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New Poetry for Advent and Christmas

(published here by kind permission of the authors)

© Maureen Regan

 

WAITING

Drumming fingers on the table,
Toe tapping, where is that bus?
The waiting room busy
With exhausted magazines.
Our waiting is different,
Ssh, listen is that him?
My alb clad arms flapping
Alex, five year old veteran, asks
Can you fly?
Quick look, is that him?
Yes, our waiting is different
Sixty-one years young, Rita
At the fourth child burial in three years,
Her hand over my heart whispers
'Mary brings them to Jesus'
We wait excitedly,
We weed our souls,
We look up,
We wait for
Lord, Saviour,
Brother, Friend
We wait in the dark
We wait in the cold,
We wait for the Light,
We wait for the Light No Darkness Can Quench.

Joe Mc Donald 2014

THE SENTRY

Your turn, waken up,
Stay awake,
We are community
Some sleep,
Some dream,
Some nightmare
In darkness
My turn to sleep,
Waken me when he arrives
We are community
End of Waiting,
Who knows when,
Waken me, Tell me
All is changed when he comes,
Fear not so awful,
Cold not so cold -
Even Death weakened
Up! Quick! Waken!
Stand up..He is near,
Very near to us
We are Community

Joe Mc Donald 2014

Lord of the Stars

There were three wise men and they lived in the East,
They looked at the skies every night,
To study the stars was their kind of feast.
They searched in the dark for the light.
They knew the black canvas above them,
They numbered its diamond dust,
But they wondered if anyone loved them
Or did all things unfold as they must.

They marked out the paths of the stars on their charts
And they thought that their lives had to follow,
The tyranny of stars had broken their hearts
And left them within feeling hollow.
They thought that the stars controlled them
And chained every man to his fate. O
f freedom no one had told them
And it seemed to be almost too late.


Then one night they saw a new sign in the dark -
A child who was born to be king -
The hearts of all three they soared like a lark
And the hope in their souls made them sing.
They gathered some gifts that were fit for a king,
Frankincense, gold and myrrh.
The star went before them to bring them
And stopped where He was - they were here.

They took out their gifts and they knelt on the ground
And then they looked into His eyes,
Then they knew for certain at last they had found
The One who had laid out the skies.
They laughed and they wept and they worshipped
With a freedom so new and so wild,
And they wondered how it could have happened
That the Lord of the Stars was a child.

© Joe McCarroll

 

Prepared

Forgive me father for I have sinned,
Forgive my sins I want them binned,
Hasten to remove the clutter,
Words of sorrow help me utter,
Clean the slate, remove the grime,
Prepare the way this Advent time.

Light the candles, light my heart,
Four together, one apart,
O come, O come Emmanuel,
Come my sweet Lord and make me well.
Hark the herald angels sing
Give me new life give me new spring.

Led by star of Bethlehem
Wise men, let me follow them.
Led by shepherds hearing call
Destination stable stall,
Content to sit away in manger
No longer feeling like a stranger.

Brendan O'Regan 2014

 

Journey to Bethlehem

Slouching to Jerusalem
Census time, it's counting heads
What a nuisance, crass disturbance
Better be at home in bed.

Dusty roads through crusty towns
Dragging wife on silly donkey
Grumbling at the price of liquor
Drunken and disorderly.

Going this way anyway
Following the strangest star
Final destination reaching
Bethlehem, but miles too far.

Wife more awkward than before
Inns all booked and natives hostile
Feeling trapped and being bothered
More put upon with every mile.

A deadbeat father, grouchy mother
Baby came, what chance had he,
What name would suit the little mischief?
Judas it will have to be.

© Brendan O'Regan 2014

(This latter poem based on a story I once read in a magazine. I was very much struck by the surprise ending .. lots of people can be on journeys, but not everyone makes the best of it. B.)