Sunday, December 20, 2009

Bethlehem Is Waiting

Hollow breezes blow beyond the sleeping ear
Quiet blizzards bury up the year
Sinners marching for salvation now stand still
Stranded in a city on a hill

Gilded trees and roasting fires and merry song
Wishful things to speed the night along
Travelers wear the way to their ancestral home
Longing to remain, resigned to roam

No more reminiscing for the old time gone
See, I do a new thing in the old time
Bethlehem is waiting where a child leaps for me
Bethlehem is waiting, young mother

Touches, scents and flavors, warm undimming light
Joys you kissed and lifted into flight
I am under every word you strain to say
Praying for another yesterday

I'll reveal a story from the new time found
Uneffacing glory in the new time
Bethlehem is waiting in a memory of me
Bethlehem is waiting, dear mother.


Anonymous said...

This poem seemed a bit forced, given the season we are entering. Write when you feel the inspiration, not because you feel you need to write. The best was your post-Thanksgiving poems. Looking back on those are joyful.

Anthony Zuba said...

There is an inspiration for this one, I assure you. A few days ago I read a friend's blog, and she wrote about the desire to remember joys and not only the painful things in life. Her reflections fed me; I digested them, and this song represents what I absorbed.

Inspiration does not always guarantee a satisfying artistic realization. The words are forced, as you correctly point out. They did not come easily. The language is heavy, the images dense, the symbols deep. Even the Spirit struggles to express herself sometimes (Romans 8:28).

Much of the art is lost when you only read the words. I wish you could hear the song. The tension built up in the three verses is released in the two choruses ("Bethlehem is waiting"). The fourth stanza (third verse) is the fulcrum of this song.

Anonymous said...

I am sure you have provided joy to her. Why not meet up with her during this season. That is part of what Christmas is about, togetherness.

Anthony Zuba said...

I already asked her weeks ago. She's in West Texas for I don't know how long. In her case, our togetherness is one of mutual admiration and support from afar -- kind of like the two of us. I sense that is how she prefers it.

Anonymous said...

As do I
As you know

Anthony Zuba said...

I know. But in your case, evidently, something is preventing you from meeting up.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the answer rests in your name. Do you know the biblical significance / meaning of your name Azubah?

Anthony Zuba said...

I feel like I just went down the rabbit hole.

Perhaps I should rename the blog Desolation Row.

For the record, my surname is Polish -- it is of Slavic origin and means "tooth." Any resemblance to a feminine name in biblical Hebrew is purely coincidental.