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CLXXXVIII

Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.”  I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”

The last line of the sonnet from last week was too good to be used just once, so naturally I made it one of the repeater lines of a villanelle.

 

THE PARADOX

The irony: the angels came to sing

To shepherds, while the scribes slept through the night

Condemned, and incognito came the king.

The Magi came from far away to bring

Gold, frankincense, and myrrh, and learn by sight

The irony the angels came to sing.

Herod found no humor in the thing,

And Joseph woke from sleep to sudden flight,

Condemned and incognito, from the king.

Mary found it food for pondering,

And often in her heart she would recite

The irony the angels came to sing.

But there would be no final reckoning

Of what it meant, ‘til up Golgotha’s height,

Condemned and incognito, came the king.

And now it’s left for us by faith to cling

To him whose empty tomb brought full to light

The irony the angels came to sing:

Condemned and incognito came the King.

Remember: for more poetry like this, go to https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/ and order Stars Through the Clouds! Also look for Inklings of Reality and Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest books from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.  And look for Williams’ very latest book, Deeper Magic: The Theology behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis, from Square Halo Books!

Donald T. Williams, PhD

 

 

CXXXII

Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.”  I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”

See how long it takes you to discover what this poem is about.

Portrait-VirginMary1

The Moment

The seed had slept some fourteen years, but now

There was more than silent darkness:  something new,

A gentle motion, growing warmth.  Somehow

The tiny cell knew what it had to do:

Glide on and be receptive to its fate,

Either a greater change or death.  The girl

Felt nothing whatsoever when the weight

That counterpoises all the blazing swirl

Of suns we call the universe was pressed

To needle concentration down and driven

Into her belly.  She could not have guessed

The power of the gift so softly given;

The egg would never be the same again.

Painting-annunciation-Anon

It would have been annihilated by

The impact if the same force had not been

Within, sustaining.  Men who watched the sky

Were startled by a star they did not know;

The demons trembled and did not know why;

In Mary’s womb, the seed began to grow.

Painting-Annunciation-FraAngelico

Remember: for more poetry like this, go to https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/ and order Stars Through the Clouds! Also look for Inklings of Reality and Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest books from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.

Donald T. Williams, PhD

Reflections

As we move toward the traditional day for the celebration of our Lord’s birth, let’s follow two lines of questioning that move together to converge on the stable that morning.

REFLECTIONS

                                    From the initial moment of surprise

By piercing light they never had expected,

The Magi mulled the meaning of the skies.

Was the betrayal worse, or were the lies?

What in her swelling belly he’d detected

Joseph couldn’t find in Mary’s eyes,

And that was puzzling.  Puzzling to the Wise

Men were their stumbling thoughts as they reflected

Deeply on the meaning of the skies.

Joseph made them gentle, his good-byes,

Turned sadly from the girl he had selected,

Still haunted by the tears that filled her eyes.

Who knows what led those scholars to surmise

The answer to the problem they’d dissected

And journey toward the meaning of the skies?

An angel and his faith made Joseph prize

The woman he had earlier rejected.

The Magi mulled the meaning of the skies,

But Joseph saw the Star in Mary’s eyes.

For more poetry like this, go to https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/ and order STARS THROUGH THE CLOUDS: THE COLLECTED POETRY OF DONALD T. WILLIAMS (Lynchburg: Lantern Hollow Press, 2011).

HOW IT NEVER WAS

Since this is Holy Monday and Easter is still fresh in our minds, let me share a little one act play about something that never could have happened after Christ rose from the dead–so why does it happen now?

HOW IT NEVER WAS

Mary saunters down the street, runs into Thomas.   Mary seems light and cheery; Thomas is depressed.

Thomas:          Hey, Mar’!  How ya doin?

Mary:              Oh, hi, Thomas.  What’s up?

Thomas:          Nothing much.  Hardly seems worth doing anything since, you know . . .

Mary:              Oh?  What do you mean?

Thomas:          It’s been over two weeks now, and–well, it’s been a pretty tough couple of                                     weeks.  Nothing turned out like we expected.

Mary:              No, I suppose not.

Thomas:          So, how have you been holding up?  It must have been pretty rough, with them burying the body so quickly and all.  Did y’all ever get the stone rolled back so you could anoint him?

Mary:              Oh, didn’t I tell you?  Wasn’t necessary.  Jesus rose from the dead.

Thomas:          He what?

Mary:              Rose from the dead.  Got up and walked out of the tomb.  Came back to life.  Yeah,  he’s been around almost two weeks now. The other Mary and Salome saw him  too.  Didn’t you know?

Thomas:          You’ve got to be kidding.  And it isn’t very funny.  I loved him, you know.

Mary:              No, no, it’s true, I swear it!

Thomas:          Well, you can call me Doubting Thomas if you want to, but I don’t believe a word of it.

Mary:              Why not?  What do you want to do, feel the wounds for yourself?

Thomas:          Nope.  We aren’t even up to that level yet.  If you actually thought he had risen, I might want to apply that test, but it’s not necessary, because you aren’t serious.

Mary:              What do you mean, I’m not serious?

Thomas:          If you actually believed that he had risen, you wouldn’t be casually mentioning it  to me two weeks later.  Did you hear yourself?  You said he had RISEN FROM THE DEAD!  If that had happened, you would have been chasing us down  where ever you could find us.  You wouldn’t be able to keep it in.  You wouldn’t be able to talk about anything else.  What, a woman with a piece of gossi–er, news like that?  Even a man wouldn’t be able to keep that in!

Mary:              Well, I meant to tell you.  I forgot.

Thomas:          Forgot?  We’re talking about a RESURRECTION here!  Nobody could forget something like that, not someone who really believed it.  No, I’m sorry; you just          have no credibility.  Even if you’d had, oh, say, 2,000 years to get used to an idea like that . . . Nope, no way.

Thomas walks off stage right, muttering, “Nope, no credibility, none whatsoever . . .”   Mary stares after him, then tosses her head with a “hmmpff!” and exists stage left.

Check out Dr. Williams’ Lantern Hollow Press books, REFLECTIONS FROM PLATO’S CAVE and STARS THROUGH THE CLOUDS!  Order at  https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/