Sunday, January 4, 2009

O Coastlands!

"Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old shall be merry. I will turn their mourning into joy, I will comfort them and give them gladness for sorrow." Jeremiah 31:13

A Poem for the Second Sunday of Christmas

O Coastlands

Do you hear the white foamed water pounding
and the stars so bright they crackle and sparkle in the night?

Do you hear the ice breaking on the water
and hearts cooing as arms enfold lost children and broken dreams?

Announce to the downcast neighbors and far-off galaxies
that the old wounds will be bound up and weapons will disappear.

O coastlands, you who warm yourselves in the sunrise first
and are the last to feel the pink and orange of its setting;
do you not see the boat who brings the savior and do you
not hear her bell ringing and see her bouncing on the surf?

We have waited long and suffered much,
hope had been crushed under the weighty anxiety
dreams had been released like sad balloons and
the children have given up waiting on the porch.

O coastlands, tell us that our consolation is arriving
on a boat laden down with old men laughing like children and
wise young woman carrying the promised gifts in their strong arms.

O coastlands, we know that we have lost our horizons
but you live always on the edge of vision and reason
and know more than fleeting hope and silent wind.
You alone swell with the possible near presence
of the God who lives with and for us here and now.

Do you hear the wind picking up the signal
the constant siren of hope and possibility?

Lay down your burden and run,
stand watch on the porch
and walk the widow's walk.
In this time the husband is returning,
the children are coming home
and God is bringing fully loaded ships
to a vanquished and broken people.

O coastlands, tell us the story and ring the bells of freedom!

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