Bethlehem

-Dan Behrens

A poem I wrote late last night. Bethlehem of that first Christmas has its own unique history. The poem is a kind of tinkering around with that history, with familiar stories and familiar landscapes. Its also an offering of permission for others to toy around with their own ideas, to fashion something new, fresh, different. Enjoy.

Bethlehem

Bethlehem

City of David

Ephrath of old

Village among the cliffs.

Your lamp has not gone out.

 

Bethlehem   Oh Bethlehem

You keep the bones of Rachel

You birth the sons of Jesse

Your nearby fields pasture sheep

Your limestone crags shelter lambs.

 

Oh Bethlehem

Oh ‘house of bread’

Open up your earthen doors.

Herod’s horses   Herod’s swords

Cradle your infants in dank dark caves.

 

Bethlehem   Oh Bethlehem

Your lamp has not gone out.

Feed us all from the prophet’s song

— “unto you is born this day”

Feed us all from the prophet’s song.

 

Oh Bethlehem

Wherein the road does end

Wherein your womb is moved

Your fields have all laid down

Your shepherds bring us in.

 

Bethlehem   Oh Bethlehem

We hear the angel softly sing

A lamb is born in Bethlehem

A village among the cliffs.

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