Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Finalists for Christmas poem contest

All right, I've finally managed to narrow it down. Not an easy job. Choosing the winner would be even harder, so I'm leaving that to you, my Gentle Readers. We have an earnest, modern verse (though ordered, as you can see, by anaphora--that's the matching beginnings), a satirical poem in a strict meter, a brief "nonce form" poem (that's one that's in a form only used for this specific poem, as opposed to a "received" form like a sonnet or ballade) with a minimalist touch that suggests more, and a triolet--always a favorite with me. All have some original thought, a nice turn of phrase or two, some neat images, and/or a touching moment. So there's no bad choice: just pick your favorite in the poll I've set up on my sidebar. If it doesn't work for you, you can go ahead and post your vote in the comment box. Please vote only once for your top favorite; I think picking your first three choices would be too complicated for Blogger and me to keep up with.

"Upon Hearing the Gloria, December 25th, 12:15 am"
by Ibid

Just needed to clear my head,
Just walked out side for a second,
Just walked down the street,
Just walked for a while, sniffing the air.
I wanted to find a reason for all this,
I wanted to see what it was all about.
I wanted to open my eyes and see all
I wanted from the night.It was a silent night alright,
It was quieter than I've ever seen before.
It was an even quieter church. Strangely,
It was open later than normal.
I wanted to go back and get in bed.
I wanted to know why I was out so late.
I wanted to turn and go home, but
I wanted to go inside.
Just stepped through the door,
Just noticed the stillness of the Church
Just heard the intonation, and then
Just fell in love.

by John

Where is the meaning in bustle and shopping,
Where is the blessing in material greed,
The shoving, the running, the mindless store-hopping,
For all that we want in disdain of our need?

The radio stations play 'seasonal' rock,
With Frosty and Rudolph on loop;
"The big man is coming, so hang up your sock,"
And those awful chipmunks want their hoola-hoop.

Students come home for three weeks of break
Just to slowly watch parents go mad.
The cards and the wrapping, wreath and fruitcake,
And the lights must be "in" with the fad.

The kids sit in the corner with video games,
Glad to be far from their book,
While parents obsessed with tagging and names
Will grace them with nary a look.

The tree must have lights and not lean to the right,
Garland and ribbons will fly!
"I love this whole season, it's merry and bright
(one week more and I think I would die)."

It's the holiday season, and here's your receipt!
Twelve more items to fill your collection.
If there's holly on the door and snow in the street
Then our day will have reached its perfection.

Oh, little do they know of love!
They run so hard while life goes by,
For weeks they crowd and push and shove
While He is born who came to die.

by Maureen

And in that hour
The trees of Eden all burst into flower.

And on that night,
The angel's flaming sword glowed candle-bright.

They miss us there,
Await the homecoming of Adam's heir.

Their blooms won't fade
Till earth and heaven are at last remade.

And on that day,
Through Paradise's walls will come a Way.

by Dr. Thursday

Christmas for us in Christendom has become one thing, and in one sense even a simple thing. But like all the truths of that tradition, it is in another sense a very complex thing. Its unique note is the simultaneous striking of many notes; of humility, of gaiety, of gratitude, of mystical fear, but also of vigilance and of drama. It is not only an occasion for the peacemakers any more than for the merry-makers; it is not only a Hindu peace conference any more than it is only a Scandinavian winter feast. There is something defiant in it also; something that makes the abrupt bells at midnight sound like the great guns of a battle that has just been won.
(GKC The Everlasting Man CW2:312)

The bells ring out at midnight,
Like a battle that's been won!
The Word leaped down to join the fight...
The bells ring out at midnight
The Darkness cannot grasp the Light
And God-the-Word is Mary's son...
The bells ring out at midnight,
Like a battle that's been won!