The Star Began Its Singing

Mural by 19th century Benedictine monks, Conception Abbey, Conception, Mo.

Spiritual Sunday

Journey for Jesus’s Dan Clendenin alerted me to this epiphany poem by Scottish poet George Mackay Brown. In simple parable-like language, Brown describes the magi encountering frustrating obstacles. Experiencing God’s apparent silence (“salt, snow, skulls”), they meet under a dry star.

Then the star begins to sing.

Epiphany Poem

The red king
Came to a great water. He said,
Here the journey ends.
No keel or skipper on this shore.

The yellow king
Halted under a hill. He said,
Turn the camels round.
Beyond, ice summits only.

The black king
Knocked on a city gate. He said,
All roads stop here.
These are gravestones, no inn.

The three kings
Met under a dry star.
There, at midnight,
The star began its singing.

The three kings
Suffered salt, snow, skulls.
They suffered the silence
Before the first word.
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