Seven Days Before Christmas (7) – meditations – December 24, 2015

Haiku Meditation

in the night
a siren passes
this Christmas eve

flashing lights glare
Christmas trees line the streets
and homeless beggars

shops full of goods
credit cards over-drawn
it’s Christmas time

preparations made
news of the world is of war
inside people’s homes

no peace nor goodwill
brighten the world on this day
and death takes its toll

§§§§

Choka Meditation

wonderful ideal
denies dark reality
mankind seeking peace
a seed planted long ago
we are all one race
religion – a link to God
our planet our home

to overcome finite thought
a difficult task
to love who is different
outside our closed minds
takes so much work – so much time
no sweet sentiments
though they give us some hope
will change our cold hearts

illumination
strips off these darkened veils
allows the warm light
to penetrate in our souls
and makes the ideal – our life

§§§§§§§§

Tanka Meditation

sitting in this room
surrounded by light and love
Christmas glows this morn
this splendid ideal of hope
a gift yet unopened

© G.s.k. ‘15

Haibun

The last episode of Carpe Diem Seven Days Before Christmas is “meditation” don’t be afraid.  I’m sure that many know the history of the world, including the creation of our modern Christmas.  Nor can we deny that in humanity’s long history there has ever been a time of true peace, nor are we so blind not to see inequality, poverty created by the rich or fanaticism born of narrow minds.  One could fill volumes of what is wrong with this world and indeed there are people who do just that and become very popular creating movements of hatred and destruction.  Our hearts sing the loudest when we sing for vengeance.  That’s how we are made.

The only hope for true peace is to understand who we are.  We must understand that our hearts are more swayed by hatred and fear than love and hope, because that’s the easiest road;  It was woven into our DNA in a time when we lived in a savanna and our survival depended on fighting to save our lives.  However, in these millennium, humanity itself has changed.  Our creations help many enjoy a life which is carefree and without want and we could extend this to all if we realized that now that instinct for hatred is not only demode, but terribly dangerous to our very survival.

Sweet dreams of sugar plums won’t dance in my head tonight. My dreams are turned towards a vision of one world, one people and one holy thought – peace, with or without belief in a religion.

the path is thorny
the goal just beyond our reach
don’t be afraid – love

© G.s.k. ‘15


Carpe Diem Seven Days Before Christmas 2015 #7 don’t be afraid (meditation)

Seven Days before Christmas (6) – Tanka – December 23, 2015

Credits: ianswalkonthewildside  Celebrating the Wild Side of Yorkshire’s Coast & Country

green with white berries
the druid searches the forest
young people too
for love, peace and magic
a gift of mistletoe

© G.s.k. ‘15

To tell the truth, I never understood why a parasitic plant like mistletoe should be a symbol of love … but I supposed it had to do with its evergreen beauty, so, I did a brief search and this is what I found:

“The tradition of hanging it in the house goes back to the times of the ancient Druids. It is supposed to possess mystical powers which bring good luck to the household and wards off evil spirits. It was also used as a sign of love and friendship in Norse mythology and that’s where the custom of kissing under Mistletoe comes from.

When the first Christians came to Western Europe, some tried to ban the use of Mistletoe as a decoration in Churches, but many still continued to use it! York Minster Church in the UK used to hold a special Mistletoe Service in the winter, where wrong doers in the city of York could come and be pardoned.

The custom of kissing under Mistletoe comes from England. The original custom was that a berry was picked from the sprig of Mistletoe before the person could be kissed and when all the berries had gone, there could be no more kissing!

The name mistletoe comes from two Anglo-Saxon words ‘Mistel’ (which means dung) and ‘tan’ (which means) twig or stick! So you could translate Mistletoe as ‘poo on a stick’!!! Not exactly romantic is it!

Mistletoe was also hung on the old English decoration the Kissing Bough.”

Why Christmas Com (where you can find more information about Christmas traditions.


Carpe Diem Seven Days Before Christmas 2015 #6 mistletoe

Seven Days to Christmas (5) – haiku – December 22, 2015

this silent night
peace reigns under the full moon
here and now

© G.s.k. ‘15

Carpe Diem Seven Days Before Christmas 2015 #5 Peace

scent of Jasmine
sound of a gurgling brook
peace of mind

© Chèvrefeuille

Seven Days of Christmas (4) – Troiku – December 21, 2015

wrapped in red
awaiting to be opened
a message of love

wrapped in red
bound with silver ribbon
his Christmas gift

awaiting to be opened
under the bright tree
a child’s first gift

a message of love
crafted in crayon and framed
more precious than gold

© G.s.k. ‘15

Carpe Diem Seven Days Before Christmas 2015 #4 presents

Seven Days Before Christmas (3) – Choka – December 20, 2015

red, blue and yellow
lights and decorations glow
brightening our hearts
on this longest winter night
with family and friends
toasting the season with cheer

the tree stands prepared
dressed in baubles and tinsel
now here we await
the dawn of Christmas morning
as we sing “Joy to the World”

© G.s.k. ‘15

 

light of the world
reflects in silver and gold
christmas tree clothed

© Chèvrefeuille

Carpe Diem’s Seven Days Before Christmas 2015 #3 decorations

Seven day’s Before Christmas (1) – Haiku – December 19, 2015

Arco, Italy

fresh fallen snow
tiny foot prints in the snow
showing the way

showing the way
under the light of moon beams
a Christmas tree

a Christmas tree
bright with tinsel and baubles
forever green

© G.s.k. ‘15

Carpe Diem Seven Days Before Christmas 2015 #1 fresh snow

fresh fallen snow
creaks beneath my feet –
full snow moon walk

full snow moon walk
through my neighborhood
while snow is falling

that night
I will never forget
full snow moon walk

© Chèvrefeuille

Seven Days Before Christmas (Day 2) – Haiku Distillation – December 19, 2015

this silent night
into the world new hope dawns
in winter’s darkness

© G.s.k. ‘15

  1. Silent night! Holy night!
    All is calm, all is bright,
    Round yon Virgin Mother and Child!
    Holy Infant, so tender and mild,
    Sleep in heavenly peace!
    Sleep in heavenly peace!
  1. Silent night! Holy night!
    Shepherds quake at the sight!
    Glories stream from Heaven afar,
    Heavenly Hosts sing Alleluia!
    Christ, the Savior, is born!
    Christ, the Savior, is born!
  1. Silent night! Holy night!
    Son of God, love’s pure light
    Radiant beams from Thy Holy Face
    With the dawn of redeeming grace,
    Jesus, Lord, at Thy Birth!
    Jesus, Lord, at Thy Birth!

    (tr. John Freeman Young ca. 1859)

Carpe Diem’s Seven Days Before Christmas 2015 #2 Silent Night

“This time I have chosen for the prompt “Silent Night”. I think you will know this classical Christmas Carol and I love to challenge you all to distil haiku from the lyrics of this wonderful Christmas Carol. So you can say this is a special episode of our feature “Carpe Diem Distillation”.”

Chèvrefeuille

silent night
snow falls softly on the graveyard
our Savior is born


© Chèvrefeuille

A Christmas Day in Djibouti – Day One Seven Days Before Christmas – December 19, 2015

Somehow, when it’s 42° C Christmas doesn’t feel quite right. We read the Christmas Carol to the kids and watched Christmas specials on French TV as we decorated the living-room with plastic holly and baubles trying to recreate that special atmosphere.

Packages from America had arrived far in advance and it had been difficult to hide them from the children, but we managed it!  On Christmas eve, me mounted the tiny tree putting the gifts under it on the dining room table and hung two beautifully decorated stockings on the window sill filled with candy canes and other goodies.

The next morning the kids were starry-eyed with awe.  Gift wrapping flew around the room as they ripped open their packages with laughter.  We had our traditional Christmas breakfast and I put a couple of chickens in the oven with dressing for our dinner which we would be sharing with our friends, a French couple with their children and a scholarly gentleman and his wife from Iran. My mincedfruit and pumpkin pies would be a great end to our meal.

There was a moment of silence in all the bustle and I heard that beautiful lilting chant that accompanied us throughout each day we lived in Djibouti.  The muezzin reciting the ahdan or call to prayer … Allah’u’akbar floated into the room. Suddenly it felt very much like Christmas to me as I remembered that He who was born that day, was born in a warm desert land, not in a snow drifted winter wonder land.

God is great
there is only one God
hasten to pray

© G.s.k. ‘15

 It’s probably not “politically correct” to remember that Islam derives from Judaism and Christianity.  Each of the great monotheisms has taken a different path and has its own bright and dark history.  The God of Abraham is also the God of Christ and the God of Mohammed.  I came across an article on CBS Minnesota .. the school choir master has included in the Holiday Concert repertoire a song about Ramadan to be performed in Arabic.  A brave symbol of pluralism in these trouble times.  My first Christmas wish for us is that we will be so brave as to embrace the spirit of peace and love which we profess.

 

 

Carpe Diem Seven Days Before Christmas 2015 #1 fresh snow