Splashes of red brighten everyday winter mood.
Cardinal perched ‘top snow laden branch
holly berries ‘mongst waxy green leaves
stocking-capped girl on ice-covered pond.
Cranberry garland round grandma’s tree
foil-wrapped treats with ribbon-tied bows
cinnamon red-hots on gingerbread men.
And then . . . on a star lit night
Old North’s steeple glows tall and bright
draws us to her warmth within.
History fills this sacred space
softly lit by candlelight,
voices lilt from loft above.
Spirits lift and faces shine,
voices raise as all join in
oh come all ye faithful . . .
celebrate that gift of hope.
Love born this very night,
so long long ago.
Old North. Paul Revere’s church where lanterns were waved that infamous night, immortalized in Longfellow’s poem.
We shall walk to Old North on Christmas Eve when the church will be aglow with candles lit in her brass chandeliers and sconces that are 200+ years old.
City lights blink like fireflies, regardless of season. High rise windows shine where brick meets sky in a busy horizon.
Ten thousand steps a day are easy here. Church, mosque, supermarket. Post office, synagogue and hardware store. Restaurants serve Italian, Chinese, Ethiopian, French, Japanese, Greek, seafood, pizza, tapas, ribs. Department stores, yarn shop, coffee shops, and burger joints. Museum of Fine Arts and African American Meeting House. Beauty and nail salons, barbershop, shoe repairs, dentists, doctors, optometrist and palm reader too. Freedom trail and river stroll. I am carless in the city. Well-worn walking shoes upon my feet and a cornucopia of things to do.
dripping down my chin.
Transplanted to cityscape.
I still carry heartland habits,
greeting surprised strangers
as they pass me by on city streets.
Written for dVerse, the virtual poet’s pub, where Bjorn is hosting Haibun Monday and suggesting a modern take on this form — put it into a city poem and the haiku that follows the prose may or may not be about nature; may or may not follow haiku form. Pub opens at 3 PM…come visit other’s views of city life! Photos taken from our 7th floor deck in our highrise in Boston.
blinking window lights
‘gainst darkening city scape
nondiscriminating fire flies
summer, spring and winter skies
View from our Boston deck at night.
O ye daughters and sons of liberty,
these stairs do creak
neath the weight of history’s tale.
Paul Revere didst wait that eve
to see the revolution’s wick,
waving light from Old North’s spire.
Two lanterns carried high
two horsemen urged on with alarm,
signals all to freedom’s dreams.
Gather ye now and every year,
honor patriots of battles past
and those who hero now.
Raising voices strong
in songs of country’s pride,
our enduring land of liberty.
A “folk poem” for dVerse. Written April 18, 2016, exactly 241 years after the occasion immortalized in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem, The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere. The Lantern Ceremony has been held for the past 139 years at Boston’s Old North Church, an active Episcopal congregation to this day. Paul Revere was a member and arranged for the sexton Robert Newman and vestryman, Captain John Pulling Jr., to climb the steeple stairs pictured here and signal with two lanterns, if the British were approaching by the Charles River. This sparked Paul Revere’s infamous ride to warn militia and ultimately, the first shots of the American Revolution. Also counting as NaPoWriMo Day 19.
Photos: my spouse climbing the steeple’s stairs at Old North. We are fortunate to be members of this historical church and attended the April 18, 2016 Lantern Ceremony: fife and drum corps, historical reenactment, recitation of Longfellow’s poem, a featured speaker, lighting of two lanterns at the altar. The lanterns are then processed through the church and carried up the steeple as they were that night. The ceremony concludes with the singing of America and America the Beautiful. I can truly say it is a magnificent evening — for me, more moving and inspirational than the 4th of July. And I love the 4th of July! If you’re ever in Boston on April 18th, I urge you to get tickets in advance and attend! Last photo is taken from Copps Hill after the ceremony last week.
Videos: Both from the 2015 ceremony — they are always similar except for the featured speaker and those honored to be the lantern bearers up the steeple. The first is from outside the church. The second (church is lit by candlelight and this is an amateur video so it is somewhat dark) shows the rousing conclusion of the ceremony — with just the first verse of America — all verses are sung.