Magi in America

Did the Magi follow the star across the seas
to the new land, to America
seeking God who will reveal himself again
in a cave?

God in a cave; now so difficult to find
for the star is obscured by bright lights
big cities, ciphers of commerce;
even the angels are lost in America.

Shall they seek him
amidst the clouds of incense
the glow of censers
swung by aging priests

or perhaps he will lie
in a basket, God’s image visible
through the glass walls
of the Crystal Cathedral?

Will they find God
knocking on the doors of the rich
outside the gated houses of the Sadducees
inside the bank among the money changers?

among the hard of heart
sitting in the pews murmuring
“In God we Trust
All others pay cash?”

Or is it already midnight
with no star visible
with no hope left
of finding the child in a cave?

Alas, the star no longer visible
the Magi follow the sounds of laughter
going door to door in America asking
 “Where is the child?”


About toritto

I was born during year four of the reign of Emperor Tiberius Claudius on the outskirts of the empire in Brooklyn. I married my high school sweetheart, the girl I took to the prom and we were together for forty years until her passing in 2004. We had four kids together and buried two together. I had a successful career in Corporate America (never got rich but made a living) and traveled the world. I am currently retired in the Tampa Bay metro area and live alone. One of my daughters is close by and one within a morning’s drive. They call their pops everyday. I try to write poetry (not very well), and about family. Occasionally I will try a historical piece relating to politics. :-)
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7 Responses to Magi in America

  1. beetleypete says:

    I remember this one of course.
    Great work, Frank.
    Best wishes, Pete.


  2. Another poetic gem, Frank.

    Where is the child, the Magi ask.
    Not here, the resounding reply.
    Head south to the Mexican border
    among the caravan of refugees.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A great poem, Frank. I’m not a Christian myself but here is a poem by an English Christian poet called Charles Causley which I think is dealing with the same questions as yours:

    The Ballad of the Breadman

    Mary stood in the kitchen
    Baking a loaf of bread.
    An angel flew in the window
    ‘We’ve a job for you,’ he said.

    ‘God in his big gold heaven
    Sitting in his big blue chair,
    Wanted a mother for his little son.
    Suddenly saw you there.’

    Mary shook and trembled,
    ‘It isn’t true what you say.’
    ‘Don’t say that,’ said the angel.
    ‘The baby’s on its way.’

    Joseph was in the workshop
    Planing a piece of wood.
    ‘The old man’s past it,’ the neighbours said.
    ‘That girls been up to no good.’

    ‘And who was that elegant fellow,’
    They said. ‘in the shiny gear?’
    The things they said about Gabriel
    Were hardly fit to hear.

    Mary never answered,
    Mary never replied.
    She kept the information,
    Like the baby, safe inside.

    It was the election winter.
    They went to vote in the town.
    When Mary found her time had come
    The hotels let her down.

    The baby was born in an annexe
    Next to the local pub.
    At midnight, a delegation
    Turned up from the Farmers’ club.

    They talked about an explosion
    That made a hole on the sky,
    Said they’d been sent to the Lamb and Flag
    To see God come down from on high.

    A few days later a bishop
    And a five-star general were seen
    With the head of an African country
    In a bullet-proof limousine.

    ‘We’ve come,’ they said ‘with tokens
    For the little boy to choose.’
    Told the tale about war and peace
    In the television news.

    After them came the soldiers
    With rifle and bombs and gun,
    Looking for enemies of the state.
    The family had packed up and gone.

    When they got back to the village
    The neighbours said, to a man,
    ‘That boy will never be one of us,
    Though he does what he blessed well can.’

    He went round to all the people
    A paper crown on his head.
    Here is some bread from my father.
    Take, eat, he said.

    Nobody seemed very hungry.
    Nobody seemed to care.
    Nobody saw the God in himself
    Quietly standing there.

    He finished up in the papers.
    He came to a very bad end.
    He was charged with bringing the living to life.
    No man was that prisoner’s friend.

    There’s only one kind of punishment
    To fit that kind of crime.
    They rigged a trial and shot him dead.
    They were only just in time.

    They lifted the young man by the leg,
    Thy lifted him by the arm,
    They locked him in a cathedral
    In case he came to harm.

    They stored him safe as water
    Under seven rocks.
    One Sunday morning he burst out
    Like a jack-in-the-box.

    Through the town he went walking.
    He showed them the holes in his head.
    Now do you want any loaves? He cried.
    ‘Not today’ they said.

    Nollaig Shona agus Bliaín Úr Faoi Mhaise, a Frank! DoC.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I realise I didn’t phrase that very well. I realise your beliefs would be similar to mine rather than to Causley’s. However, I like Causley, even if our beliefs don’t coincide.

    Liked by 1 person

    • toritto says:

      No need for clarification DB! I figured out what you meant. Indeed, I’m certain our beliefs are aligned. Best wishes for Christmas and 2019! Regards from sunny Florida.


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