Christmas Cake

11 Comments

Christmas Cake

November or early December is the time
to start on this year’s Christmas cake

Pour several cups of sweet anticipation into a large bowl
– the first snowfall when we hauled out the Christmas records
– all the dolls in the Sear’s catalogue
– paint smells from the basement
cut in a pound of cold reality
– the year I worked nights and slept through
– the first Christmas without Daddy
– the one I broke my wrist
and cream these two ingredients

When blended and smooth
stir in – 1 cup at a time
the plans, ideas, long wish lists,
credit cards and shopping trips,
decorating, light’s a’blinking,
CDs spinning, here we come a-caroling —
keep on stirring

Fold in the surprises next
– a perfect tiny poinsettia for the coffee table
– a leisurely lunch on the Starlight Dinner Train
– room on a standby flight Christmas Eve

Finally toss in
– a teaspoon of worry (surely I’ve forgotten something)
– and a pinch of pride (the house glows by candlelight
while we sip our eggnog Christmas Eve)

Give it the final flourish
– signed! the last (late) card of the season
and bake in a turkey-fragrant oven.
You know it’s done
when the last chocolate is eaten
all the tinsel is vacuumed
and the house is New Year tidy once more.

(Guaranteed to never turn out the same)

Copyright 2004 – Violet Nesdoly

***************
This poem was first published 2004 in A Night Not to be Silent – A Literary Christmas Greeting, put together by Darlene Moore Berg for the poets at Utmost Christian Writers.  I first published it on this blog in December of 2010; today it’s appearing again as a re-post.

Poetry Friday LogoIt’s linked to Poetry Friday, hosted today by Tara at A Teaching Life.

 

Alert to blessings

7 Comments

When my friend Laurel asked me to be part of her Advent blog, Toward Christmas, I was delighted to accept. On these 24 days of preparing for Christmas, six of us are reviewing the Jesse Tree characters of Jesus’ story. One of the characters I chose to write about was Jacob (I think it was the ladder that made me think this would be a fun poem to write). The challenge was also to write this in prose poetry.

I read and re-read Jacob’s story (Genesis 27 & 28) before getting an idea. It came when I saw THREE. Jacob was blessed, not once, twice, but three times. Immediately I thought of folk and fairy tales, where things always come in threes.

One thing I noticed about Jacob and these three blessings is that they didn’t easily sink in. He wasn’t any happier after getting them, at least the first two, and they didn’t change his circumstances for the better, at least not in the short term.

I imagine he felt guilty and distracted when he got the first blessing. After all, he had just manipulated his blind father and he knew how angry Esau could get.

The second blessing, spoken over him by his father as Jacob was leaving home, may have sounded more like a cruel joke than a blessing, seeing as how everything was going exactly the opposite to what his father was saying.

It was finally when he saw, in his dream, the angels ascending and descending to heaven and heard words delivered in the voice of God Himself, complete with the beautiful promise, “Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go…”  that Jacob realized he was blessed, and could go forward with a light heart (Genesis 28:15).

I think I’m often like Jacob when it comes to God’s gifts. Sometimes it’s circumstances, worries, preoccupations, even guilt if I’ve done some manipulating, that keep me from seeing them. At other times, those supposed-to-be blessings don’t seem like blessings at all but their opposite. What will it take to make me see God’s gifts, His blessings, that are all around me, the greatest of which is His constant presence (Psalm 139:17,18)?

Isaac blesses Jacob - by

Isaac blesses Jacob – by Gerrit Willemsz Horst

A tale of three blessings

Once upon a time there were three blessings.

First Blessing came to Prince as he, sweating under goat skins and drowning in his brother’s clothes, knelt before his blind father. Despite bequeathing him earthy richness, grain, wine, and a promise of the servitude of nations, the stench in the tent of goat stew and lies kept Prince from hearing a single word.  Read the rest on the Toward Christmas blog…

Join us each week at Spiritual Journey Thursday

Join us each week for Spiritual Journey Thursday

This post is part of Spiritual Journey Thursday hosted by Holly Mueller at her blog Reading, Teaching, Learning.

The Sisterhood

18 Comments

This year’s hanging baskets

The Sisterhood

Perhaps it’s because of my name that I feel such a kinship with flowers. I notice them like my husband notices vintage cars. Their colorful allure tugs at my camera — snap, snap, adjust, focus …snap. I need to own them, take them home.

There I parade them on my computer screen in all their bearded, belled and bonneted beauty.  I enlarge them to look deep inside their secret rooms. I admire this pink rhodo’s wine freckles and that one’s variegated peach-to-cream petals. My currant’s blossoms have blood-red anthers on needle-slim stamens. These hydrangeas are filigree that could tiara a bride. Jester tulips and pinwheel petunias make me grin. And see those magnolias? They’re opening like one peels a banana!

I spend a couple of garden hours on Saturday settling Impatiens, Nicotiana and Dusty Miller for the summer. After the long winter exile, it feels like a family reunion.

© 2012 by Violet Nesdoly

***************
I wrote this prose poem for my Volta poetry group last spring (when we set ourselves a prose poem assignment). I planted this year’s garden last Friday and felt the same sense of kinship.

This poem is submitted to Poetry Friday, hosted this week by Linda at TeacherDance.