benedícimus te

Victorian Angels

benedícimus te
maybe she’s like any
body
walking the sidewalks
or dusty roads
or the narrow places,
pushing a baby carriage
filled with
dreams
or broken dolls
or aluminum cans
she picked up on busy streets
where no one saw her
as they pushed past
the rushing wings
of sparrows
and angels
as she makes her way
to the manger

*** This was written to remind myself to be aware of those around me and to always look for the extraordinary in the ordinary.

the angel of small, forgotten things

Twelve Days of Angels Day One

I found that thing which had been lost.
Though to be honest,
I hadn’t realized it was lost.
In fact,
I had not thought of it in the least
for …
I have no idea how long.
But there it was-
in all its glory.
The thing that had been lost
or misplaced
or forgotten
was here.
In my hand.
It was now remembered.
A memory attached.
To always be that thing
that had been lost,
now found.

the angel of transubstantiation and fruitcake recipes

Angels of Childhood

(The amygdala and hippocampus
receive the information
from the olfactory bulb
before routing it to the thalamus,
already conjuring memories
before awareness of the scent
is formed in the conscious mind.)

Four eggs perch in my grandmother’s bowl
among the fragrant tangerines,
waiting to take a crack into the citrus-y batter
where the luscious dates await.
The air is scented with oranges
and roasting pecans,
the fragrance of a kitchen
that no longer exists.

*** This poem was written last year as one of a series of angel poems. I thought I would bring all of my angel poems to you this Christmas season as I listen for the sound of their wings and to hear the message “Fear not”.

We were walking – a poem for Advent

Angels of Childhood

We were walking with friends
behind their Minnesota farmhouse,
fields of cornstubble stretching to the winter gray horizon.

Suddenly from under our feet-
a heart stopping flash –
all feathers and noise and wings,
a vision of gold calling in alarm.
With our pulses pounding,
we watched the pheasant disappear.

We laughed at our fear
and marveled at the beauty and wonder
of what we had seen.

This must be what the shepherds felt
in a field a long time ago,
when they flushed
a covey of angels.

***This is a poem written many years ago but still one of my favorites. May you be surprised by joy and wonder during this Christmas season – K

A Litany for Lighting of the Advent Candles

This is a litany I wrote many years ago for the congregation of a tiny Presbyterian Church in N W Arkansas. In the Christian faith, the four Sundays leading up to Christmas are considered the season of Advent and many churches and many families light the Advent candles on each of those Sundays. My hope is that readers of all faiths and beliefs will see the light of their own candles as well.

Angel of the Rusty Halo

The Litany for Lighting of the Advent Candles

First Sunday of Advent

We wait for You in the stillness.
In the darkness before dawn.
We have heard of Your coming.
The prophet said,
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. Isaiah 9:2
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him–
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of power,
the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD– Isaiah 11:1-2

We wait.
Light one candle.

Second Sunday of Advent

We wait for You in the stillness.
In the darkness before dawn.
We wait in a small town, making preparations for You.
The prophet said
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” Micah 5:2

And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High;
for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him,
to give his people the knowledge of salvation
through the forgiveness of their sins,
because of the tender mercy of our God,
by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven
to shine on those living in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the path of peace.” Luke 1:76-79

We wait.
Light two candles.

Third Sunday of Advent

We wait for you in the stillness.
In the darkness before dawn.
We are sheep without a Shepherd,
we are shepherds waiting for the news.
The prophet said,

He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young. Isaiah 40:11

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Luke 2:8-10

We wait.
Light three candles.

Fourth Sunday of Advent

We wait for you in the stillness.
In the darkness before dawn.
We hear the angels voices.
We are overwhelmed.
We are awe-struck.

I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:
“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory.” Isaiah 6:1-3

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. Luke 2:13-14

We wait.
Light four candles.

Christmas Day

We wait for you in the stillness.
In the darkness before dawn.
You are here with us.
Your birth proclaimed by angel and prophet, shepherd and magi.
You are here and our waiting is over.

While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Light your candles.
The waiting is over.
The Light of the World is here!

Leonard Cohen, the morning and me

A memory of a poem written in a different time and season.

thecourseofourseasons

HPIM0832

The morning and I sing
broken hallelujahs
with Leonard Cohen.
(the minor fall, the major lift)
April sun shines
on the just and the unjust
as daffodils brown around the edges
and the tulips fade,
blossoms erupt
from redbud and dogwood.
(There’s a blaze of light in every word)
Song swells from the greening wood,
the triumphant sound of life renewed-
resurrection of springs promise
and the forgiveness of all winters sins.
(with nothing on my tongue but hallelujahs)
Hallelujah, hallelujah
Hallelujah.

*** The lines in parentheses and the phrase ‘broken hallelujahs’ are taken from Leonard Cohen’s beautiful song, Hallelujah. It is one of many favorite songs from this wonderful songwriter and poet.

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