A Christmas Verse

I wrote the first version of this poem to send out as a Christmas card in 1978, the year I moved to New York, and it seems like an appropriate way to launch this new blog. I hope you enjoy, and wish me luck!

PROMISES

Upon the sand called Canaan Land,
When Peace had yet to seed,
And Love was but a hazy word
Subordinate to “need,”

Was born a Son – a special one –
Whose purpose was disguised.
Though many thought He’d kingly be,
Were Peace and Love He prized.

So beautiful, His calling cards,
So clear and true His mind,
That those whose subjects He would teach
Were being left behind.

“It’s blasphemy this upstart speaks!”
“A heretic!” they cried,
“It’s sacrifice and piety
Will keep God on our side!”

Upon a hill, His voice went still.
His way had been too simple
For faithful who, since Babylon,
Had formalized the Temple.

But Truth will out, once given words,
And gifts the Babe revealed
Have grown beyond mere promises
And, over years, congealed,

As Love became the glowing flame
That fires the rising sun,
The brighter still to look for life
And love the whole as one.

And Peace? Not quite, but possible,
As every heart is drawn
To Love of light, and moved, in time,
To build a brighter dawn

That roses bloom where shrapnel flew
And symphonies may sound
Where once were heard but cannon din
And death obscured the ground.

Though you may say it’s simply fate
That Love and Peace unfold,
For me I thank that Hebrew child
Whose innocence foretold

Of calm, surcease, a life of Peace
For every earthly mother,
And pray that His example may
Reveal us to each other.

How simple His instructions were:
To be with Love in thrall,
That Peace on Earth at last may serve
To bring goodwill to all.

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