“Advent”: A Poem

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Advent

We hold on
to our demise–
what things we
hold on to!

Lamp-posts line
cold streets: lightless,
lifeless, leafless poking
about in irrelevance.

Rosy cheeks cross rosy
streets, a subtle blush
sponged upon the winter droll;
everything is fine.

“Say it enough, and it’s
yours if you just believe,”
thumped from a television
set, just another sound.

We hold on
to our demise–
what things we
hold on to!

Many years ago some shepherds were
in a quiet place waiting but they
didn’t know it: angel news
has never been too common.

The ugly earth in naked
unconcern started glowing
with the messengers. Do not
fear didn’t stop the trembling, but

in a pinprick moment
a baby squealed, wrapped in
prophecy and misguided expectations.
Are we held? Despite everything.


I began writing this poem back in the winter of 2014, sitting in a coffee shop on Brookline Avenue in the Boston area. (I’ve tinkered with it here and there and perhaps will tinker with it more.)

I wanted to capture in one poetic space the frailty of our grasp on fleeting things, the emptiness that many experience around the holidays, and the paradox of the real Christmas event in Bethlehem.

This Christmas–in joy or sorrow–I hope we can better reflect on the earth-redefining significance of a seemingly innocuous moment in a small, Middle Eastern village two thousand years ago. I pray that it triumphs over all our silly little trivialities.

22 thoughts on ““Advent”: A Poem

  1. Zach Akeson

    Honestly Caleb, I am a bit disappointed. Going in to this I had low expectations, and even still I am crushed. English is an inferior language. You may not want to hear this but in 30 years everyone will be speaking Mandarin. China is a sleeping dragon, ready to strike. A moral compass does not restrain their politicians as much as our meek politicians are. Embrace the future and abandon such feckless demeanor. Death to the English Language.

    1. Zach Akeson

      Did you not read my comment? English is simply the opposite of cool, unless you consider the beacon signifying the fall of America cool.

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