po·e·sy n. pl. po·e·sies 1. Poetical works; poetry. 2. The art or practice of composing poems. 3. The inspiration involved in composing poetry. [Middle English poesie, from Old French, from Latin posis, from Greek poisis, from poiein, to create; see kwei-2 in Indo-European roots.]

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Location: Canada

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Christmas Poem

I wrote this poem several decades ago. It was published in The Poet's Pen, now defunct.

            Joseph's Lament

     What meager harvest do I reap?                                        
     This fragile infant, now asleep,
     a sickly child, so small and wan,
     I doubt he'll live to see the dawn.
     Born in darkness, much too soon
     after the solstice marks the ruin
     of winter. Born in darkness vast
     when harvest days are well long past.

     The Son of God? I hear no mirth,
     no angel choirs announce this birth.
     There is no music at this show,
     only bitter winds that blow.
     The Son of God? So weak and pale.
     Would He not sire one more hale?
     A fitting child of robust mold,
     a child of beauty to behold?

     Would not God's Son be born in spring
     in a palace grand as befits a king?
     Not in this dank stable stall
     where winds seep through cracks in the wall,
     attended by one sad-eyed cow.
     No miracle, this, for I see now
     the child was born in a mortal vein,
     brought his mother suffering and pain.

     They say a humble man am I,
     what piety, what faith I ply.
     I'm not a beggar, not blind, nor lame.
     I seek not riches, gold, nor fame,
     and so I've never asked for such.
     My simple life has pleased me much.
     Humble I am, but not a fool.
     Must my faith be stretched so cruel?

     Without a moon or stars to mark
     the way, I stumble in the dark
     and wrestle with impious doubt,
     praying my Lord will bear me out.
     Am I now punished for my false pride?
     Did I raise myself above the tide
     with arrogant thoughts that I was the one
     chosen by God to foster his Son?

     What now? Who are these simple folks?
     They have no shoes, no hats, no cloaks.
     Have forces strange drawn shepherds poor
     down from the hills to the stable door
     where Mary and her son both lie?
     More likely they are as cold as I.
     They do not speak, and yet I sense
     their awe-struck, wondering eloquence.

     Now, mysteriously, stars appear
     as if the hand of God were near.
     But no. My mind is playing tricks.
     'Tis foolishness, and yet, it sticks.
     The stable bathes in silver light,
     even within the dark takes flight.
     The shadows have dispersed, and all
     the shepherds to their knees do fall.

     The infant wakes and this sweet haze
     reveals his fairness to my gaze.
     He cannot see me, this I know,
     and yet his eyes hold mine, and glow.
     He lifts his hand, a hand so small
     which soon will hold the world in thrall.
     Compelled, I lightly touch his face,
     and feel his wondrous strength and grace.

     Amazed, I look upon my wife.
     She smiles. She knows that this small life
     will someday save mankind from doom.
     My soul doth like a flower bloom
     and I must brush my tears away,
     knowing He must die one day.
     The sun now heralds a bright new morn.
     Behold! The Son of God is born.

–Cathrine Dubie

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