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Morning over the bay

Two Poems for Christmas

Melissa Rhoads, Miriam Mathis

  • Hillel Brandes

    I like to think the harmonies come from the inherent, glorious beauty of the Creation.

  • joe schmitt

    let's hope the harmony we hear from earth comes from cymbols & harps and not bombs.

The Broken

Melissa Rhoads

Alone through stench and cold
Barren rock-carved hillside for the fold
One of the broken
Battered and wolf-torn –
Yet for these is Christ born.

Alone in blameless virginity
The Lord’s handmaid through faithful clarity
One of the broken
Humble and heart-torn –
Yet for these is Christ born.

Alone on the census road
God’s hand, a weighty load
One of the broken
Dusty and anxiety-worn –
Yet for these is Christ born.

Alone in undulating sands
Gifts clutched in exhausted hands
One of the broken
Sunburnt and desert-worn –
Yet for these is Christ born.

Alone through the guilt-laden night
Heart wrung in piercing starlight
One of the broken
Satiated and wealth-worn –
Yet for these is Christ born.

Alone before the manger tonight
Heart’s peace your presence ignites
One of the broken
Weak and life-worn –
Yet also for me is Christ born.

Harmonies in Heaven

Miriam Mathis

Are there sounds we cannot hear
That resound in the heavenly sphere?

Take a look at that sunrise spire
That shoots to the zenith, an orange fire.
Does it sound like a trumpet blast
To the watching angels at their task?

How often we miss a wonder of light
Because we weren’t expecting the sight!

“How silently, how silently,
the wondrous gift is given.
So God imparts to human hearts
the blessings of his heaven.”

Did the hosts of God who dwell
In endless space beyond our time
Hear hallelujahs flung abroad
When Christ was born, the Son of God?

Many a miracle is silent to us –
The grateful smile of a homeless child;
The flutter of heart when we apologize;
The love and joy in my brother’s eyes.

Maybe in heaven we will hear
The harmonies that rise from earth:
The mighty organ, the tinkling bells,
That speak again of the Savior’s birth.

Nativity by Gerard van Honthorst Detail from "Nativity" by Gerard van Honthorst