Christ Climbed Down

Christ Climbed Down
Christ climbed down
from His bare Tree
this year
and ran away to where
there were no rootless Christmas trees
hung with candycanes and breakable stars

Christ climbed down
from His bare Tree
this Year
and ran away to where
there were no gilded Christmas trees
and no tinsel Christmas trees
and no tinfoil Christmas trees
and no pink plastic Christmas trees
and no gold Christmas trees
and no black Christmas trees
and no powderblue Christmas trees
hung with electric candles
and encircled by thin electric trains
and clever cornball relatives

Christ climbed down
from His bare Tree
this year
and ran away to where
no intrepid Bible salesmen
covered the territory
in two-tone cadillacs
and where no Sears Roebuck creches
complete with plastic babe in manger
arrived by parcel post
the babe by special delivery
and where no televised Wise Men
praised the Lord Calvert Whiskey

Christ climbed down
from His bare Tree
this year
and ran away to where
no fat handshaking stranger
in a red flannel suit
and a fake white beard
went around passing himself off
as some sort of North Pole saint
crossing the desert to Bethlehem
Pennsylvania
in a Volkswagon sled
drawn by rollicking Adirondack reindeer
with German names
and bearing sacks of Humble Gifts
from Saks Fifth Avenue
for everybody’s imagined Christ child

Christ climbed down
from His bare Tree
this year
and ran away to where
no Bing Crosby carolers
groaned of a tight Christmas
and where no Radio City angels
iceskated wingless
thru a winter wonderland
into a jinglebell heaven
daily at 8:30
with Midnight Mass matinees

Christ climbed down
from His bare Tree
this year
and softly stole away into
some anonymous Mary’s womb again
where in the darkest night
of everybody’s anonymous soul
He awaits again
an unimaginable
and impossibly
Immaculate Reconception
the very craziest
of Second Comings

- Lawrence Ferlinghetti

A Coney Island of the Mind


It has been said that sometimes God will offend the mind to reveal the heart, and I appreciate Ferlinghetti's poem that leaves no sacred cow untipped. It serves to jar us from our Saccharin finery that serves as cultural graffiti obstructing the ruthless commonness of the Christ. The Christ pulls the pin on much of our pious ideas of holiness, and our projected sterility and prissy fragility. In doing so, it releases Christ into the mundane of real life and awakening us to the wonder of God in us in Christ.

Christ relieves us of the heavy burden of not looking, ignoring or oblivious slumber. He free us to discover afresh, daily, the Christ-filled moment of every moment.

Share This:

No Comments Yet.

Leave a comment