An annual tradition of our local church community for about the past decade has been the White elephant gift exchange/party. Due this year on New Year’s Day.
Come One, Come All!
The white elephants are on parade
in pretty bags, boxes, papers, bows
so no one can nose out the prize,
the surprise, the embarrassment
a size 2 party dress, I must confess
hilarious held up by a bearded old man.
A girl with a miter saw trades for a candle.
The pig cookie jar, who knew? A star!
A deer head joke, facial expressions priceless.
The annual Christmas goose is this years cardinals fan.
Pickled eggs? Straw hats?
What’s up with that?
Who would trade the laughter with the gifts?
Such a lift of heart to see families band together
and friends connect with one another.
And don’t you dare take that
one thousand piece puzzle
of the Grand canyon away from me!
See there is another gift left under the tree.
Who knows what it will be?
c. Darlene Moore Berg 2011
After reading today’s Other Food devotional, decided to post this, too.
Joseph of Arimathaea: Good Friday
Full of outrage, the strength of indignation
over the scandalous trial of Jesus,
I approached Pilate and requested the body,
the unliving husk of our hopes.
Nicodemus, another Jew of standing,
joined with me at the cross—
no longer a secret our love
and respect for the Master.
Too late we come to bury Him,
not to give Him our lives.
We tug at the nails wet with our sorrow,
dirty our hands with His holy blood.
Unclean by Law, we sacrifice our Passover.
We wrap Him with linen, costly spices.
Gently we lay Him in a tomb
newly chiseled from solid rock.
Old men we are.
Old in fear.
Old in grief.
We seal the tomb.
We seal in hope.
We seal in our hearts.
c. Darlene Moore Berg
A Good Friday Concern
It could not have been
through the hands the nails
were bored, hammered—
the weight of the body
would have torn free
and Our Lord fallen
on His face in Calvary’s mud.
Between the two bones of
the forearm just before the wrist
the crude heavy nails
could be pounded
where flesh would least resist
and the pain would bleed
into cramped fists.
Forgive them this, Father
Forgive them this, Lord
The executioners, only men
under orders of their superiors
they know not to whom
they perform their gruesome task
and know better than to ask…
only one of three in an afternoon.
c, Darlene Moore Berg
Gnarled olive branches
frame a face streaked with tears,
the agony of human fear.
Fragrant orchard blossoms
shadow a trio of sleeping men,
no watch kept by trusted friends.
The moolit garden hillside
erupts with clamor, disciples’ dismay
planted, the kiss of death betrays.
c.Darlene Moore Berg
A Letter to Martha, Holy Week
I have followed our Lord to Jerusalem
to watch his entry in triumph into the city.
The disciples whisper excitedly among themselves
that He may be proclaimed — King.
I am not sure what this will mean…
It doesn’t quite fit with the Teacher we
both know and love…
He has no army, no legions.
Oh, Sister! You should have heard
the “Hosannas” ring.
The people called Jesus, “Son of David”,
coats were flung down before him,
He rode into the city
on a young colt of a donkey.
Children clapped and sang as He
entered the gates into Jerusalem.
It was wonderful, fantastic.
And before anyone realized it
He was beyond and into the city proper
and the crowds melted away…
Daily I listen to our Teacher speak in the
Temple courtyard. I do not understand
why the priests do not listen to Him.
They ask Him questions but appear
not to like or understand His answers.
There is an undercurrent, a fear, I do not like.
Martha, you would be proud of me.
I worked all evening helping to serve
the Passover supper of preparation
for Jesus and his Twelve disciples.
I am tired. I had trouble following all
the Teacher had to impart tonight.
He and the Twelve have gone out to pray,
all but Judas. He left early in the evening.
I plan to retire after the cleanup is done.
Martha! Martha! I need you here—NOW!
Jesus is arrested and on trial.
At this very moment He stands before Governor Pilate.
I am numb with terror. The word is that the High Priest
and the Sanhedrin are pushing for a crucifixion.
Drop everything and come immediately!
I don’t know what to do!
Please hurry. You must arrive before sundown
and the start of Sabbath.
Love,your dearest sister, Mary.
c.Darlene Moore Berg
Warm Front in February
Strip off the coat, gloves, scarf.
Rummage for an old pair of shoes
comfortable, broken in past being afraid
of a little mud, water, slush.
Choose a walking stick
sturdy, nonslip cap on its tip.
The outside thermometer keeps climbing
now its sixty-six, the sun is out. Hight past seventy?
A week ago same time, freezing rain
temperature of sixteen, wind chill zero
and white mounded everywhere.
Sidewalks a sheet of ice.
Time for a hop, a skip and a walk in the snowmelt:
a search for spring in the crevices of winter rubbish.
It has to be here somewhere close.
c.February 2011 Darlene Moore Berg
I am home again watching the snowfall during the middle of the week. Photos and a Haiku
Frost lingers, fog lifts
the sun’s rays brush withered leaves
grey branches sparkle
Filed under Nature, Seasonal