A Platform of Peace

Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem

by

Maya Angelou

Thunder rumbles in the mountain passes
And lightning rattles the eaves of our houses.
Flood waters await us in our avenues.

Snow falls upon snow, falls upon snow to avalanche
Over unprotected villages.
The sky slips low and grey and threatening.

We question ourselves.
What have we done to so affront nature?
We worry God.
Are you there? Are you there really?
Does the covenant you made with us still hold?

Into this climate of fear and apprehension, Christmas enters,
Streaming lights of joy, ringing bells of hope
And singing carols of forgiveness high up in the bright air.
The world is encouraged to come away from rancor,
Come the way of friendship.

It is the Glad Season.
Thunder ebbs to silence and lightning sleeps quietly in the corner.
Flood waters recede into memory.
Snow becomes a yielding cushion to aid us
As we make our way to higher ground.

Hope is born again in the faces of children
It rides on the shoulders of our aged as they walk into their sunsets.
Hope spreads around the earth. Brightening all things,
Even hate which crouches breeding in dark corridors.

In our joy, we think we hear a whisper.
At first it is too soft. Then only half heard.
We listen carefully as it gathers strength.
We hear a sweetness.
The word is Peace.
It is loud now. It is louder.
Louder than the explosion of bombs.

We tremble at the sound. We are thrilled by its presence.
It is what we have hungered for.
Not just the absence of war. But, true Peace.
A harmony of spirit, a comfort of courtesies.
Security for our beloveds and their beloveds.

We clap hands and welcome the Peace of Christmas.
We beckon this good season to wait a while with us.
We, Baptist and Buddhist, Methodist and Muslim, say come.
Peace.
Come and fill us and our world with your majesty.
We, the Jew and the Jainist, the Catholic and the Confucian,
Implore you, to stay a while with us.
So we may learn by your shimmering light
How to look beyond complexion and see community.

It is Christmas time, a halting of hate time.

On this platform of peace, we can create a language
To translate ourselves to ourselves and to each other.

At this Holy Instant, we celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ
Into the great religions of the world.
We jubilate the precious advent of trust.
We shout with glorious tongues at the coming of hope.
All the earth’s tribes loosen their voices
To celebrate the promise of Peace.

We, Angels and Mortal’s, Believers and Non-Believers,
Look heavenward and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at our world and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at each other, then into ourselves
And we say without shyness or apology or hesitation.

Peace, My Brother.
Peace, My Sister.
Peace, My Soul.”

In Other News…December

Christmas time can vengeful for some.  A month in which some memories are not cheery and bright.  And, a laugh or a smile…can be very hard to come by.

BOSTON (WTHR) – A Massachusetts firefighter channeled his inner “Buddy” to spread some holiday cheer in downtown Boston.

Brendan Edwards dressed up as Will Ferrell’s character from “Elf” and challenged passersby to pillow fights in front of the city’s historic Faneuil Hall. He went toe-to-toe with all comers, turning stunned faces into smiles as he played.

He posted video of his antics to Facebook, including a pillow fight with an older woman.

“I had her hit me with the pillow and I fell to the ground,” Edwards told WHDH-TV. “When she helped me up I came in with the sneak attack.”

He now hopes to hit the streets of Boston once a week until Christmas.

“We just wanted to spread holiday cheer, make people laugh, smile,” he said. “That’s what we’re out there for.”

Canterbury Stones

I cannot not carry such stoned, monumental devices with me.
And, believe they will avert the problems that breathe my air.

Thin line.

Town line.

Country store.

It is all the same.

I carry your tomb on my back.

And, provincial problems remain.

 

Dredging the dirt from my soul.

I find nothing is leftover but Christmas coal.

 

Still I shoulder your epitaph filled with Canterbury tales.

Where it is taught,

‘God’s only son…prevails.’

If only I understood what it is, you wanted me to stand for.

I could sustain your words…more easily.

 

the Road Ahead, the Road Behind

It is everything and nothing but the in-between.

A hard road meeting up with the horizon.

It is the yuletide.

The Amen.

A cathartic Sunday service.

It is the year of living with and, without, friends.

With one trail closing in on another.

It is the woody scent of a seasoned forest.

The manner in which the pine cones descend.

It is the constant hopes for ‘glad tidings.’

It is the year of living with and, without friends.

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My Soul Itches

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My soul itches.

With the blatant magic of gluttony.

Lust with the absorbency of all the plagues wrapped up as, Christmas stuffs.

I am my own superstition.

Today, no belt worn.

Tomorrow, no hat.

The odds are all on the black sheep.

Never, once bitten, twice shy.

Over dramatic?

Well, maybe, the heart cannot go on into infinity…rent free.

Folksy, folks, say,

‘The moon is closest with thoughts such as these.’

The sun, the furthest, when love says,

just let it be.’