Advent 4: Airport Christmas

We always move around and so
fittingly our Christmas is mobile,
each returning to their homes, like Joseph
and a heavily expectant Mary, carrying
the hope of the world in her womb.

We depart carrying gifts in shopping bags
or catch up on forgotten things at airport stores.
And when we arrive: reunion, but
no birth, Messiah forgotten where we left Him
and hope still swirling at the baggage carousels.

In Transit

…lucky to be leafless:
Deciduous reminder to let go.

(Eugene Peterson, “Blessed are the poor in spirit”)

Lost in auto-pilot, I find myself,
false turn on false turn, circling in
this airport country where lanes diverge to let
the suitcase-laden taxi-bound
find ways to cities, and ways away.

A loop, and again I am where
I more or less should be: a road.
Yet airport, out of place, lingers in memory,
and just above
the warehouse-horizon hovers
a plane, a reminder, lest
in all my circling I forget.
Trucks are bound where their cargo is bound;
my cargo’s built for no road,
only sky. And so this day,
let transit pierce the veil;
amidst all of this,
drive praise.

Haven’t You Heard?

image
Jeffrey Smart, "Airport at Night"

Some will sit as though nothing’s new,
staring at the constant sky.
I confess that I’ve done so too
and held the lie.

Some will wait for what does not come
and think that waiting is divine.
Some will fall and some will run
until the time.

Yet in the terminal of souls
a voice cries out. What does it cry?
“Don’t you know?” it calls and calls.
Some will reply.

Disembarking: A Terminal Sonnet

Bad coffee drunk at airport terminal's
 Faint consolation for delays in flight,
 When failing air-con gives pilots a fright,
And back we go to slow departure halls,
Disembarking and delayed. It's small -
 A First World problem, as they say; tonight
 I should still be in Queensland: when all's right
With aircraft safety, we'll still soar, our tall
Tales told of men with wings made strangely true.
 Yet now it seems the worst fate for today
 For all things should always go our own way;
What apps can't fix, the human mind must rue.
 (I'll take for granted when the plane takes off
 And rail inside at my companion's cough.)