Two years have passed since I last posted a series of poems at Christmas. For me, carol and song, poem and rhythm are a vital heartbeat to the days of the Advent season especially. I have never lost the sense I had as a child, of Christmas as a time when the song that hums at heart of earth and depth of soul lifts its voice a little louder and we are invited to join the dance that is Love in motion among us. Somehow, poetry enters this dance for me, for it is a dance of words in which the story of this season whirls and glimmers even brighter.
So, I’m reviving my “Christmas in Cadence” posts. A poem every few days during this luminous season. I’ll start with one by Madeleine L’Engle, a writer beloved of my heart. Madeleine is a writer whose words are a light in my mind, shedding a life-giving brightness over my thoughts about God. A poem about those fabled followers of the star, the wise men, seemed a good place to begin, especially as we are about to begin our inner journey of Advent.
The Wise Men
by Madeleine L’Engle
A star has streaked the sky.
Where, oh where, where leads the light?
We came and left our gifts
Time had passed, friends gone from sight[
One by one, they go, they die
gone in the dazzling dark of night.
Oh how, and where, and when, and why
and may, and should, O God, and might
a star, a wind, a laugh, a cry
the blazing word of power and might-
to use our gifts of gold and myrrh
as our intention was to do the right?
Here, there, hear- soft as a sigh-
all that is spoken, back to the flight
blazing too fierce for mortal eye.
oh, Love, until we, too, may dazzle bright.