Monday, December 7, 2015

Aright Christmas (#Poetry Monday*)

Pageants with rosy cheeked
wire-dangling angels,
elegant costumes,
mannerly beasts,
all in a comfortable auditorium
with padded seats

and a good view,
portray a tidy Christmas event.

Not at all

like the reality
of that first Christmas.
The birth of Jesus was not neat.
More like chaos and filth.
A manger in a cave

covered in bovine
and donkey slobber
is not pretty

or sanitary.

Filth was everywhere.

Pain, noise, stench.
The smoke from oil lamps

and a small fire.
The damp and dirt floors.

The screams of Mary in labor
answered by the bothered bellows
of assorted animals.

A raw place,
an impractical place,
for a birth of such occasion.

There was a grander spectacle,
out in the fields for

a hand-picked audience
of a few scruffy shepherds.
But even they smelled of sheep dung
and campfire smoke.

All in all, the first Christmas
was not a pretty sight.
It was a hot mess.

Kind of like us,

smelly and rumpled,
bumbling our way toward
holiness like dazed shepherds
awestruck in the middle
of the night,
the angels’ song ringing
in our ears and echoing
in our needy hearts,
“Glory to God
in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those
on whom his favor rests.”

May His peace rest on us
in all our sloppiness.


* It's PoMo! To learn about PoMo (POetry MOnday), click here and then scroll down. 

How do you envision the Nativity? The Incarnation? Have you ever stopped to consider what it really must have been like for Joseph and Mary? Where you ever in a Christmas play? What are some of your favorite Christmas memories or traditions? Please let me hear from you! Feel free to share your thoughts and impressions in the comments.

Birth of Christ by Antoine Pesne, Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia:

This poem is included in this collection:

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