Haven’t You Heard?

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.

Damascus Road Prayers: Advent 2


…as if He were a seed in our garden,
or a small flash of light for our pupil,
He shone forth and diffused and filled the earth.
(Saint Ephrem the Syrian, Hymns for the Nativity)

Days crack like soil.
In the parts of the world where summer parches
we wait like potholes for the rain.
December’s slow refrain is singing
songs that speak of joy. Repeat
the sound of joy, though it may cloy
against the tune of years. We see
the line of kings; the throne, the rings
disappoint. The crown is twisted;
what can grow between these thorns?
A king, smaller than a seed
and vaster than the spheres.

Second Candle: Advent is Slowing

One candle grows short, a second descends,
And three others wait for the rising of light.
Wicks burn down and dwindle, yet hope still appends
The longing of prayers in the slow Advent night.
In the day, though the shouting of sun may shut out
The lamenting of captives, yet watch in the night,
For Advent is slowing: our rushing, our doubt,
Our “everything-must-be-done-by-this-time”.
Yes, Advent is dwindling – right down to the quick –
And Advent is hoping, and looking, though sight
Is obscured, and deferred hope makes the heart sick.
Advent is finding new candles to light:
When the length of the waiting diminishes cheer,
The light still will flicker, to shut out all fear.


First Candle: Advent is Waiting

Lent 46: Holy Saturday

Detail from Alexandre Bida, "Joseph of Arimathea Prepares Jesus for Burial" http://www.gci.org
Detail from Alexandre Bida, “Joseph of Arimathea prepares Christ for burial”

Down, they took his body down;

Joseph, Nicodemus took

him to the tomb reserved for him

and soldiers stood and watched.


There they stood; the soldiers stood,

to see what ruse might there unfold.

suspicious, victory not quite won,

the soldiers stood in wait.


Dark took hold, the sky asleep,

the faithful in their hiding holes,

only women weeping, with

firm vigil in their hearts.

Lay this body down… – Streaming Page CXVI’s “Good Friday to Easter” Day Three

What now? Death

takes the best; the body droops

upon the Cross. We look;

the sting in eyes declares

that all is done.


It is finished. What?

Are we done for, Lord? Where

the hopes and fears of all

the years, once met in You?

Where now? All done?


All done for?

What next? Take the body down

and wait? The evening yawns.

Swing low, sweet chariot, come.

Come take us home.