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National Poetry Day

It's lovely to see people posting their favourite poems on blogs and social media today - a veritable feast for anyone who enjoys poetry.  I'm not sure that I have a favourite, rather there are many that I treasure, as much as anything, for the associations they hold.  Even so, in the general spirit of the day, I'm going to share this, which is one of my favourite Christmas poems, and a short reflection of why it is so...


by U A Fanthorpe

This was the moment when Before
Turned into After, and the future's
Uninvented timekeepers presented arms.
This was the moment when nothing
Happened. Only dull peace
Sprawled boringly over the earth.
This was the moment when even energetic Romans
Could find nothing better to do
Than counting heads in remote provinces.
And this was the moment
When a few farm workers and three
Members of an obscure Persian sect.
Walked haphazard by starlight straight
Into the kingdom of heaven.

I guess part of the reason I love this poem is my own experience of a BC:AD paradigm shift (Before Cancer: After Diagnosis) amidst the mundane ordinariness of life when everyione else just got on with doing what they were doing.  I love it, too, for sense of serendipity as the farm workers and the Persians (three? Probably not!) haphazardly wander into the Kingdom of Heaven... this seems to reflect my own experience that, often, it's not the planned or overtly spiritual times and places where I encounter God, but the unexpected 'hmmm' moments when something resonates, or several ideas coalesce and I glimpse again the mystery of the faith that shapes my life.

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