December 21, 2018

"Joseph" : Twelve Poems and A Story for Christmas


He could feel the cold coming on:
flurries of snow melted on his beard.
First his toes, fingers, climbing up his head,
numbness branched across his shoulders,
sagging under the burden.

How many years would he be given with his son
to see the lilies of Capernaum bud, flower, wither,
die and be reborn under the unrelenting sun,
the steady flame by which his life had burned?

He snapped dry twigs under his feet,
turned to his young bride, asleep on the floor--
after all the struggles, so beautiful by the hearth.

Calmly, he stoked the coals, and the embers
greeted his hands, his prayer with a promise
that this warmth, like peace, would live as long as his desire.

The poems describe the journey of a newlywed couple, Mary and Joseph, to their ancestral homeland where they are to be registered in a census decreed by a tyrant. Mary is pregnant and Joseph knows that the child she is carrying is not his. As they travel through the harsh landscape, they are joined by strangers who have been summoned by dreams, visions, and supernatural events to bear witness to a child whose birth they are told is destined to change the course of human history.

In A Miami Christmas Story Raymond Allen, a despairing musician and family man, wrestles with his pride that is both the source of his sorrow and redemption.Twelve Poems and a Story for Christmas explores the inner lives of characters that surround this perennial story and reveals a human dilemma: to find meaning behind the events in our lives.


meika said...

Jesus would later abandon his father’s trade and become an itinerant preacher
You know I have never thought of him as a drop-out before, but it explains all that reject-the-world asceticism one sees in so much Christianity.

Anonymous said...

I hope that the "warmth, like peace," does continue to "live as long as his desire." Boy, you bring the chap alive, don't you?

This is a most original form of looking at people that we already know. It is good.

It's like having yet another take on the red, red rose option, and pulling it off.

It's like writing about a stone and giving it originality. Bravo to you.

Geoffrey Philp said...

Dear Meika,

I'm not too sure about the "reject the world ascetiscm."

Marlon James in post entitled "Losing my Religion" says, "Christianity began as a renewing of the mind...I love the Jesus of the bible. He was actually quite scandalous, fraternizing with whores and tax collectors, cursing trees, praising lowlifes, hanging out with women, staying homeless, remaining single, calling himself the fulfillment of prophecy, educating leaders in the dark, giving over to rash emotions like fury and mirth, sometimes at the drop of a hat."

That is not a man who has rejected the world. I think Jesus chose his vocation rather than blindly following what his culture, daddy, or mommy said.
It's what we all have to do to find our true calling--what Joseph Campbell called finding your bliss and pursuing it no matter what.


Geoffrey Philp said...

Give thanks, Rethabile. Give thanks!

Mad Bull said...

Very interesdting indeed... I am going to link this.

Geoffrey Philp said...

Give thanks, Mad Bull.

1 Love,

meika said...

I'll grant the bliss, but as a drop out myself (no I'm not christ) I just never saw the conneciton before.

Geoffrey Philp said...

Meika, we all learn in different ways. Bob Marley was a dropout and I'm still learning from him...