Posts tagged ‘education for justice’
I love this poem by T.S. Elliot, and so I quote it in its entirety, even though it is a bit lengthy. This is the last of the poems from the Education of Justice website. I do hope you have enjoyed them!
The Journey of the Magiby T.S. ElliotA cold coming we had of it,Just the worst time of the yearFor the journey, and such a long journey:The ways deep and the weather sharp,The very dead of winter.’And the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory,Lying down in the melting snow.There were times we regrettedThe summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,And the silken girls bringing sherbet.Then the camel men cursing and grumblingAnd running away, and wanting their liquor and women,And the night-fires going out, and the lack of shelters,And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendlyAnd the villages dirty and charging high prices:A hard time we had of it.At the end we preferred to travel all night,Sleeping in snatches,With the voices singing in our ears, sayingThat this was all folly.Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley,Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation;With a running stream and a water-mill beating the darkness,And three trees on the low sky,And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,And feet kicking the empty wine-skins,But there was no information, and so we continuedAnd arrived at evening, not a moment too soonFinding the place; it was (you may say) satisfactory.All this was a long time ago, I remember,And I would do it again, but set downThis set downThis: were we led all that way forBirth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly,We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death,But had thought they were different; this Birth wasHard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,With an alien people clutching their gods.I should be glad of another death.Source:Collected Poems 1909-1962, T.S. Elliot. London: Faber & Faber Ltd., 1974
A Story of Some Truly Wise MenBy Christine RodgersThese threerulersrestlessin their own heartspacingwithinthe narrowparametersof their kingdoms,sawsimultaneouslythe mightyunblinkingstarthat wouldlead themallto their greatest challenge.They hurriedthen —from eachof their sovereign corners,and found themselvestogetherin the doorwayof a stable
gazing uponan infantonly a few days oldas they bentin adorationwith those already gathered.There was no other choice –the majestyof the worldwas before them.
BirthingBy Mark UnbehagenHow does one birth peace. . .in a world that seems to prefer the profits of war?How can one birth hope. . .in a time when devastation is born of poverty and pandemic?How does one birth love. . .in a world whose heart is captive to fear?How can one birth joy. . .How can one birth joy?The plastic manger scene on the front lawnjust doesn’t do it!Birthing is so much more!It is, and requires. . .radical intimacy,prolonged patience,the coming together of pain and ecstasy,the joining of our deepest hopes and fears.Face it,birthing is a messy business.And yet this process occurs every moment of our lives:as our bodies birth cell upon cell,as our minds birth ideas and dreams into the world,as our spirits birth. . .in the midst of labor and pain. . .
as our spirits birth.. JOY
From the Education for Justice website.
The Ledge of Lightby Jessica PowersI have climbed up out of a narrow darknesson to a ledge of light.I am of God; I was not made for night.Here there is room to lift my arms and sing.Oh, God is vast! With Him all space can cometo hole or corner or cubiculum.Though once I prayed, “O closed Hand holding me…”I know Love, not a vise. I see aright,set free in morning on this ledge of light.Yet not all truth I see. Since I am notyet one of God’s partakers,I visualize Him now: a thousand acres.God is a thousand acres to me nowof high sweet-smelling April and the flowof windy light across a wide plateau.Ah, but when love grows unitive I knowjoy will upsoar, my heart sing, far more free,
having come home to God’s infinity.
Source: “The Ledge of Light” from The Selected Poetry of Jessica Powers, edited by Regina Siegfried and Robert F. Morneau. Kansas City, MO: Sheed & Ward, 1989. Found on the Education for Justice website.
Presenceby Stephen LeakeAcross the dark, a robin learns the Winter.A candle dissolves; frank and sensuousAgainst the extending light.The streets remain illegible with snow.I travel through you; uncurlingWhere weather decorates the nightAnd naves of Christmas pinesGrasp human shadows.Alone I go, echoing carolsIn powdered places. Echoes that are glorified.Prolonged.Until I find you on the benchPressed with our pasts.A child again. Tricked and traced byMemory’s gift. Lasting. Imprinted.A proof of the year’s new world.
May Christmas Comeby Alan JonesThe rough beast slouchingtoward Bethlehem,still waits to come to term.Christmas comes and goesas we expect.Nothing changes.This year in New York, Jerusalemand Kabul,the Innocents are slaughteredaccording to Herod’s schedule.His rage, unchecked,still does its work.Yet this yearthings could be different.September 11th adds urgencyto thebirth,making this the time of choosing.The choice is oursto miss the point orsee Mary and her childin every mother and her baby,and adore, absorbingthe rage and terrorand with a loving heartrebuild the world,making peace our gift.May Christmas come.
The Christmas TapestryBy Michael Hare DukeThe humdrum duties of the land,feeding the beasts, mucking out the strawprovide the dull hessian backgroundof the Christmas scene.Suddenly the tapestry is litby glory’s goldand smirched by red threads of violence.First the angel songcaroling the Word made flesh,then the murderous fire of Herod’s fear
slaying the InnocentsIs conflict part of the perennial patternof our response to Love’s story?Colonial might, conversionproceeding from the barrel of a gunbetray the gracious Christ;the fear of might and moneybreed Terror.Innocents of Palestine,Arab and Jewbleed from the bombs and gunsthat violence deploys;the flash of gunfirerapes the night’s tranquility over Baghdad;the mothers of Breslan weep for their childrenand will not be comforted.Meanwhile there’s far within;as each of us grows oldblack crows of death and diseasedarken our days.Come Love anewlet the angels’ songcounterpoint our tearsand lace the clouds with glory.Give us an unambiguous blessingby the Birthto paint a rainbowabove our hearts’ distress.With love and prayers for Light to overcomethe current darkness, political, ecclesiastical and personal.