Advent Mirrors I – XIII

Advent Mirror I
“I seek the Holy Babe,
His leading Light for shepherds, sages.
Where must I look to find Him?”
“In the mirror, my child,” an elder said.
“But first, put out all other lamps.
The Babe’s true Light burns blue
in the luminous darkness
of a contrite heart.”

Advent Mirror II
“I seek the Holy Babe,
His leading Light for shepherds, sages.
Where must I look to find Him?”
“In the eyes of your suffering sister,
your broken brother, my child,” an elder said.
“With faces dark as a desert cave,
they seek the leading star.
As they gaze upward, look within
the chambers of their hearts
where lies the Holy Child,
for there is no room in the inn.”

Advent Mirror III
“I seek the Holy Babe,
His leading Light for shepherds, sages.
Where must I look to find Him?”
“In the place where you have fallen, my child,” an elder said.
“The ground is level on the stable’s earth
where wise ones’ gifts are laid
and shepherds see salvation rising
in the star-lit eyes of their brother beasts.”

Advent Mirror IV
“I seek the Holy Babe,
His leading light for shepherds, sages.
Where must I look to find Him?”
“In the manger of the heart, my child,” an elder said,
“where sage and shepherd, beast and babe
must gather to feed on Love’s true food
beneath the star-struck ‘Gloria’
of the Mother’s gaze.”

Advent Mirror V
“I seek the Holy Babe,
His leading light for shepherds, sages.
Where must I look to find Him?”
“In the sacrament of a silent soul, my child,” an elder said,
“a spirit that is weaned and quiet,
leaning on its Mother for repose.
There you will know the Brother Babe,
lit candles of your eyes together glowing
in the ambient atmosphere of Love.”

Advent Mirror VI
“I seek the Holy Babe,
His leading light for shepherds, sages.
Where must I look to find Him?”                                                                                                   “In the moment you are too spent to grasp, my child,” an elder said,
“when the wind has blown hinterland your last hope,
for there the blessed Babe will always be found
in unseen gatherings of the impoverished
who listen for an angel’s song.”

Advent Mirror VII
“I seek the Holy Babe,
His leading light for shepherds, sages.
Where must I look to find Him?”
“In the home that has an empty chair, my child,” an elder said,
“as you labor alone in the echoes of lost years’ laughter.
Sit; be silent. And you may see in the today of your tomorrows
the lively touching of two hands, one young, one old,
passing the Gift to you.”

Advent Mirror VIII
“I seek the Holy Babe,
His leading light for shepherds, sages.
Where must I look to find Him?”
“In the meekness of the saint, my child,” an elder said,
“who, wanting nothing save green pastures and still waters
of the abiding Presence whose face has been seen and known
in sufferings and strivings of their emergent faith,
lay their last burden of gifts and crowns by the hoof prints
at the wooden peg-legged foot of a manger.”

Advent Mirror IX
“I seek the Holy Babe,
His leading light for shepherds, sages.
Where must I look to find Him?”
“In the hungry eyes of the prodigal, my child,” an elder said,
“set in a chasm darkly between deep longings for righteousness
and the swine pen slop of selfish desire.
Look there for the flame of recognition:
Mercy running, bearing the Babe.”

Advent Mirror X
“I seek the Holy Babe,
His leading light for shepherds, sages.
Where must I look to find Him?”
“In the battered and bruised, my child,” an elder said,
“who could choose the lighter load of resentment,
but shoulder the burden of compassion, instead.
When they stop by the river to drink, look to the waters.
The Babe will be found in the solace of a conscience cleared.”

Advent Mirror XI
“I seek the Holy Babe,
His leading light for shepherds, sages.
Where must I look to find Him?”
“In the purity of a clean heart, my child,” an elder said,
“whose pools remain settled in the struggle of letting go
as droplets filter through the stony layers of faith
like tears down a Mother’s face, leaving ripples
in the living water of the Baby’s eyes.”

Advent Mirror XII
“I seek the Holy Babe,
His leading light for shepherds, sages.
Where must I look to find Him?”
“In the ploughs of peace, my child,” an elder said,
“fashioned by poor folk who tend to things of earth
through which they grow our Heavenly food.
Come to the trough, find your place, stretch out a hand.
When you reach in, the Child will grasp your finger.”

Advent Mirror XIII
“I seek the Holy Babe,
His leading light for shepherds, sages.
Where must I look to find Him?”
“In the honest faces of the slandered, my child,” an elder said,
“who have lived the mindless life, and yet have turned now
toward the Love light of a star that always shines
for those who truly see themselves, and weep.
Look there, as they dry their tears
on the swaddling clothes of the Babe.”

DanielPotts2_OPEN-CALL

 

 

 

 

 

Kind and Knowing Eyes

I’m training to become a portrait painter.
To my surprise, this has little to do
with learning brush stroke techniques
and methods of mixing and shading
and much to do with working to see light
in vacant rooms with burned-out candles.

With patience, perception and proper instruction
I’m hoping to create a broad canvas landscape
in which the hues from
every single experience of
every single moment of
every single encounter
with the soul of myself and all else
will take the unfading form of
a Face with kind and knowing eyes.

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