Advent by

Advent Wreath: After Psalm 88.

My heart is heavy, and the night is dark
The Missa Carolae chanting the praise
The radiance of the Lord, come to break our night.
And though He is here, I do not hear Him
The sluggish friends, the burning pain, the cold in bones
The heart red raw for the hurting
the crippling drug, the inept word, the lonely self
These are close to me
These my company.

I will bow down and the darkness will pass over me
A wave of jet and shining black
And in the still wake, the gasping shock,
The smell of pine,
The red wreath of Advent
And the quiet stars.

John Fox has a PhD in English Literature from the University of Auckland. He has been an academic, worked in family and community restoration, public policy, and children's and youth work. He is the uncle and brother of adopted children, a son, a disabled person with spastic hemiplegia, a human being, and an Anglican deacon. He specialises in good coffee, teaching adults to read, music, and slow food.