Thursday, November 7, 2013

John H. Whiting- Three Poems

The Stable and Beyond

What happened in the manger
To the Christ-child stranger
Still tells the story
Of God’s visible glory.
Drenched in Light,
The silent night
Sheltered the child from harm
With a shield of calm.
Mystery conceived early good news.
Ministry offered later clues
That the man walked the earth
From the cradle of his birth.
Had we been there,
Would we be aware
Of perfection in innocent repose,
Of the Divine in infant’s clothes?

Another Carpenter

The man for whom this cross is meant
Is said to be God’s son and sent
To make this world a state of Grace
In which no seed by birth is bent.
His name I know from some near place
Where once I saw a chariot race,
For he was there among the crowd
That came to see the winner’s face.
Sharp hooves I heard within a cloud
When first the drivers shouted loud.
The champion’s horse with waving mane
Went out in front and I was proud.
My skill was what had brought them fame,
And on that day I felt no shame
Because my wheels were slow or lame.
Nor will this cross hurt my good name.

Capri: High and Low

When Tiberius heard the word
About the carpenter’s death,
He launched aspiring enemies like birds
From convenient towering crests
To celebrate death with death.
For this tyrant, breaking bones
And spirits with public zest
Assured a defense against future threats
While addressing current pests.
Now he is known as the Emperor of bones.

Brief Bio:  John H. Whiting retired from SUNY Orange with the rank of professor emeritus(English).  During his academic years, he served on the editorial boards of literary magazines, including The Hart Crane Newsletter and The Visionary Company, and published poetry in journals like Esprit and  Colleague.  A recent poem entitled “Motion Notion” about the Higgs-boson God Particle will appear in Strong Verse.  Mr. Whiting lives with his wife Patricia in Southport, NC where he does library programs on literary and film subjects.  He is a member of St. Peter Evangelical Lutheran Church.

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