EPIPHANY … (REMEMBERING ELIOT’S MAGI)

T.S. Eliot wrote his 43-line poem “Journey of the Magi” in 1927.
(see – https://allpoetry.com/The-Journey-Of-The-Magi)
Eliot’s dramatic monologue has been a favourite poem of mine for a long time.
This piece is my (not so great) tribute to his (great) poem – I could manage only 30 lines of third person writing.
Epiphany is celebrated on January 6th this year (2020)

A hard time they had of it sure.
A cold coming and more.
Greeted by Herod badly crowned
With fear and greed and plot.
Through sand and swamp and rocky ground;
Hunger, thirst, chill and hot;
Spear, sword, fist, steel, snarling faces.
Rich man, beggar man, thief;
Hardest people, hardest places –
Cold coming filled with grief.

The house was lit with heaven’s light
Warm welcome and delight –
Fireside hearth, talk, food and joy.
They knelt and offered gifts
To teenage mum and toddling boy.
Then home and slept in shifts.
Kept watch beside, behind, ahead
Lest murder come to slay.
They wanted hope but only dread
Their shadow on the way.

Years later when the boy was grown
Could they their fears atone?
Retrace the way, that hard, hard path?
Could they, old, walk that track,
To find the grace that killed the wrath?
To see the heavens crack,
The Voice, the dove, the Spirit flies.
The waters at his feet,
The fire at his head and eyes
Makes all the pain so sweet.

Ant Fox.