A Christmas Poem


One hundred years ago, on an early Christmas morn
The era of instancy was in this way born
the first radio signal was heard, a solo violin
a new medium to relay and send our human signs.

Across the cold north sea a few travellers
heard “O Holy Night” pipe from the cosmic ether
a hymn and a reading to offer some solace and hope
A sweet sound from a distant record player.

The message was static: an AM radio wave:
the fuzzy monochromatic scratchy kind,
But within the white noise our aloneness was staved
by a calm voice that was sweet and mild.

But our own age is marked
by the cacophanous sounds,
of attention-seeking homonoculi
seeking to make our minds bound;

We send many messages, a metallic chatter,
about diets and podcasts, cancer and stars
myspace and lonelygirl, eight cylinder cars
But does Kevin Federline’s album really matter?

When we send these signals into the future,
or to some alien planet with life like our own,
will they wonder about Nicole Richie or Orlando Bloom,
Inquire about about America’s next top model.

Or If someone was listening
to our conversations across the spectrum,
They’d think the devil or savior was Lindsey Lohan,
George Bush, or Osama Bin Laden.

They’d hear the reports of suffering and pain,
the victims cry, of disasters, tsunamis and hurricanes,
about sex and starvation, weight loss and worry
think we are drunk, or alone, and that war is far too easy

But there is a radio signal,
a living song for us to hear
a promise sent from ages past,
a whisper that says “don’t fear.

“There are no ghosts or monsters,
No powers that can chain,
rob your hope and freedom,
even your destiny has been renamed.”

By a single sound of hope,
an aural beacon within the noise;
that would burn and char our despair
transform our emptiness into joy.

So within that static and confusion
that penetrates our ears
This message through the ages
is passed from year to year

That for believers, the sinners and the true
all things are possible, all necessary things, for me and you;

Within the darkest nights of the heart,
the hidden valleys of the soul,
a light in the corner of the world,
gets lit to make our hearts full.

It says, you don’t need Paris Hilton,
to occupy and distract your mind;
or the toys we buy and break,
to waste away the time;

If we faced our fears and depths,
the losses and wins we’ve forgotten
we’d find our bodies strengthen,
with this radio signal from before;

A radio message, a beacon, that has gone through all time
which we trace to a signal way back to Palestine:
A voice in the wilderness, saying “the lived life – your life – is dear
though your world might be ending; be still; never fear

The tribes of the world will sing his holy name,
of faith, hope and love, and liberty from shame.
With his birth, his flesh and his blood, our Lord’s break into time,
a history that makes all history, enchanted and sublime.

But I am still sorting through the din
and static of the world,
its promises and luxuries,
its temptations perpetually unfurled.

The song of the story,
returns me to this ground
to make me humble and generous,
though I still like to party around town.

White Plains, that is.

It says, I am loved, and therefore I am,
He came, and now I am free.
There is a future though it is dim,
but the light is just enough so that I will see.

That my spirit and body, weak and frail,
will be strong and right.
With the sound of sacred comfort
that now pierces through this night.