Another Christmas

A short collection by Lawrence “Mack in Texas” Hall


Advent – a Gift of Becoming

“The old order changeth, yielding place to new”
-“The Coming of Arthur” and “The Passing of Arthur” in Idylls of the King

There is much to be said for Ordinary Time
Its very ordinariness is kind to us
The daily hours that end with the Vespers chime
Free of formation and pageantry

But Advent comes as part of the dance
Of seasons wheeling through the universe
And we must shift our thoughts back into time
In anticipation of the Nativity

In solitary splendor a wonderful Star
Gives us light for our pilgrimage renewed


Another Christmas Behind the Wire
“I was in prison, and ye came unto me” -St. Matthew 25:36

The hallways of our dormitory echo
God’s holy silence on this Christmas Eve
The only light’s the Star of long ago;
It shines this night for us, whose hearts believe

For we are all now at the Manger met
Before the Altar of eternal Light
Such different personalities, and yet
We share our common faith on this rarest night

We bring our gifts to Mary’s fair-born Child:
A pen, a broom, a book, a welding rod,
A wrench, a mop, some papers neatly filed –
Our daily labors offered up to God

But silence now: offices, hallways, gym –
As silent as the streets of Bethlehem


Decorating for Christmas – “What Can I Do?”

A little girl tugged at my arm and asked
“But what can I do?”
I sent her to Senora Anil because I didn’t know

She came to me again and sadly asked
“But what can I do?”
I sent her to Miz Bev because I didn’t know

She came to me once again and sadly asked
“But what can I do?”
I sent her to Senor Nicho because I didn’t know

Some sturdy young men brought in the Creche
And there the little girl knelt and placed the straw
And then each figure in turn; she talked to them
And cautioned them all to keep Baby Jesus warm

And that’s what a little girl can do


You Were in Bethlehem – Don’t You Remember?

Setting up the family Creche

When you were a little child you knelt before
The Infant Jesus there in Bethlehem
Among the animals you placed your toys:
Barbie and Buzz, and Woody the Cowboy too

Even the Wise Men smiled to hear you sing
To the Holy Family your baby songs
In cold Judaea in the long ago
The Christmas story is true, and you were there

And so forever

You are a Christmas child and kneel before
The Infant Jesus – here in Bethlehem


And the Star Over Bethlehem

“In our world…a star is a huge ball of flaming gas.”
“Even in your world, my son, that is not what a star is but only what it is made of.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

To wish upon a star is good enough
But maybe we should also ask that star
To pray for us. If it is a sentient being
Then it would probably like to be asked

But we should not pray for the star in turn
Because although stars have been known to fall
They have never disobeyed the Creator
And thus in Truth they have never Fallen at all

But all is well:

For even if a star is not a sentient being
God sees to it that prayers are never misplaced


Where Someone Waits for You

A plane’s navigation lights chart our dreams
To Jupiter, Saturn, Venus, and the moon
And farther into the mysterious night
To somewhere far away, where adventures begin

But we are left here in December’s dark
Wondering when there will be a flight for us
When we can flee this joyless land at last
For that elusive happiness long deferred

And maybe someone there is dreaming too
And we down here can happily wonder who


A December Sunflower but No Cigar

While walking in the garden, thinking about things
And wishing I had a cigar, I saw a sunflower
A volunteer, a brave young volunteer
From late summer’s glorious display

Most everything around it was brown and down
Except for a few tiny timid weeds
Some withering blades of tenacious grass
And a few scruffy zinnias along the fence

In January’s frosts it will disappear
But for now, the little sunflower – and we – are here

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