The Maji and the moon

Tess Ashton

23 December 2016


you can buy frankincense and myrrh
at health shops
mix them in a potion
with cypress and geranium
it’s a wrinkle fix
with a twinkle of bethlehem

i’ll make the skin concoction
be amazing if it worked
keener still to sample
the very oils
given to Him

walking fast
back from the hospital
a visit to my dad
caught a rush of angels
round a fragrant starry tree
I thought of the magi
on bended knee

tonight there’s a moon
with advent appeal
it has a
wondrous roundness
and a pale golden feel

the magi brought their kingly gifts
by the guiding star
it steered their dusty caravan
to little outstretched arms

but was it the desert moon
cast light
on the heavenly child?
a halo dropped like a tear
that waning lunar night

for herod’s gaze had set
toward the bethlehem sky
he slaughtered sons like Jesus
infants without guile

if i were a magi
with a call to follow a star
to wander hills and valleys
coming from afar
my heart would be rejoicing
through the Star of David nights
the prospect of the baby
in pale moonlight

‘I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near; a star shall come out of Jacob; a scepter shall rise out of Israel, and batter the brow of Moab, and destroy all the sons of tumult.’ (Numbers 24:17)

Tess Ashton©

Image the (DMCA 1998: WIPO)

Tess is a spiritual director who also helps unemployed South Aucklanders find jobs. She trained as a journalist and has developed a special interest in the sacramental nature of poetic language. She is a regular contributor to our Moments page.