This blog is about many things, and one of those things is poetry. So first of all I'll celebrate my thousandth post with a new poem. Naturally it's about Christmas.
Supposing Christmas Never Came
Supposing Christmas never came —
Santa on strike, the reindeer sick,
the presents barely wrapped,
the wise men lost, their camels lame,
shepherds without their flocks
(due to an outbreak of ovine flu),
the Virgin Mary, virginal no longer,
painting the town red,
Joseph distraught, the Holy Child
sans swaddling clothes, sans stable,
mangerless, and the bright star
of Bethlehem now a black hole,
turkeys extinct and Christmas trees
dead as Dutch elms — then I’d ascend
some nearby mountain such as Scafell Pike
or one afar like Ober Gabelhorn,
Aiguille d'Argentière or Monte Rosa,
and meditate within a little hut
like Thoreau at the edge of Walden Pond
or Kerouac on Desolation Peak.
I’d view the frosted ridges, snowy crests
(real mountain chains not paper chains,
real snow not the stuff out of a can),
thinking of nothing very much but Zen,
and letting pure agape flood right in.
At this point I'd like to thank most warmly blog poets Ruth, Lorenzo, Rachel, Pat and Dominic, whose own poetry constantly inspires and encourages me to keep on writing poems myself.
I would never have believed, after starting this modest blog four and a half years ago, that I'd ever reach post number one thousand. Yet here it is. And I must honestly tell you that each and every post has been a joy. But without your readership, your loyalty and your comments, I'm sure I would have stopped long ago. For it's this reciprocality that lies at the heart of all our blogging enterprises — of this I have no doubt. I'd also like to acknowledge a few blog friends who have stuck with me for the long haul — Grizz and am come at once to mind. Readers come and go — that's only to be expected — but others stay religiously loyal, such as our wonderful friend and fellow traveller George, for instance. Apologies for missing out so many names here — there are dozens more. You know who you are, and I thank you all for reading my humble offerings from the bottom of my heart.
Our blogs are forever quoting words of comfort and wisdom from different saints and sages, poets and philosophers. I wondered if, to indulge me on my thousandth post, you might quote me one of your own very favourite sayings, aphorisms, adages, bons mots, proverbs, koans, stories, prayers or truths? Something that brings you hope and inspiration, and gives you the motivation to carry on journeying down life's rocky road. We could create a rich storehouse of enlightenment here! My own contribution would have to be the Prayer of Saint Francis:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
Greetings to everyone in this strange time between Christmas and New Year.