This is not a show:

“Adoration of the Magi” tapestry (1890) designed by Edward Burne Jones, woven by William Morris et. al.

This is not a show
Don’t let it fool you
This baby escaped a tyrant’s slaughter
Not a carpet of flowers

Jesus knew hummus before kosher
At Egyptian tables to eat (Rimbaud yawns!)
These wise visitors bore gifts for an exile
Oh glorious! for the King of kings

We beg/steal/borrow tv Santa’s wigs
Play jolly, play Marley’s ghost
Turn engines of Christmas to erupt
Merry, when Jesus was born for sorrow.

Count His bones on the tree, no beauty
This mother will see, only a sword piercing
From cross to myrrh-anointed shroud

An ocean, an ocean of darkness to bear
A birthday for a Man whose death will be the death of Death
Erupt in hallelujah! Turn nuns into acrobats!

This is not a show
Don’t let it fool you
This baby escaped a tyrant’s slaughter
Not spring weather on a tapestry

Design for the “Adoration of the Magi” tapestry, Edward Burne-Jones, 1887

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.
They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet: “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.'”
Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.”
After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was.
When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.
And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.
And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.
Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.”
And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men.
Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah: “A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.”

Matthew 2:1-18

Who has believed what he has heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned–every one–to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people?
And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.
Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

Isaiah 53:1-10
Shay/Fireblossom's "Word Garden Word List #5 (Gregory Corso)"
"What we do here is this: write a poem using at least 3 of the twenty words on the following list. Your poem need not have anything to do with Corso except for the three (or more) words. The list is a springboard."

33 thoughts on “This is not a show:

  1. Dora, I think Jesus came to earth in a human’s form as a living metaphor in how to live right and how to die right. Not all of Jesus’ life was ugly; there was just as much beauty as the rest. I see Jesus as a rebel and a hero who was willing to be his authentic self, no matter what the price. I appreciate your poem. Wishing you Happy Holidays, my friend ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lisa, Your comments are always a breath of fresh air, and I love what you said. There is so much to learn from Jesus’s life, and His authenticity: He was who He said He was after all. I dislike what “Christmas” has become apart from a celebration of His birth. He is what the world needs most.

      Blessings for a wonderful holiday season, my friend. May your heart be full of light and peace! ♥️

      Liked by 2 people

  2. “Play Marley’s ghost” is when we live for material rather than Christ and others. I like your comparison of Merry and Sorrow. We cannot have one without the other. Joy, sorrow, laughter, pain all exist together until the day when Jesus returns gathering His Bride to Himself. So true this is not a show but real life. The Incarnation and the Resurrection cannot happen without the other. Victory cannot be achieved without Christ’s pain, suffering and sorrow first. May our Triune God bring more people to Himself this Advent season. Love, hugs and blessings!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I love Dickens, Mandy, but one thing the Christmas Carol lacks is that sense of Christ being central to the story. It’s almost as if Bob Cratchit and his family are the holy family. We can get lost in the pudding and the goose and the carousel and dolls. I guess it’s the romanticization of Christmas in a secular way that gets my goose! Bah, humbug! Love your comments, my friend. Blessings, hugs and love with a pudding on top!!

      Liked by 3 people

    2. Well said, Dora!!!! A Christmas Carol is man’s altruism and charity in his/her own strength! I completely agree that Cratchit is the holy father and Tiny Tim is the humble, pitied son who defeats the enemy of ego, achievement and entitlement. Only those who call upon the Name of Christ for salvation are those who will be blessed. Oh for more souls to be saved this Christmas!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. fireblossom32

    Ah yes,the spring weather and vivid flowers for white Jesus; no debutante or spring bride could ask for a lovelier setting. But as you say, His life was far from all that– a middle-Eastern man, also Divine, asked to endure a horrific death for the sake of all. That’s beautiful beyond saying, but also gory, horrifying and almost too much to contemplate. Even Jesus Himself asked for the cup to pass Him by, but did what was asked in the end. It’s an astounding story, full of pathos and majesty, but cheapened and sanitized far too often. I saw a tv ad last night where Scrooge awakens to the true meaning of Christmas–buying a Peleton exercise bike. Good Lord.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Christmas in service to a bike commercial among other things is what turns this story of hope and expectation into a faithless mockery. I guess this is why at Christmas (and winter) more than ever I have to dive deep into Scripture. The Psalms as well as the NT. The psalms with all their sorrow and desperation and joy and hope offered up to God. Now that’s poetry. Truth, not platitudes. Hope you have a good Christmas, Shay, full of peace and joy. ♥️

      Liked by 2 people

  4. There are many things to learn from Christ’s story, not least the deep humanity that he tries to call out from a flawed world. You write of him beautifully, Dora, and reveal the false layers built up over his life and works by the artificial, controlling, and greedy he would have spurned in his lifetime, turning him into a meal ticket. This time of year must be truly ugly for someone of faith–it’s ugly to me, just watching the hypocrisy. May we all find a way to the real joy of this season, which has nothing to do with buying exercise bikes.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is such a beautiful poem, Dora. I love this line in particular:

    “A birthday for a Man whose death will be the death of Death” – so good!

    I also enjoyed: “Turn nuns into acrobats!” 😀

    A great take on the prompt words and also a great seasonal read 🙂


    1. From the moment the Son of God entered the world as incarnate Man, the forces of darkness went to work. It’s still like that, especially for those who seek Him past the counterfeit promises of the season. Glad you liked the poem, Jimmy. Thank you. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. He suffered to set us free from Satan’s dominion and now we can rejoice in His peace – peace with God and with our neighbor – by His Spirit! How blessed we are! Hallelujah! Thank you for your thoughtful comments, Richard.

      Liked by 1 person

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