PROMPT #134 – SEASON OF LIGHT

Photo by Deanna Marie Metts

Photo by Deanna Marie Metts

In Christian-dominated cultures, Christmas is probably the predominant holiday. Easter is central to the Christian tradition, but Christmas, coming as it does so close to the winter solstice and to other celebrations such as Chanukah (most years) and Kwanzaa, that have some element of celebrating light, probably has the widest appeal. In the United States, certainly, Christmas is as much a secular holiday as a religious one. One reason for its popularity may be the plethora of lights that go up on stores and homes, as if there is some urgent need to counter the dark of December with light, and the promise of the sun returning. It seems that, whatever the inspiration to celebrate at this time of year, there is an element of “home” lurking somewhere; this often is a time for families and friends to gather around the hearth of home, perhaps, again, going back to the idea of light and warmth.

Write a poem about Christmastime. You might want to focus on that holiday or another that occurs at this time of year, or you might want to write about the solstice or the idea of light in the midst of darkness. Or, you might focus on coming home again. Your poem may have a religious basis or not.

MARIE’S OFFERING

Light and Life

Abandoned glory for virgin’s womb.

For his birth, there was no room.

Embraced His fate, though death did loom,

Crucified; then laid in tomb.

Conquered sin and death outright,

My Redeemer won the fight.

Sacrificed for sin’s dark blight;

Light and Life of Silent Night.

©  2009, Marie Elena Good

WILLIAM’S LIGHT

HOLIDAY HOMECOMING

When snowflakes
cover the lakes
and fields with powdered cheer,
and evergreens are full of lights,
matching the brightest starry nights
that I will see all year,
my heart is home,
though I may roam,
with those I hold most dear.

© copyright 2013, William Preston

WALT’S BLINKING BRILLIANCE:

CHRISTMAS LIGHTS

Blinking, twinkling.
Red, yellow, blue.
Green and white,
all night, bright.
Beacons of light
in a mid-December
snowfall. Offering
a brilliance not seen
since early fall.
Silently accenting
vignettes of serenity. 
A Christmas amenity
strung and hung,
eclectic and electric.
Blinking, twinkling.
Red, yellow, blue.
Green and white,
all night, bright.
Christmas lights.

© copyright 2012, Walter J Wojtanik

188 thoughts on “PROMPT #134 – SEASON OF LIGHT

  1. Star Over Bethlehem

    Light,
    Piercing through
    Darkness and despair,
    A star, bright in the heavens
    To show the way to God’s love,
    Manifested in
    A newborn
    Babe.

    © Copyright Erin Kay Hope – 2013

  2. THE GIFTING TIME

    When Christmastime once more comes passing by
    and lights gleam forth from each and every street,
    grace seems to rule the very air and sky.
    The music smiles with each and every beat

    and lights gleam forth from each and every street
    as carols now are sung so merrily;
    the music smiles with each and every beat
    while gifts are strewn around the fragrant tree.

    As carols now are sung so merrily,
    once more are told the stories ever true
    while gifts are strewn around the fragrant tree;
    the greatest gift is friendship, ever new.

    Once more are told the stories, ever true;
    grace seems to rule the very air and sky;
    the greatest gift is friendship, ever new,
    when Christmastime once more comes passing by.

    copyright 2013, William Preston

  3. THE GIFT OF THE L.E.D.S

    On this deepest and darkest of nights
    that might send my old ghosts to new heights,
    the bright dots in the trees
    seem determined to please
    and release all my fears to the lights.

    copyright 2013, William Preston

  4. BRIGHT EPIPHANY

    The Christmas lights
    have turned the solstice into day;
    the Christmas lights
    have made of the darkest of nights
    a time to be gleeful and gay,
    as though God wanted to display
    the Christmas lights.

    copyright 2013, William Preston

  5. Unpreferable Christmas Lights

    Piercing thick skin of dark night
    Sizzling beacons bouncing red
    Humming hues slice shimmering blue
    Flashing brilliance turn passing heads.

    Christmas lights display the season
    Gifting tickets for undesirable reasons.

    Santa with a badge, unpreferable lights: births a carol in silent night,
    With handcuffs, donuts and Miranda rights.

  6. The Light of the World

    The light incarnate in Christ
    Was embodied for all to see
    A walking testament of divine reality
    He shed his soul dying he set free
    That all might obtain reality
    He rose again proclaiming victory
    Over sin, the grave, sting of death’s penalty

    He lives as Spirit now within me
    A blessed witness of obtained reality
    The light of Christ now sets me free
    From sin and death this life’s misery
    The light of life causes darkness to flee
    Yet illumines, permeates, still filling me

    The Church a walking embodiment of light corporately
    Golden lampstand for every eye to see
    Dispersing ages of darkness by it’s reality
    Night will be no more for this my earnest plea
    Arrival of wedding feast his bride standing in beauty

    When that day arrives there’ll be no more sea
    No night, no tear but expressed reality
    A manifested light for all to see
    the holy city vibrant for all eternity
    This our blessed hope and resplendent destiny.

  7. LIGHT OF THE WORLD

    Oh, the shepherds on the hillside
    Heed the angel of the Lord
    And they lead their grazing sheep
    To the manger where He sleeps.

    And the wise men on their camels
    See the star bright in the sky
    And they bear the desert heat
    To find the Baby fast asleep.

    Then proud Joseph in the stable
    Covers Jesus with a blanket
    From his chin down to His feet
    As the infant sighs in sleep.

    Oh, and Mary, God’s sweet mother.
    See the teardrops on her cheek
    For the son she cannot keep?
    But on this morn she will not weep.

    #

  8. a babe

    a babe, they said —
    born of woman, but not
    of man —
    would rule the world,
    a king of kings,
    righteous, wise and just.

    a child, they said,
    shall teach them and show
    the way,
    wise beyond his years,
    instructing scholars
    and giving true knowledge.

    a man, they said,
    will be created to suffer,
    and die,
    hands and feet pierced
    by his enemies
    to bear the price of our inequity.

    a Lord, it is written,
    will be a savior
    for us all,
    babe, child, man, God,
    born to die,
    so that we may live.

  9. Marie and Walt, as always, it is so good to see your work up top. This time the pieces bookend the season, in my view, offering a superb tribute to the solemnity of the holiday in one poem, and the festiveness of it in the other, especially with the colored fonts. (How’d’ja do dat?). Merry Christmas to you both, and I hope you are feeling better, Marie.

  10. Here’s one of my favorites from 2006:

    ‘Twas the Night……..

    ‘Twas the night before Christmas, and I could hardly remember
    The blur of the season that started in September
    When on shelves there appeared for girls and for boys
    The new lines of play things and high-tech toys

    So early it seemed to display these temptations
    We had barely paid off our summer vacation
    But there they all were, all boldly displayed
    In the minds of the kids, an impression was made

    An impression that just never seemed to go away
    As they reminded me of wishes at least twice a day
    Of course, there were more days and much more to see
    So their wishes changed often, and that was fine with me

    Because I already knew what I’d get for each one
    So I let them wish on, that was part of the fun
    By the time Christmas came, they’d forget what was there
    On the shelves in September, they wouldn’t even care

    But for now they were all tucked snugly in bed
    With visions of tech toys playing in their heads
    And mama and I were so frantically wrapping
    The last minute gifts I’d found today shopping

    You see, in the paper was a sale at the mall
    Some things we’d forgotten to buy for them all
    So I in my Cherokee headed off on the fly
    At five in the morning, more presents to buy

    The mall was just twenty quick minutes away
    That is, on a normal, non-holiday day
    This trip took a little bit longer, however
    It felt like my arrival time was closer to never

    But finally I made it and found a parking spot
    Then a half-hour-stroll through this big parking lot
    Just to find that the line was another mile out
    Should I even be here? I started to doubt

    Too late, as it was, I was standing in line
    And I wondered just what on the inside I’d find
    Would the items I’d seen in the paper be there?
    If not, the disappointment could be too much to bear

    Still I waited, ne’retheless, as they opened the doors
    And we all hurried in, running from store to store
    With excitement I hunted for bargains to purchase
    With plastic in hand, the frenzy was in progress

    I bumped into people and grabbed what I could
    I knew if I didn’t, someone else would
    It was fun and exciting, and sometimes quite rough
    But I had to complete my last list of stuff

    After five crazy hours it all came to an end
    My list was complete, no more would I spend
    My mission was over, to the house I would go
    And all of my treasure to my wife I’d show

    And I did, and that brings us back to the house
    I was madly wrapping with my loving spouse
    The last-minute presents I’d found at the mall
    No one was forgotten, no, no one at all

    So we wrapped and we wrapped on into the night
    Our room was a mess, our bed out of sight
    For ribbons and paper and bows filled our room
    The presents our children would have very soon

    But first we must get the presents under the tree
    Without waking the children, not so easy, you see
    Mama loaded my arms, down the hall I started
    This load and three more, and all would be carted

    But as I walked t’ward the tree, I saw a strange sight
    A fat man in red with a beard of pure white
    Disappeared ‘round the corner having finished his chore
    Down the hallway he went, and straight out the door

    So I dropped all the presents and after him I ran
    Who was this white-bearded, red-dressed fat old man
    I chased him outside and around to the back
    And froze when I saw the red sleigh and big sack

    With eight reindeer waiting for their boss to return
    As he neared them, he looked right and made a quick turn
    Over to my Nativity shining bright as could be
    Old Santa walked up to it and sank to his knees

    And he said a little prayer that nobody could hear
    Got up and returned to his waiting reindeer
    With a smile on his face he waved me good-bye
    Then the reindeer pulled Santa up into the sky

    The sleigh took a turn and came straight back at me
    Old Santa was laughing as loud as could be
    And I heard him exclaim as he drove out of sight
    “He’s the reason for the season, Merry Christmas, good night.”

    © 2006 Earl Parsons

  11. Inside Out

    A tale resides in Rabbinic lore
    of ages that have gone before,

    of the windows in the Temple’s walls,
    and to this day the message calls.

    When building windows it’s the norm
    with a basic logic to conform.

    The progression inward opens wide
    to bring the light of day inside.

    But the Temple windows reversed the mien
    allowing the inner light to stream

    from deep within to far and wide
    to all those searching for a guide.

    And though the Temple no longer stands
    the message still speaks to our task at hand.

    If we each release our inner light
    we can help set this troubled world aright.

    Ellen Evans 12.22.13
    write a “season of light” poem for PB

  12. Everyone is very , very busy readying for the holidays I see! Thanks so much to all who came to share a bit of this special time together. We’ll catch you as the week wears on. In the meantime, Merry Christmas and hugs to all of you!

  13. Pingback: Soul’s Solstice | echoes from the silence

  14. I TOOK A WALK ON CHRISTMAS EVE
    (melody: “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”)

    I took a walk on Christmas Eve,
    remembering when I could believe
    in dreams of toys
    and streams of joys
    and reindeer bringing Santa Claus.

    The stars above and lights below
    had gathered for their yearly show.
    It seemed to me
    quite right to be
    a night without a Santa Claus,

    but then I saw, across the street,
    a bearish man with booted feet
    who danced along
    while chanting song
    and looked a bit like Santa Claus,

    except his face was smooth and black;
    except his shoulder held no sack.
    Around him flew
    the children who
    were waiting for old Santa Claus.

    He laughed with them and all the while
    they gloried in his gleaming smile,
    then passed from sight
    into the night
    with trailing cries of “Santa Claus!”

    The lights, it seemed, were brighter then;
    I was reminded once again:
    love is not done
    so long as one
    is left to nurture Santa’s cause.

    copyright 2013, William Preston

  15. PRECAUTION

    When Father Christmas comes to call,
    I’d best have cookies in the hall
    to satisfy the gent’s sweet tooth
    so he will smile and bless us all,

    but if I should forget, forsooth,
    the old man will be sad, in truth,
    and will go wandering on his way
    wondering what has come of youth

    and then, I fear, on Boxing Day,
    aught but air will come my way.
    When Father Christmas comes to call,
    best place the sweets, or face dismay.

  16. Rival of Autumn

    Rival of autumn
    Skillfully adorned tree limbs
    Nourish with color

    The evergreen spree
    Meek in appearance brightens
    Every shadow

    December’s rainbow
    Spruces up the dark landscape
    With cheerful buoyance

    Fruitful boughs offer
    Comforting light to behold
    Evergreen beauty

  17. HOMECOMING

    We, the shepherds, we, the kings
    We, divine and earthly things
    We have come a long long way
    We have found our home today
    Here, amidst the dark of night
    Here, beneath the simple light
    Here, beside the helpless child
    In his palm and mercy mild

  18. Wonderland

    I remember standing on tiptoe
    looking into the big plate window
    of Glosser Brothers store—
    to a magical Christmas wonderland.

    Miniature Christmas scenes:
    Santa and workshop, busy shoppers,
    old fashioned cars and street lamps.
    All with moving parts.

    And then inside—
    the giant dolls I knew I’d never get.
    Riding an elevator, floor to floor—
    each a world unto themselves.

    Then the flood came.
    And the Richland Mall.
    Then the Galleria.
    Johnstown isn’t the same.

    The magical place, only foggy memories.
    Lets make magical moments
    for our children and grandchildren.
    even if they’re only temporary.

    But at the same time
    point to the eternal, to a place
    that makes Glosser Brothers
    seem drab and dreary.

  19. Lovely blooms. Marie, your last line rings out an eternal undeniable truth.
    William, your cheerful longing has a contentment to it, that seems to be resting on the comforts of the season. And Walt, perfectly strung words for the colors of Christmas, light plugged into delight.

  20. Sometimes a comment morphs into a poem, so I have to back up and finish it to post it as my offering. Here’s mine for the prompt:

    Light on the Manger

    Two crosses hold the hay-filled
    wooden manger held by nails.
    A star from high above pierces
    the dark the Word foretells.

    Inside a weary mother’s heart,
    behind the father’s brow,
    lie questions they must ask:
    their God.

    “Why us?
    Why, God?
    Why now?”

    “Could not this light pass over
    all the fear this joy may bring?”
    “Could we not live but simply,
    and not bear a baby King?”

    But then a stream of starlight
    cast beside a broken beam,
    illuminates the face
    of God.

    They pray,
    they hope,
    they dream.

    © Damon Dean, 2013

  21. These are some haikus I wrote for the WWP site. They are untitles but all about light & darkness.

    Our front porch light-beam
    has captured a triangle
    of fluttering moths.

    The power has left us
    We have returned to the time
    When darkness ruled the night.

    All the dark shadows
    Open their mouths and
    swallow our flashlights’ beams

    When we close our eyes
    in the dark night, our dreams
    are filled with sun light.

  22. Christmas Decorations Made Easy:
    Decking and Undecking

    I bought for us an eight-foot pull-up tree,
    pre-lit and decorated top to toe,
    a center pole and then a stand below;
    it’s like a hoop-skirt tent. Wish you could see!

    I added crystal ornaments for fun,
    fluffed up its bows and plugged it in. Ta-dahh!
    Ten minutes, start to finish, Fa-la-la.
    Serve up the egg nog. Toast. The tree is done.

    The garlands and the knick-knacks, candles, lights,
    the bowls of sweets, Nativities, and wreathes,
    the spice of Christmas stirs when a child breathes;
    the stockings, Santas, all are joyful sights–

    and only took an hour to deck the hall!
    (It can be boxed and down in minutes, y’all!)

  23. God Rest Ye, Merry Musicians

    Each year the list grows longer
    as musicians gather ‘round
    to pick the songs for Christmas Eve
    to greet Jesu with sound.

    Each of us needs to hear a few
    repeated year on year;
    each brings a voice or instrument
    and plays it soaring, clear.

    Flute, violin, guitar, and bass,
    piano, trumpet, dulcimers
    make music beautiful to hear;
    the harmonies are fulsome-r.

    Gesu Bambino, Still, Still, Still,
    Ave Maria, O Holy Night,
    What Child is This, so many more,
    Which carols lift you to the light?.

    The goal is always just the same—
    to draw hearts to a quiet place
    where kindness kneels in worship
    with humility and grace.

    We want the worshippers to rest,
    holding faith like a candle’s beam,
    imagining a baby’s power
    to change the ways we dream.

    Maybe a few will feel a tug
    of something powerful as love
    and help someone, offer a hug,
    live out the peace they’re dreaming of.

    We cannot know how we’re received.
    We just perform, let music rise.
    It fills us up and spills down from
    our instruments, voices, and eyes.

    We practice ‘til we break our hearts;
    we laugh and sing and play,
    musicians in a tiny church
    to welcome Christmas Day.

  24. I Remember the Children…

    I remember the spark’ling tree,
    Stockings hanging from the chimney,
    Cards and drawings decorating
    All the wall space and the ceiling.
    I remember how their eyes shined
    And how they laughed and grinned and tried
    To count the little glitt’ring lights
    And be the one to get it right.
    I remember how their pale cheeks
    Grew rosy as they colored streaks
    Of red and white and pink and blue,
    Adding their art to the wall too.
    I remember their families
    Watching them with bittersweet tears
    Pricking their eyes and the smiles
    That only lasted a short while.
    I remember the hats they wore
    To cover the signs they bore
    Of chemo, which had killed their hair
    And left their little heads so bare.
    I remember their tired faces,
    For a moment without traces
    Of tears or pain or fear or grief:
    Beneath that tree they’d found relief.

    © Copyright Erin Kay Hope – 2013

  25. GLORIOUS MOON

    Shared glamour
    Moon and Sun

    Moon acquires boundless glory
    But of itself it has none

    Lesser light bearer
    Conducts the nightly assembly

    Rules rightly in meekness
    Flowing soft moonbeams

    Bedtime bandits keen
    To creep-n-crawl and teem

    Mellow midnight creatures
    Find comfort in timid light

    Rambling around proudly
    In the day we call night

    SPORTING SUN

    A thousand rays
    In hot pursuit

    Stallions dashing mad
    Have begun their route

    Competing for earth
    At the speed of light

    Contesting to be first
    With all their might

    Expediently to disperse
    The gift of light

    TIL DEATH DO THEY PART

    Jigging sparrow builds
    His home amidst golden reams
    Makes his bed in shadow blankets

    Sunset begets the night
    Daybreak will stand soon

    The earnest might of the Sun
    Powers splendid bloom

    Dawn surely crowns the day
    Yet earth retires in the
    Sleek light of moon

    The day alway begins and
    Yet returns the night

    The moon and Sun
    In tandem
    Til’ death do they part

  26. To all of our poetic family, enjoy a happy and safe holiday!

    Grace for the Holiday Table

    From many different hither-yons
    we sit a family blended.
    All beliefs bear equal weight
    so none will feel offended.

    Each one of us has inner light.
    It’s been there all the while.
    And the door to access it
    is just a simple smile.

    And so we turn to one another
    to give and get a blessing.
    But that must be enough for now—
    my hunger, it is pressing!

    Ellen Evans 12.24.13

  27. Pingback: MERRY CHRISTMAS, ALL | POETIC BLOOMINGS

  28. Pingback: I’m Led Home | The Chalk Hills Journal

  29. NORTHERN LIGHT

    Above,
    the Northern Cross
    parades across the sky,
    to stand erect at Christmastime
    and wait.

    copyright 2013, William Preston

  30. Stop

    and take deep breaths
    that nap in the air
    aroma of gingerbread
    and evergreen

    That’s Christmas

    and stay quiet
    long enough
    to hear bells,
    and laughter,
    and music

    that cold nip
    in the air,
    the frost turning
    each blade of grass
    to white

    the stars
    burning holes
    in the coal black sky

    That’s Christmas too

    breathe in
    and out
    releasing the worry
    (Did I give enough?)
    the guilt
    (Why was I late again?)
    the envy
    (It could have been mine.)

    Count the gifts
    that came
    without receipts—
    the love,
    the calls,
    the cookies baked
    by the children
    across the street
    (with just a little help).

    Say thank you
    again
    and
    again
    and again.

    It’s Christmas.

    (Nancy P.)

  31. (My ‘Season of Light’ poem)

    “The Christmas Gift”

    Your steps quicken
    as memories awaken
    as you journey home
    as you hurry home
    remembering the lighting of that face!
    There’s no sweeter place
    no finer gift
    glowing

    than your child’s
    shining eyes.

  32. Pingback: A Page In Time | echoes from the silence

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