Ward Stories
(Column: Ward Stories)
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This holiday season is a time for family... and I have my wonderful family to thank for the spiritual poems in this issue.

My brother Rick had sent me "The Cherub" some time ago and I was waiting for the appropriate time to present it. John's poem evokes all the radiance and majesty of this holiday season.

Anita Markowitz is a dear friend of my mom's who resides in Florida and shares my passion for both poetry and the internet. The uplifting poem "Heart Crop" was previously published in an anthology entitled "The Drifting Sands," by the National Library of Poetry and is scheduled for publication in "Touched by Grace."

I want to wish all our readers a happy, healthy and poetic New Millennium!

Heart Crop

By Anita Markowitz

When God raised the crop of hearts that He planted
He knew how He'd reap them and was enchanted
With the numerous needs of His clan here on earth
And he managed to sort them despite the girth
Of His domain that He believed should be joy
And not think of one's heart as an insipid toy.
So He said, "you have this one, it suits you just fine
And treasure its contents and share it in time
With those that you love, with those that you meet
But above all remember, to be very discreet."

The Cherub

By John J. Soldo

The rider in the Clouds,
Master ever mysterious,
The Rock to the Spirit of the Wind,
unveiled in the glory
of a tiger lily before
the stone walls of Jerusalem
called upon Michael the Archangel
who, in the initial deposits of time,
cast Lucifer and his fallen angels
into the marathon pit of fire that ices
to choose the angels of the first Noel
the night the earth stood still,
the night the child in the straw
brought joy to choirs of angels.

Two were tall
Like ripe corn in the field
In the fullness of summer;
Two stood knee high
Like the shoulders of the lambs
Who came across the meadows,
Obedient like the frolic of dogs
Who answer to the call of their master.

The four, together like baroque pearls
in a symphony that's strung
in the music of the stars, sung
that Emmanuel had come
to buy back Heaven
with all the riches
that could be stored in a manger.

The littlest angel
sang in a clear soprano
like the fallen leaves colored like gemstones
that had come in the season past:

O holy night ...
The Lord of Lords
And King of Kings
Is at rest in this cave
where I stand watch
in the City of David.
He is the rightful heir
to the ancient
King of Jerusalem,
the fortress on the mount
which will,
in the day of time,
open its gates to this sacred infant,
holy and whole
as this world now is in the midst of winter,
because the swaddled babe
of Dante's Rose of Mary
has come at last in this spot of time
to bless and be

"the peace and pact
of the Creator and His Created."
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