“That first Christmas evening”

I wish a merry Christmas and blessed Christmas season to all my readers.

It is common, in some circles in which I move, to say that Jesus was born “that first Christmas morning” or even “that first Christmas morn.” But I, being curious and something of a quibbler by nature, have at times wondered: what time of day was the Christ Child born? Is the idea that he was born in the morning “possible, but in this life we’ll never know,” like the popular notion that there were exactly three Magi (or in fact that he was born on what is now December 25), or “unlikely,” like Rossetti’s charming, picturesque, theologically on-point, but in-details-dubious poem “In the Bleak Midwinter”? Continue reading

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“Winter Morning”

Soft music gently flows around my shoulders;
Sunbeams play upon my heavy head.
Why can my bleary eyes not flutter open?
Why will this distressing dream not end?
It’s worse in winter: cold is kept at bay
By thick and heavy blankets piled high;
When half-awake, I sooner snuggle deep
Than throw this comfortable burden off.
Yet so I must; the morning is half gone,
And too much work remains for me to do.
“Wake up, O sleeper; from the dead now rise”—
And, oh! to have that trumpet call within!

I began composing this poem this morning while in the condition it describes; the first couple of lines went through several iterations before I settled on what you see above, and then I went on to the subsequent lines. Fortunately, I was awake enough to get up to write it down by the time I got about halfway through, because I would have started to forget earlier lines.

As always, I earnestly welcome your comments, suggestions, questions, critique, or other feedback about this or any other part of my work. If you liked this, you can follow this blog, which includes one of my poems every Friday, or read other poems I’ve written here on my blog (starting with those linked from one of the “archive” installments, since the full archive is by now, at over two hundred poems, somewhat daunting); I’d especially like to know, as part of my preparations for a collection, which poems you think are my best. You may also share it with others, subject to my sharing policy.

This is also archived on my wiki.

“Day’s End”

It’s always a good sign to, at day’s end,
When crawling into bed, be satisfied
With all the work my hands have done in it.

What’s not so good is when that phrase “day’s end”
Has come to mean some hours after midnight,
Hours later than I thought it was.

Lord, grant me courage, strength, to do my work
In daylight hours, few though they may be,
Then, day complete, commit to you my rest.

I began this poem some weeks ago. At the time I had thought it would turn out as just another “verse paragraph” of medium length, as most of my poems are these days, but the cohesiveness and meter of the opening sentence caught my attention and directed me to the idea of stanzas. It rattled around in my brain for some time until I finished it this week.

As always, I earnestly welcome your (further) comments, suggestions, questions, critique, or other feedback about this or any other part of my work. (In other words, if you liked this poem, or you didn’t like it, or it made you think of something, or … please leave a comment to let me know.) If you liked this, you can follow this blog, which includes one of my poems every Friday, or read other poems I’ve written here on my blog (perhaps starting with those linked from one of the “archive ” installments, since the full archive is by now, at over two hundred poems, somewhat daunting); I’d especially like to know, as part of my preparations for a collection, which poems you think are my best. You may also share this poem with others, subject to my sharing policy.

This poem is also mirrored on my wiki.

“Morning Memory”

Each Friday I post a poem.

What good is it to dream a weighty dream
And wake up deeply moved by what I saw,
If at the touch of sunlight the dream flees
And memory fades before the opening day?
How short the night; how fleeting are its dreams!
But praise and thanks to God, for though our lives
To him are briefer than a moment’s breath,
And in that span we do not honor him
Above all else, as he justly deserves,
Our Maker yet remembers our short lives—
Far better than we mortals do ourselves—
And makes all we forget show forth his praise.

I wrote this poem yesterday morning, after waking up from a very moving dream and finding myself forgetting more of it as I tried to remember enough to write down—not for the first time.

As always, I earnestly welcome your comments, suggestions, questions, critique, or other feedback about this or any other part of my work. You can also read other poems I’ve written here on my blog.

This poem is also posted on my wiki.

“Epiphany”

Each Friday I post a poem, until I run out.

“Arise! Awake!” your word to me has said.
“Why lie you, sluggard, still abed? Arise!
Has night not fled? Is not the day at hand?
That glory you sought earnestly so long
Has risen on you; rise! Be not afraid!”
Help me, O Lord to will and act—obey—
According to your purpose and your word;
To live in daylight, as befits your child,
And leave the darkness of the night behind.

I wrote this poem yesterday, after considering whether I had a suitable poem for the holiday and season; it began with a couple of lines the previous night, then bounced around my head all day with a couple of relevant bits of the Messiah as I worked outside, until I finally got it down on paper. It still feels somewhat incomplete, but at present it has a certain symmetry.

In any case, as always, I earnestly welcome your comments, suggestions, critique, or other feedback about this or any other part of my work. You can also read other poems I’ve posted here on my blog.

This poem is also posted on and my wiki.