Friday, December 22, 2023

Another Double Feature Day

 A-Poem-a-Day Until Christmas

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When Mary traveled with Joseph

from Nazareth to Bethlehem

over ruts and rocks and hills

on the back of a donkey

during her final month of pregnancy

it was an arduous journey—

There was nothing cute about it!


And when her labor pains began

and she was far from home

far from the midwife she trusted

and the birthing room turned out to be

the hay strewn floor of a dirty stable

there was nothing cute about it!


and when following the birth of Jesus

Joseph had a dream

and determined they had to flee to Egypt

to escape Herod’s twisted plan

so they quickly tossed a few necessities

in a saddle-bag and the three of them set off

for a place of safety—

there was nothing cute about it, at all!


But, when I open my pretty Christmas cards

and see the holy family journeying

with Mary, draped in a lovely blue gown

and Joseph strolling alongside her

staff-in-hand, as their donkey

plods along agreeably

it all looks pleasant and serene


and when I gaze at manger scenes

(including my own)

arranged tidily on polished table tops

the scene is as perfectly charming

as the Christmas tableau

at Radio City Music Hall


We’ve embellished and recreated the event

to make it sweet and lovely and picture-perfect

but in reality, it was utterly profound--

a most striking and pivotal moment in time

Jesus was born to be Our Savior


Maude Carolan Pych



His splintered hands sand silky smooth

every ding and bump and groove;


then Joseph measures every piece—

hammers nailheads with expertise.


He's built fine cradles, but this one

is extra-special. It's for God’s Son.


He moves Babe Jesus from the trough

to the cradle; He's swaddled, soft.


The manger scene, quaint and lowly

now more befits One Who's holy.


Joseph, years hence will reap a thrill—

he'll teach the boy carpentry skills.



Shoved on crossbeams, Jesus' body.

Crude wood. Workmanship is shoddy.


Men grab His wrists. They pound the nails.

They watch Him wince; His color pales.


They lift the Cross; taunt till He dies.

The air is pierced by women's cries.


The sky grows dark. The dry earth quakes.

O hear the hissing of the Snake…




Holy of Holies veil is torn—

Sin is atoned! Salvation born!


God’s Master Plan, now understood—

began and ends with nails and wood.


Maude Carolan

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