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Showing posts from December, 2013

Christmas Day

A SONG OF GIFTS TO GOD
When the first Christmas presents came, the straw where Christ was rolled
Smelt sweeter than their frankincense, burnt brighter than their gold,
And a wise man said, "We will not give; the thanks would be but cold."

"Nay," said the next, "To all new gifts, to this gift or another,
Bends the high gratitude of God; even as He now, my brother,
Who had a Father for all time, yet thanks Him for a Mother.

"Yet scarce for Him this yellow stone or prickly-smells and sparse.
Who holds the gold heart of the sun that fed these timber bars,
Nor any scentless lily lives for One that smells the stars."

Then spake the third of the Wise Men; the wisest of the three:
"We may not with the widest lives enlarge His liberty,
Whose wings are wider than the world. It is not He, but we.

"We say not He has more to gain, but we have more to lose.
Less gold shall go astray, we say, less gold, if thus we choose,
Go to make harlots of the Greeks…

A Stable Should Suffice

Fragile

by Harold Sikkema


This card
A sort of consolation prize for all that corrugated board
which will today be torn to pieces,
discarded.

Carbon-based vessel
for the plastic gold we're addicted to,
bearer of a name befitting contents and contenders:
"FRAGILE".

I,
gadget-fascinated human
encased in furrowed skin, the target of this
epithet.

And yet,
when children play
with the wrapping rather then the wrapped, there is
hope.

I superimpose
glitter of sunlight-shards on a baking sheet
to accompany advice about food:
"store in a cool dry place",

And on this day of questions,
I seek shelter from my violent greed.
A stable should
suffice.
From here.

The House of Christmas

THE HOUSE OF CHRISTMAS
There fared a mother driven forth
Out of an inn to roam;
In the place where she was homeless
All men are at home.
The crazy stable close at hand,
With shaking timber and shifting sand,
Grew a stronger thing to abide and stand
Than the square stones of Rome.

For men are homesick in their homes,
And strangers under the sun,
And they lay their heads in a foreign land
Whenever the day is done.
Here we have battle and blazing eyes,
And chance and honour and high surprise,
Where the yule tale was begun.

A Child in a foul stable,
Where the beasts feed and foam;
Only where He was homeless
Are you and I at home;
We have hands that fashion and heads that
But our hearts we lost—how long ago!
In a place no chart nor ship can show
Under the sky's dome.

This world is wild as an old wives' tale,
And strange the plain things are,
The earth is enough and the air is enough
For our wonder and our war;
But our rest is as far as the fire-drake swings
And our peace is put in…

Chesterton on The Kingdom of Heaven

THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN Said the Lord God, "Build a house,
Build it in the gorge of death,
Found it in the throats of hell.
Where the lost sea muttereth,
Fires and whirlwinds, build it well."

Laboured sternly flame and wind,
But a little, and they cry,
"Lord, we doubt of this Thy will,
We are blind and murmur why,"
And the winds are murmuring still.

Said the Lord God, "Build a house,
Cleave its treasure from the earth,
With the jarring powers of hell
Strive with formless might and mirth,
Tribes and war-men, build it well."

Then the raw red sons of men
Brake the soil, and lopped the wood,
But a little and they shrill,
"Lord, we cannot view Thy good,"
And the wild men clamour still.

Said the Lord God, "Build a house,
Smoke and iron, spark and steam,
Speak and vote and buy and sell;
Let a new world throb and stream,
Seers and makers, build it well."

Strove the cunning men and strong,
But a little and they cry,
"Lord, mayhap we are but clay,
And we cannot know th…

Steal Away: A Great Christmas Gift!

Alice C. Linsley

My sisters and I come from a family of writers and each of us writes for publication. Ten weeks ago my younger sister had her first novel published.

Steal Away is a love story set in Scotland and a perfect gift for the holidays. The characters are well drawn and the background realistic. The author traveled to Scotland to research the sites mentioned in the story.

Steal Away is available in paperback or e-book. If you have read it, please take a moment to write a review at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, or on the author's Facebook page. If you haven’t read it, what are you waiting for?

http://rayannesinclair.com/

https://www.facebook.com/RayanneSinclair

https://twitter.com/RayanneSinclair


Related reading: Interview with Rayanne Sinclair; Poem by Rayanne Sinclair



On Premature Celebrations of Christmas

G. K Chesterton
There is no more dangerous or disgusting habit than that of celebrating Christmas before it comes, as I am doing in this article. It is the very essence of a festival that it breaks upon one brilliantly and abruptly, that at one moment the great day is not and the next moment the great day is. Up to a certain specific instant you are feeling ordinary and sad; for it is only Wednesday. At the next moment your heart leaps up and your soul and body dance together like lovers; for in one burst and blaze it has become Thursday. I am assuming (of course) that you are a worshipper of Thor, and that you celebrate his day once a week, possibly with human sacrifice. If, on the other hand, you are a modern Christian Englishman, you hail (of course) with the same explosion of gaiety the appearance of the English Sunday. But I say that whatever the day is that is to you festive or symbolic, it is essential that there should be a quite clear black line between it and the time going…