On this day one year ago, a man who asked me every Sunday for years to give thanks to the Lord, fell asleep. In my life I am sure will hear many people speak these words, but his voice will always be the voice hear. Memory Eternal, Father Deacon Michael.
Look, what has happened there
Time has bent another year.
But to recount the passing days
Would sadly distract our gaze
From the reason we are here.
I will not sing to pass the time
Nor commend these seasons in rhyme.
For what I seek to celebrate
Is much more than passing fate
But the joy of your life in mine.
I swear my words will only sound,
My harp play, or my drum pound,
To share my heart’s one love
God’s gift and my only dove
As the earth turns silent round.
It might surprise how oft your smile
Does fill the room with graceful style.
And against the night outside my door
You labored in prayer, on the floor
Granting me strength to stand my trial.
You may ask how man finds joy
Without falling to cunning ploy,
No other answer have I
But to gaze with tearful eye
On her whom God would I enjoy.
The night is swiftly passing on
and I must ring the bell.
Holiday winds blow sweetly
the words which I now tell.
Come winter, come yuletide,
mid-season’s hearts now swell.
Each year passes labors long
tween our joyous meetings.
But upon the calendar now sits
a time for kinfolk greetings.
We’ll raise our song to drink
and share in bounty’s eatings!
Do not delay my friends
let us know you’re coming.
Let not the children with
the babysitter be slumming.
All are welcome and wanted
only frowns are unbecoming.
My Father’s Grandfather now sings from the grave;
I beg inspiration from your God to intone.
This seed seeks remembrance, the fruit of your tree;
That fell to the soil once sprouted, now grown.
North of Angel City, to the land of the hells;
A willing servant by spirit-wind blown.
Speaking for the broken, beaten in dry lands;
A man stood condemned for what he condoned.
Find a wife, add a daughter, and a son; this seed;
Such great fruit summoned the tree that had sown.
While still a bud, he learned words of power;
Calling forth fish by command from sea-foam.
But the calling had grasped him at his core;
Their divine energy animated his bones.
First in sight of the sea and scrubbed hills;
Then in the great valley he spoke under their domes.
Wife called the blind, saw to his two children;
Loved safe in the castle he carved from the stone.
Kept his good house and looked out for his needs;
So in the stead of the damned he might stand alone.
At him empty men spoke spears of cold fire;
Made outlaw unjustly, homeless he roamed.
“I have come not to seek myself but my brothers;
Grace give to the dead, to the living unknown.”
He said, “Fear not, those weak from this hunger;
For together our feasting and singing atone.”
Famine, envy and spite burst forth to do battle;
Thus knowing his fate, the scars he bid welcome.
By heaven’s good gift, each barb turned a blessing;
A lifetime of cuts carved an old face winsome.
He saw the invisible, heard the voice of the mute;
With each hand clasped made friend the lonesome.
Now this seed speaks the last truth you have given;
And repay the debt by writing this tome.
Father sang Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty;
Ever ringing out, long after God took him home.
By the light which shone upon mount Tabor
That those yet in darkness lost could be found
Of your own will but in obedience
–to the Father; you suffered, crucified
Show us that happy way, that graceful light
Brothers let us attract God without guile
Your glory still enlightens your disciples
–as far as we can bear that vision
We have learned to cast out our sinful eyes
And better blind in the kingdom, we see
For the greatest of the least little child
With a curse to them that keep him from you
That great weight as you bore voluntary
Should be a chain firm ’round their cruel necks
Show us the golden way now uncovered
It is easy for the lowly of heart
We will then become as children so that
We might sit in the midst of all the saints
Even in front of him who is the Christ
The very Radiance of the Father