Sunday, December 19, 2010

Advent Poems (2)

Advent III

humble Bethlehem
least among the clans

out of you a vine
stretches to inherit

the nations,
standing with their backs to God

soon all eyes
fasten on your offspring

one of David’s line
whose rule leaps

from heart to heart
carrying the white flag of truce

to dress the fallen
who walk goat steps

and wished they were clean,
rags snatched from the fire

Advent IV

advent rips the veil
parting bride and groom

with a baby shower
of grace

the God-child
who cries

the kingdom
on white Christmas

answers our winter sleep
with descension

salvation come down
touching orphans

his armistice
for the God-ejecting

born of a virgin
so we’d be swept

away in the mystery
of visitation

caught up in the air
where God surmounts

the odds through conception
hangs peacetime on a miracle

for those who deserve
the noose

Advent V

It was a short distance
from crib to cross

when you winked
baby blue eyes at Mary,

saw Calvary’s shadow
in her reflection

with prophetic sight
staring down the years

towards Jerusalem,
where she’d weep

even as the stone
rolled back victorious.

In the manger you knew
your resting place,

ordained yourself as born
to die, as orchestras

of angels lighted Israel’s
way out of exile

for hungry shepherds,
soon washed in the blood

Advent VI

In this bleak midwinter
falling incense is how you answer

prayers for a foretaste
of your coming son.

Nothing is wasted
I’m enraptured on the black ice

crying maranatha
as for one brief moment

I catch a glimpse
of bridal lace

prepared for consummation
when God conjoins with his beloved.

Coming up from the washing,
I’m beside springs that warm

my cold veins
with visions of Zion

that prepare the way
out of this tired dispensation

shake December’s frosty root
to new fires breaking

upon the nativity play
where infant Jesus dons a crown.

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