You’d think, in forty-four Decembers’ span
Accumulated gloom would leave its stamp
And render me a melancholy man
In every heart I’ve known, grief makes its camp
It pounds its drum and hisses, “I’m the truth!”
And yet, a wick still burns in hope’s frail lamp
If anyone emerges from her youth
Still cradling that pale light within her chest
What secret keeps her safe from sorrow’s tooth?
The key comes in two parts (so I’d suggest):
Share beauty, love, and justice – bold and free
And notice how, despite your pain, you’re blest
And Christmastime? It’s opportunity
To practice both, to marvelous degree!
Nine months ago, my ignorance expired
Though my despair was only just conceived
A full gestation yet would be required
Before my misery would be relieved
Three-quarters of a year since last I knew
A gleam of hope, or comfort, or self-worth
I guess I’m glad I had no hint or clue
About this woefulness I had to birth
But now I feel the mists begin to clear
Depression’s fist is loosening its grip
Some notes of peace I think I now can hear
Inviting my whole point of view to flip
And what is this I sense with my new head?
The fear that chased me all my life’s now dead
December’s growing gloom creates a thirst
That warmth and love and radiance be born
We slog toward that somber twenty-first
And long for brilliant light on Christmas morn
Within this darkest month, we may forget:
As sunless solstice comes, so too it goes
On shortest day, the calendar’s reset
The shadows aren’t as firm as we suppose
So let’s find in our hearts what light we may
And turn its rays toward our fellow souls
This season, we can’t cast the murk away
But brightness glimmers, filling in dark holes
And take this gift: from darkest Solstice night
To Christmas – half a minute more of light!
Enlightenment, I’m told, is like a bloom;
A lotus-flower opening full wide;
An end to all the passions that consume;
A cleansing of the filthiness inside.
For all these years I’ve waited for that birth.
The appetites that came, I pushed away.
I understood that such things have no worth –
Denied my longings every endless day.
At last in my old age, I know I’m near.
There’s naught within my breast but wish to see
Cessation even of that hope so dear:
Desire’s departure; mere serenity.
And now my eyes are open! All I feel
Is craving ninety lifetimes could not heal!