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Saturday, December 07, 2013

Holiday Lights (poem)

Perhaps there is a tree in your house
or you celebrate lights & have no tree
perhaps there are presents, perhaps not

does it matter?

this is year’s end & no matter what you do
or how many candles you light
our shadows are growing longer,
& there is no turning back now

though nostalgia –
    evoked by baking cookie scents,
    fresh wreaths of green & red,
    faces of relatives past & present,
& through the songs of children
–  is rampant.

all of us
feel December’s hegira inside, intimately,
& with it the passing of every other year
we have ever known

let us mark this one with joy, then,
aware for once that the time
is precious, sacred, lit by love
& sustained by magic

for there is enchantment
in all our connectednesses, the warmth of hands
oustretched to each other, tremble
though they may –

this is where we ward off
the horror of strangers
by gripping a hand, embracing someone else
& calling that other friend, brother, sister, beloved.

it is an act of courage, to love,
to welcome, to open the heart’s compassion
whether directed at the quietly suffering world
or into our own deepest selves

& out of the darkest skies come the brightest stars
no longer invisible, obscured
by an orange blurred blanket of city light
but clear, precise diamonds singing all the colors
in the spectrum to the listening void.

so wrap a present, whistle a tune,
bake a banana nut loaf, prepare a care package,
do whatever it takes to conjure up
your own simple magic

& know that though you are
working in the darkness

your light
your light
your light

is shining
for all to see. 

- Alx Uttermann, 2007