Incarnation

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incarnation-1

Image scanned from an old Christmas card

The climax of the Christmas season will soon be here. This year a book that has directed my Advent focus is Light Upon Light: A Literary Guide to Prayer for Advent, Christmas and Epiphany (compiled by Sarah Arthur).

One of the readings for the first week of Advent (“Incarnation” by Amit Majmudar) especially captured my imagination over the miracle of the incarnation. Here are some lines:

1. Incarnation

Inheart yourself, immensity. Immarrow,
Embone, enrib yourself. The wind won’t borrow
A plane, nor water climb aboard a current,
But you be all we are, and all we aren’t.
….
…For eyes, just take two suns and shrink them.
Make all your thoughts as small as you can think them.
Encrypt in flesh, enigma, what we can’t
Quite English…. – Read entire…

Another poem that has expanded my view of the incarnation in the past is by my friend Darlene Moore Berg who is also a medical doctor. Her medically informed perspective comes through in “Embrylogy” with its ending that connects that event 2000+ years ago to each Love-accepting heart now:

Embryology

A subtle thing
one simple moment to the next
a rhythm, a pulsatile beat
and the heart of God
takes on a mortal cadence.

In a dark, muffled womb
four chambers form—room
to comprehend the flow
of human blood…

A coil of ear widens open
to the Voice of Heaven-
whispers of Divinity
knit into the ossicles

(last stanza)

embryonic genesis
a life takes flesh,
manifests ultimate Love
stretches forth
across a Universe
to be born within a human heart.  Read entire…

So my wish for you, for me, for all of us is that this Christmas we would experience this “birth” and the “abide” that follows:

O holy Child of Bethlehem!
Descend to us, we pray;
Cast out our sin, and enter in;
Be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels
The great glad tidings tell;
O come to us, abide with us,
Our Lord Emmanuel. (- Phillips Brooks, 4th stanza lyric of “O Little Town of Bethlehem”)

Journey through Advent

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advent-1762640_640

Image: Pixabay

Today I’m recommending my friend Laurel’s blog for your Advent reading.

When her two children with Autism Spectrum Disorder could no longer tolerate the upheaval of Christmas, she knew she would have to find a different way than with decorations, visiting, lavish gifts and meals to celebrate. She tells her story on this video.

This new reality turned her toward the quiet, 25-day-long celebration of Advent, which she chronicles each year on a blog. For the past few years she has asked fellow-travellers to join her. (I’m honored to be one of them this year).

You can follow our Advent journey on her blog Four Parts Hope. (This year we’re doing cinquain, tanka, haiku, psalms, found poems, and Laurel’s main writings will be haibun.)

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Poetry Friday LogoThis post is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted today by Bridget the wise one at wee words for wee ones.

The song of birds

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Silhouette of a bird singing

Birdsong silhouette (Photo © 2012 by Violet Nesdoly)

HOW BIRDS SING
by Kay Ryan

One is not taxed;
one need not practice;
one simply tips
the throat back
over the spine axis
and asserts the chest.

(Go HERE to read the rest. Scroll down a bit…)

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Right around the end of last year, Mary Lee Hahn offered a Kay Ryan book giveaway on her blog—and I won it! She graciously sent  The Best of It – New and Selected Poems by Kay Ryan all the way to Canada. (Thanks again, Mary Lee!)

I have been enjoying Ryan’s clever, philosophical, rhyme-riddled, witty, and always-deeper-on-second-reading-than-they-seem-on-the-first poems.

The poem “How Birds Sing” caught my attention because a few times on our morning walks in the last weeks, we’ve been hearing spring birds sing. The Red-winged Blackbirds are back, and so is the bird that sings a lilting song I’ve always associated with spring. (Before I die, I will identify that bird!)

So, no matter how deep you still are in winter, comfort yourself that spring will soon be here, and keep your ears open!

Poetry Friday LogoThis post is part of Poetry Friday, hosted today by Renee at No Water River.

Motto for a Front Hall

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Autumn door hanger

Motto for a Front Hall

If you come cheerily,
Here shall be jest for you;
If you come wearily,
Here shall be rest for you.

If you come borrowing,
Gladly we’ll loan to you.
If you come sorrowing,
Love shall be shown to you.

Under our thatch, friend,
Place shall abide for you,
Touch but the latch, friend,
The door shall swing wide for you!

By Nancy Byrd Turner

(This poem is in the public domain)

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If you came to my door, our little autumn scarecrow door hanger would greet you. Someday I’m going to have “Motto for a Front Hall” framed and hanging in our front entryway. Thank you to Jayne Jaudon Ferrer editor of Your Daily Poem for posting this welcoming poem on August 30th.

Poetry Friday LogoThis poem is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted today by Doraine Bennett at Dori Reads.