Epiphany poetry

Three poems for epiphany, each in very different moods — a scripture reflection, a story The_Star_Of_Bethlehem_by_FracFxtold me, a taste of my emotions.

According to Matthew

the star stopped,
over the place where the child lay.

But anyone who ever observed
a star at its rising
knows better —
knows foot-blistered, homesick,
searching the night sky … better.

The star always proceeds,
until the wise
save the ice caps and the rainforests
and find a vaccine for Ebola,

until those with the power
of kings and queens
from the power of power,
enter the house of justice
where all lives matter,

until the magi
bring magic back to the world –

in symphony and street art,
music and movies,
youtube, zentangle, samba and slam.

The star stops only long enough
for everyone to find
a place to set their gifts down,

dream, take another road.

epiphany story

“I wanted a bride doll,”
the church musician said,
when I asked him
about Christmas gifts
in his childhood.

“And the sadness is –
that it came a year too late,
while my parents
over their little boy
who asked Santa
for such a scary toy,

but the joy is –
that the second Christmas
my mother handmade
every satin ruffle,
each trim of lace –
there was so much love
in that doll,
it was fit for a manger.”

Sometimes it takes
a long journey,
a very distant star
to be wise enough

to leave the baseball bat
on the shelf,
and give the frankincense.


I return to the double empty house
where each foot on a stair
echoes the absence
of the laughter of visitors.

After the thin sweeping of pine needles
a great deep snow
would be welcome
to settle things ¬–
the roof, the restless dog.

The airplane writes its good-bye
in white exhaustion.

A dull ache between the eyes
is not crying,
because nothing is really sad.
I can still taste
the last Christmas carol.

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2 Responses to Epiphany poetry

  1. Thanks for all these – each one a gift – Christmas memories have an ache in them, and love, as Eliot said the hearts of the Magi did forever, and as the organist has now, and as we all have when the house empties and the magical time has gone til another year.

  2. Maren says:

    There is perhaps no one who has said it better than Auden in “For the Time Being.”

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