A candle in Advent

The candle is alight,
its solitary flame
licking cavernous darkness.

The candle is a light,
drawing the eyes
like moths to its magnet brightness.

The candle is waving,
its glowing hand
a beckoning beacon
to contemplation.

The candle’s light,
a star-drawn punctuation,
a drawn sword
in the evening shadows.

The candle flame
a bright-light baton
rising like incense
and hands at prayer.


The tree is naked

The tree is naked
except for its branches
arms reaching out
embracing light.
The tree is naked
except for its needles
fingering the air
absorbing light.
The tree is naked,
but, like Adam early in the garden
it doesn’t understand its nakedness.

The tree is dressed;
bright light dangling
in tinselled streams
and gaudy adornment.
We lay trophies at its feet
addressed elsewhere –
‘for Gran’, ‘for Auntie Joan’,
tribute offerings for another year
teetering on its close.

The tree is sacrificed
in the drying of the room
where love is shared
with the trapping,
unwrapping, clapping,
of glee,
or discarded with dismay,
when love has faded
and revealing,
unwrapping, unfeeling,
fails to caress
tender sensibilities.

The tree is abandoned,
its lights and tinsels
packaged and boxed
for unwrapping another year,
and we are naked
for another season.