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Seasonal Poem, but not, I think, what Cole had in mind


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If you're looking for jolly, you'd best skip this one!


Two Thousand Plus Christyules

Bi Janus


Sorry for the mish-mash—

the political creation,

but we could not have sold

the notion to Norse pagans

without tacking on the berries.

Only birth and death were signal.


Your birth, heralded by massacre,

set the tone for centuries since.

I like the message a little bit—

love, charity, meekness, the new law.

I guess you couldn’t proscribe

what they did to you after the cross.


The product was weak without

ducking death, mythographers

sending you down for a day or three.

I thought better of you as a corpse

attending to the business of rot

and not attending to triumph.


But the Magi who set in train

the massacre were searching

for a King not a counselor.

I would rather find Joseph’s kid

working wood with his hands.

Then there’s the feeling


I have when looking at Carter

newly arrived and a smiling

behatted vessel for all our hopes.

At least the power-brokers

left you to your childhood

and normal confusing journey.


A million prayers an hour

reach to your mother

who seemingly knew

what she had prepared

for you and the centuries.

I wonder though of her grief,


The grief of a mother

seeing her child

surely dead in the straw,

every moment of life

tinged with man’s wish

to wield God’s power.


I know, I know—power

and redemption and glory

in which we all share,

unless we’re bent but unbowed.

I’ll hold powerless Carter when I may.

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