Tuesday, December 16, 2014

December 16: Snowy Night, Mary Oliver, "Christmas Poem"

It has been a very snowy day in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  After almost a week of 40-degree weather, winter has returned in full force.  I actually had to snow blow when I got home this evening at 9:30.  When I was done, I looked like a cross between a Yeti and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.

Tonight's Christmas poem is compliments of Mary Oliver.

Saint Marty is ready for a long winter's nap.

Christmas Poem

by:  Mary Oliver

Says a country legend told every year:
Go to the barn on Christmas Eve and see
what the creatures do as that long night tips over.
Down on their knees they will go, the fire
of an old memory whistling through their minds!

[So] I went. Wrapped to my eyes against the cold
I creaked back the barn door and peered in.
From town the church bells spilled their midnight music,
and the beasts listened –
yet they lay in their stalls like stone.

Oh the heretics!
Not to remember Bethlehem,
or the star as bright as a sun,
or the child born on a bed of straw!
To know only of the dissolving Now!

Still they drowsed on –
citizens of the pure, the physical world,
they loomed in the dark: powerful
of body, peaceful of mind,
innocent of history.

Brothers! I whispered. It is Christmas!
And you are no heretics, but a miracle,
immaculate still as when you thundered forth
on the morning of creation!
As for Bethlehem, that blazing star

still sailed the dark, but only looked for me.
Caught in its light, listening again to its story,
I curled against some sleepy beast, who nuzzled
my hair as though I were a child, and warmed me
the best it could all night.

You try snow blowing at almost 10 p.m.!

VOTE FOR ME FOR U. P. POET LAUREATE (voting ends December 31):

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1 comment:

  1. Lovely poem. I like your Stay Puft Snow-blowing vibe. My dad lived on the UP. It's pretty there in the summer, but I imagine it's arctic this time of year. Did you get voted UPPL?