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wise men three2

A Chant Royal

When I was but a sprat of three, a book
of tales was given to me, a bearded guest
his name no one recalls, but oh, that look!
The silver beard, black shiny eyes, a vest
of velvet trimmed with gold; too showy he
to be admitted by our family
for whom restraint and modesty are gifts
beyond all others to be prized. Deep rifts
of war and secrecy have left their scar
across the love that Yuletide should uplift.
Care not, said he. I’ll show you where the gifts are.

I could as yet not read the words. That took
me years. The pictures, though, they were the best!
I listened, watched. His finger never shook
while reading of the Timeless One, behest
of you and me, and of humanity,
engaging mirthfully upon a quest
to show us while our minds are set adrift
that as we think, we see. It is a grift
of true simplicity, a guiding star
by choice to dim or brighten, caught or missed.
Care not, said he. I’ll show you where the gifts are.

Here now inside this stable, take a look.
A manger holds the Timeless One; he rests
while those surrounding him adore. The crook,
a shepherd’s rod, stands propped beside three chests
brought from the East with great solemnity
by men well versed in Space. They’d come to see
the innocence of Time and to assist
in ways sublime. His brow Balthazar kissed;
he poured sweet oil from alabaster jars.
Simplistic minds objectify our gifts.
Care not, said he. I’ll show you where the gifts are.

My friend went on to say, this precious book
was bound and stitched with only the highest
grade of gold by adoring Love to hook
great and eager sprats like you to attest
we all arrive with dazzling purity.
Timeless come to time, a reality
whose fragrance like bold frankincense insists
and occupies, an eddy that resists
the breaking free of thought, a middling star
that only by consent from you exists.
Care not, said he. I’ll show you where the gifts are.

The final of the presents three he took
some time to spell for me. Behold this crest
upon a wave so high. Who’d think your brook
of tiny thoughts could grow this sea? The test
you never had to pass is history,
embalmed in bitter myrrh. No infamy
by your attention will demur. Misfits
of grief, regret, just set them by. The twists
of ever-freshening now, by law, unbar
desires you’d forgotten. Still Heaven-blessed,
care not, said he. I’ll show you where the gifts are.

That first sweet night remains a mystery
yet every year, the guest returns to me
and once again, I am a child. He lifts
me to his lap. I sigh…all worry drifts
to streams of present thought. The ocean far
crests over me in joy through time, no rifts.
Care not, said he. I’ll show you where the gifts are.

~~~

© Elaine Stirling, 2014