Advent 6: Benedictus

They shall not live who have not tasted death.
They only sing who are struck dumb by God.
(Joyce Kilmer, “Poets”)

And so Zechariah became one of the poets,
hymning the God of Israel with new voice,
for those who have most wept will most rejoice,
while others full of grace who did not know it
could never pen a hymn if life depended.
Grace rarely makes such strict demands of us;
the sweetest song can fall without a fuss
straight on a childless priest, his life upended
with the hope of joy, while the one with seven sons
goes home to richest blessing without song.
The one struck dumb will pen an epic long
before the the news can reach the minstrel’s ear,
and grace will always find alert the ones
who’ve lost their voice and now have ears to hear.

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.