 Dec

Realizations about 2018 but no Resolutions


I can revisit the old year, but I cannot relive it.
What’s done is done.

The journey brought me a few steps closer to the period on the page.
I prefer an exclamation point!

The old year provided abundant examples of inhumanity
and sufficient examples of goodness.  I will
cherish the goodness.

2018 also —

Encouraged me toward simple clarity, less is better, and
tolerated my circumlocution.

Deepened my spirit roots while pushing me to sift
through old baggage better left behind.
Not that it was easy.

Showed me where to spend myself and taught
me the costs of trying.
Practical and emotional costs.

Confirmed that making New Year’s Resolutions is a game I
intended to throw from day one.

Solidified friendships and opened doors to new ones.
Reminded me to reflect on those who
went away.

Allowed me the 57th opportunity to say
Happy Anniversary to my beloved,
and daily reasons to say
I love you.


May you find joy in the New Year!

No Room Tonight

25 Dec

The middle of the night and they pound on my door!
There’s no room here, not even the floor!
All right!  Hold on!  I’m on the way!
Speak up, young man.  What is it you say?
You want a room tonight?

You must be kidding! There’s no room at all.
All I have left is a small manger stall.
There’s no room in town, the census, you know.
People are searching high and low
for a place to sleep tonight.

So, go around back, open the shed
and there you can make a hay and straw bed.
I know it’s not much.  It’s the best I can do.
Get settled in.  I’ll bring you some stew
to hold you until dawn.

When dawn arrived, a cry was heard,
far from the sound of a common word.
The babe that Mary held that day
had so much more to do and say
for the blessing of the world.

They all went home in a day or two.
Shepherds and flocks and wise men, too.
You might assume that the story ends,
but you’d be wrong.  It just begins.
It really just begins.

One King In Town

24 Dec

King of the Jews?  That’s what you say?
Where is the one who claims to play
the role that only I possess?
I’d love to see him and caress
his precious little hand.

I ask a favor, my good friends.
Perhaps you’d be so kind to send
directions to his birthing place
so I might gaze upon his face
and bring my homage, too.

When they come back with further news
I’ll make sure this King of Jews
discovers clearly that I rule.
I am no careless, naive fool.
I am the only King!

These Jews are such a tricky race.
They cheat and steal, refuse to face
the truth that I am sovereign here
and will create such dread and fear
for all who threaten me.

Infant King, indeed!

Traveling To Bethlehem

24 Dec

Come, my love, the time draws near.
You’ll be fine.  Do not fear.
The donkey’s made this trip before.
He knows exactly what’s in store.
See how strong he looks.

Pay close attention, my long eared friend.
I trust your strength and will depend
on you to carry her tonight
to Bethlehem so that she might
give birth to our first child.

She’s young and scared of what’s to come,
so step with care, do not become
distracted by some sound or sight,
for on you rides this very night
a child of destiny.

So, come now Mary, mount your steed.
This regal animal will need
a pat or two before we go.
I’m sure the ride will clearly snow
how capable he is.

Step lightly, donkey.



Shepherds In The Fields

23 Dec

Why are the sheep so nervous tonight?
Does something stalk and cause this fright?
I think it’s the light that’s scaring them so,
and it comes from that star, such a powerful glow.
I’ve never seen this before.

It must be a sign or an omen of ill.
Tragedy comes!  Right here on these hills!
The sheep are the first to sense the intent
of some treacherous spirit with evil bent
to destroy us and the flock.

Calm down.  Calm down.  I hear what you say.
But I disagree.  I think not that way.
The flock is nervous and milling around,
but the sheep are all moving toward Bethlehem town.
Perhaps the omen is good.

Let’s follow the sheep and see where they go.
Their instinct is keen, perhaps they all know
something that we cannot understand,
maybe a miracle is clearly at hand.
Come on, they’re leaving us here.

Aren’t we supposed to lead the sheep?
They’re leading us.  Come on, let’s keep
the pace and hurry right along.
What’s that?  The sound of lovely song,
as sweet as angel choirs.

Wise Men Passing Through

22 Dec

Who are those men?  They look like Kings
in their fancy robes and jeweled rings?
Have they ever been through our town before?
I wonder what they have in store
for someone down the road?

Do you think they’re chiefs of foreign states?
Diplomats or Potentates?
They seem to watch the nighttime sky,
and I wonder why they hurry by
without a friendly word.

They must be headed for David’s town.
There’s nothing else for miles around.
But why the rush on this starry night?
What drives them on?  What heavenly sight?
Maybe that big, bright star!

That star is new in the eastern sky.
An omen, you think, for someone to die?
Perhaps it’s seen all over the earth.
Maybe it signals a great person’s birth.
I suppose we’ll never know.

News travels slow out here.

Preparing For The Journey

22 Dec

“Would you explain all this to me?
Why am I tied here to this tree?
And who are all those people there
saying goodbye to that young pair?
Are they going on a trip?

“Yes, indeed, and so are you.
I overheard a word or two.
She’s about to birth a child
but they must travel many miles
to get to Bethlehem.”

“Okay, I see what is in store.
I haul the bags just like before.
Just once I’d like a lighter load.
It’s not a very easy road
from here to Bethlehem.

“Well, here they come.  I guess it’s time.
But wait, why does the woman climb
upon my back?  Can this be true?
A lovely child, and lighter, too,
than all the tents and poles.

“I will remember this fine day
and I will cherish, come what may,
the honor and the gift bestowed
to carry such an easy load
all the way to Bethlehem.

“By the way, what’s the young woman’s name?”

The Star

19 Dec

“It’s hard to believe but the news is true.
The choice is made, and they picked you.
From all the stars who wanted to go,
you are the one who will brightly show
the way to Bethlehem”

“How can it be that they chose me!
I’m not convinced I can really be
bright enough to show the way
to the place where Mary and Joseph stay.
What if I burn out!”

“Calm down, my friend.  You’ll shine just fine.
Your light is strong.  You’ll be the sign
to guide the world to that special place
where everyone can see the face
of love in a manger stall.

“Now, get some rest.  The time draws near.
Lay out your course and have no fear
for you are picked from all the rest,
undoubtedly the very best
to guide the world to him.

“And by the way, when you look down
on the sleepy little village town,
shine softly on his gentle face,
hold him in a sweet embrace
and say hello for me.


Sunset Explosion

12 Dec

As we drove home tonight my friend gasped and said:  “Look at the beauty in that golden sunset!”

But all I could see was the napalm glare, then came the smell of the chemical, then the heat from crackling flames.

And all I could hear was the deep, painful cry of the wounded and tortured earth.

And in my mind I walked again through the agonies of hell.

And I wept for the beauty of a sunset’s gift.

And I cried for my friends who could not see it.

In my heart I am grateful for what I see.
In my mind I know searing pain and unrelenting grief.

If only my mind and my heart could embrace and look out upon the world together.

Life Reminders

6 Dec

Some life reminders for Second Graders at a local elementary school where I volunteer   Works for adults, too  A30697EC-67B0-4A96-906E-E12ABD7B381A.jpeg