Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Epiphany (Poem)

Gerhard Richter, Candle Kerze, 1982
Oil on Canvas, 100 cm x 100 cm
Museum Frieder Burda, Baden-Baden, Germany 


No land
line connects

me to the higher
power, so I sit,

hands folded,
my thumbs

pressed together
like the closed church

doors, the other
fingers angling

to make a steeple.
I want to rattle

the man dozing
beside me, shake

from him how
he holds fast

in the waiting,
while my candle

burns through
the long winter

nights like that star
beckoning the Wise

Men so soon
to come, armed

with gifts. A cup
I make

of my hands.
The host at last

I take,
then I am.

© 2011 Maureen E. Doallas

 Audio Recording of Epiphany by mdoallas

This poem is my response to Marcus Goodyear's invitation at Books & Culture: A Christian Review to share an epiphany, in the form of a short story or a poem, in a blog post or a public FaceBook post. The title of Marcus's post containing the challenge is "Only Zombies Worship Styrofoam Jesus".

Anyone may respond to the challenge. Post a link to your contribution on the Books & Culture FaceBook wall by December 15. Marcus will read all stories and poems and comment on as many as possible; Books & Culture editor John Wilson will comment on the best entries. In the New Year, during the first week of Epiphany, Books & Culture will feature a poem or story of choice.

Of Related Interest

Meaning and History of Epiphany

Anglicans Online Epiphany Resources

Catholic Encyclopedia Explanation of Epiphany

Gerhard Richter Paintings: Candles 

14 comments: said...

Really great poem. A lot of imagery used. Excellent.

Louise Gallagher said...

This is beautiful Maureen. There is so much serenity and acceptance for me in your words.

thank you.

David Teems said...

My reading differed slightly from your reading. "me to the higher power" I read as an isolated line, and thought of it figuratively with a mathematical distinction (like 10 to the 12th power). Nice image—me to the higher power. Altogether nice. "I take, then I am." Love that. A proper answer to Descartes. Grateful.

Anonymous said...

Ah, I remember. Excellent capture of the details and the feeling. As always, love your phrasing.

Kathleen Overby said...

It is delicious to hear you speak these words. How are you able to keep your elegant composure while passionately frustrated?

Kass said...

Beautiful and honest.

Valerie Kamikubo said...

What a beautiful poem, Maureen. I love the painting that you paired it with, too.

Anonymous said...

i can see the hands...

S. Etole said...

Such a strong visual from childhood days in the hands and adult days in the cupping.

Maude Lynn said...

This is lovely!

Sheila said...

this is heavenly and honestly touched my spirit.

Unknown said...

Powerful ending, Maureen. I simply love Advent.

Kelly Sauer said...

Oh my. This is utterly compelling. This is Advent.

Marcus Goodyear said...

Good work here, Maureen. I especially like the image of praying hands like a church with closed doors--it's nostalgic and a little tragic at the same time.