Light of the world

I have been negligent about posting in this blog for some time, as I have been reminded by one of my long-time supporters (thanks, Mom!), so I am posting my annual Christmas poem. Some of you may have gotten a copy from me, but here it is electronically… with a promise that I will post things more often!

———

We return thanks to the moon and stars, which have given
to us their light when the sun was gone.
—Iroquois prayer, circa 1800s

Light of the world

You’d think the earth slept in darkness until then,
that the sun lay banished just below the horizon,
stealthily traveling the circumference of the blue planet

like a great whale, never quite lifting its head
for a breath. That people shuffled instead
of picking up their feet, moved through a world

swathed in dusk and dust. Forgot “let there be light.”
Dismissed the candles that burned for eight days.
Darkness rained crow feathers across the sky.

Until she heard the news from an angel, who,
it is said, dazzled her with pyrotechnics
and beating wings. Until all her labors brought forth

the light of the world, swaddled: a love so new,
so dangerous, it could not survive. That it did,
with great tenderness, so bright and clear,

that this genius of spirit stays with us still,
has given light unto light, allowing us to vanish
into longing, like bare trees remembering leaves.

Jan Haag
Christmas 2012

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About janishaag

Writer, writing teacher, editor
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3 Responses to Light of the world

  1. aprilpeletta says:

    The poem is wonderful and full of wonder.
    The lines:
    “Until all her labors brought forth

    the light of the world, swaddled: a love so new,
    so dangerous, it could not survive”

    steal my breath.

  2. ltownsdin says:

    I love this poem. Each time I read it another image speaks to me. “Darkness rained crow feathers across the sky” is so visually rich. Thanks for posting!

  3. janishaag says:

    Thanks to both of you–I appreciate what stays with you in this poem!

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