Advent to Candlemas (Vol. 4)


Distance from hardship leaves us uncomprehending
Less understanding than the truly poor;
Partly the distance between two points expanding,
Further and further from what went before
But partly through distancing from the real,
Preferring the abdication of the sentimental
To the degradation with which we ought to deal.
The poor still cry in broadcast tribulation
While we take refuge in religious art;
We know the skeleton of our divine salvation
But think it can survive without a heart.
What started as wild farce becomes a pageant
With gaudy shepherds facing splendid kings;
No room for ragged plebs and crooked agents
In the aesthetic way of showing things.
We stare through the eye of a needle at the scene
But do not know how hard it is to care;
Intent on understanding what has been
Instead of understanding what is here.
The way to narrow distance is to pray,
To leave room for the Spirit in our hearts,
To greet the unexpected every day
And learn acceptance as each day departs