one christmas mass past
my hands clasped, so smooth, so young
hers riddled vein-blue ~
snow covers ground, gently still
my hands hued with age, missing hers
Our Christmas tree is a memory tree. The bell from my mother’s tree, when she was a little girl. The Santa my brother made in first grade. He was nine years older than me and died far far too young at fifty-one. The airplane from my father’s tree when he was a little boy. Christmas brings so many memories of cherished times past with relatives, friends and family. Merry Christmas, everyone!
Tanka form: 5 lines, syllables of 5-7-5-7-7. There should be a “twist” or change that occurs between lines 3 and 4.
Sweet fawn, framed by forest clearing
breath vapor hangs in air,
eyes wide alert, stare through snow.
Crystal flakes cling to coat,
velvet brown ears quiver
hear soft cries and crooning sounds.
Hooves muted by drifted snow
young woman and man oblivious
as wet nose pushes stable door ajar.
Innocent deer stands quietly,
sees calves lying in tussled straw
lambs nearby, quietly sleep.
And there, wrapped in woolen shawl,
a small babe with contented smile
held close to mother’s breast.
A simple pastoral scene,
Love and Light born this morn.
Photo credit: Benjamin Earwicker. Title from Isaiah 9:6
Poetic license taken (creativity beyond the traditional story).
White crystalline flakes
cascade from dark skies
falling, drifting quietly,
upon the rural scene.
A lowly ass plods slowly
pulled forward by a bearded man.
They lean forward,
tandem force against the wind.
The young woman huddles, sways,
shifted side to side by the animal’s gait.
Feeling movement from within,
she burrows into her woolen shawl.
Talons sunk in frozen bark
feathered body blending into frigid tree,
the snowy owl stares steadily
at the slow motion scene,
watches the couple disappear
over the hill beyond,
unaware, in the darkness,
of the Light that is to come.
Photo in public domain. Poetic license taken (beyond the traditional story).
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.
Christmas lights flicker
like memories this time of year.
Snow falls quietly
somehow ignorant of her pain.
Dedicated to all those who have difficulty this time of year . . . facing personal challenges, illness, grief, or loss. And remembering those who are no longer with us to celebrate this holiday season.