May 30, 2011

Two Children, Both Boys

(in keeping with the Visitation)

Saint John was a precocious child; a womb-
borne prophet, quickening as his Lord came by
—Mary bearing Jesus standing nigh—
Leaping up with hardly any room.

Two very different boys: the first was born
just after summer’s sun stopped in the north;
the other, as the sun stood south, borne forth
into a winter world cold and forlorn.

The barn is cold; the animals stand round,
and shepherds kneel, adoring what they’ve found.
There; listen! You can hear it if you try—
the newborn John, his first breath in a cry
—a prophet's cry of joy, and not of fear—
salutes his Lord from half-way round the year.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG


Rick+ said...

Oh, Tobias, thank you for this! Just last night, I signed up for a class this summer from CDSP on the Gospel of John. This poem is a beautiful lead-in! There are no coincidences... or very few.

June Butler said...

Tobias, thanks. Your poem is a refreshing break from daft covenants, primuses, and other distractions which draw us away from the Gospel.

Rick+ said...

Wait... I just realize my comment may have sounded a bit blonde. I certainly understand "John" the Baptist and "John" of the Gospel of John are two different people, even without getting into a discussion of the writing of the Gospel by a Johannine community rather than necessarily the historical person.

After signing up for the class, I had spent some time this morning rereading Ch.1 of John where John the Baptist makes his appearance, and then you publish this wonderful poem, and then... um... well... did I mention I'm blonde?

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG said...

Thank you, Mimi, and Rick. (I did realize you were talking about the class on the other John, but did also think you were thinking of the Prologue and the role of the Baptist in it. And I say that as a blond myself!)