Christmas Afterglow


Christmas Afterglow

Christmas Afterglow

savoring Christmas gifts not in a box,

sweet echoes of laughter,

dear traditions of music and story


Savoring Christmas gifts not in a box,

candlelight burning steady,  strong

dear traditions of music and story

keeping and being kept, golden circle


Candlelight burning steady, strong

sweet echoes of laughter,

keeping and being kept, golden circle

Christmas afterglow.

Christmas Is A Place

Christmas Is A Place

Christmas is a place, like the hearth,

where we all come in from the cold.

Drawn by warmth and promise,

cheered in flickering light,

we get closer to the flame

and each other.

Christmas is a place, like the hearth,

Where we gather

 in anticipation

 of Gift and Giver,

basking around a campfire

 of retold story.

Stoking to keep it hotly burning.

 Christmas is a place, like my heart,

where the Mary-me receives once again

astonishing news and says yes

to giving birth and being born,

to delivering and being delivered,

to remembering.

Advent Lullaby


Advent Lullaby

We are given myriad scenes of nativity.

 Characters the same, yet always different

I return to Correggio’s Holy Night,

feel the sweet warm weight cradled in Mary’s arms,

smile at the glow on her adoring face,

 the loose folds of her dress,

 sleeves mingling with swaddling

Another page, another artist…

each capturing varying images of love on her face, light in her eyes.

I wonder about things she kept in her heart.

Precious ponders.

When I think of promises, I think of Mary.

Promised as a part of her people by God

Promised to Joseph in betrothal,

Promised alone in a new way by God

Promising to participate in this mystery.

I think of waiting when I think of Mary.

The world waited for thousands of years

for One who would help them turn around right.

Mary waited her forty weeks of pregnancy.

Did she smile in wonder?

In those times a baby-in-waiting was hidden.

No sonogram, no reassurance.

Waiting was for the unknown.

I think of songs.

 “May it be to me as you have said,”

The next words we read in Luke ,

she is singing “Joy to the world,

the Lord has come!  Let every heart

prepare him room.

 My heart already has!”

-her first lullaby, and His.

The one who neither slumbers nor sleeps

 but keeps

chose to come as a helpless baby

who needed sleeping, keeping.

 As sweet mystery grew in her womb,

did she sing still?

 As butterfly kicks began

did her eyes grow wide and weepy?

As her body and her heart made room

did she laugh and cry,

 pray to understand?

As birthing began, promise kept, waiting over,

 song became breathing, bearing, tearing.

In this hard work, was God magnified still?

As minor lament changed key to major praise,

did she sing again in exultation?

Did she hold her baby close

 rock side to side,

singing a whispery lullaby of love,

 echoing prophet’s promise?

“He will take great delight in you.  He will quiet you with his love.

 He will rejoice over you with singing.”

I receive the promise. I wait.  I sing Mary’s songs.

Come, O come, Immanuel.


I Will Keep Christmas

Many years ago, Peter Marshall’s sermon published in a tiny book called Let’s Keep Christmas joined what was then my small collection of Christmas books.  There are many more books now, but the truths written on its pages make this one of my favorite to read during Advent.  “…we will not spend Christmas…nor observe Christmas.  We will keep Christmas – keep it as it is…in all the loveliness of its ancient traditions.  May we keep it in our hearts, that we may be kept in its hope.”  ~ Peter Marshall.   Another favorite book is You Can Choose Christmas, by Clyde Reid.   I think the words of both were in my mind when I wrote the following poem. 

                                              I Will Keep Christmas

I will keep Christmas

Waiting like a child on tiptoe

Eyes wide, watching for the wonder

Reaching for the light.

Waiting like a child on tiptoe
 Heart full of anticipation
 Reaching for the light
 Singing, praying, hoping

 Heart full of anticipation
Eyes wide, watching for the wonder.

 Singing, praying, hoping
 I will keep Christmas.


Art of Advent

Art of Advent

Cherishing story and image long loved

Opening to untold story, unpainted canvas

Breathing lingering frankincense and myrrh

Gathering rosemary, remembering.

Opening to untold story, unpainted canvas

Blessing fresh possibility

Gathering rosemary, remembering

Unfurling swirl of mystery

Blessing fresh possibility

Breathing lingering frankincense and myrrh

Unfurling swirl of mystery

Cherishing image and story