FOR YOU MY FRIEND, WHOEVER YOU MIGHT BE
(The word ‘crescent’ is derived from the Latin verb ‘crescere’
meaning to ‘grow’ or ‘increase’)
The year 2016 is almost upon us
and every dark morning this last week
as I locked my front door to go to work
I have been greeted by the most wondrous gift-
a perfect crescent moon on a cloudless black sky
and a sea of timeless stars.
Some mornings I raised my arms high,
my fingers almost touching the curve of Jerusalem
and I wondered if I was the only human
seeing this crescent resting on the ancient hills of Tallaght
above the crucifix of her churches;
and if the stone-hearts of great men
who push the world to violence this Christmas
aren’t humbled by its presence,
does their empathy not have increase
at the silence of dying children,
the tears of their mothers,
or the wishes of the homeless in the streets?
For two thousand years
this billionth crescent moon has been captured
by the eyes of hawks and the tongues of scriptures,
the sons and daughters of Islam –
the Christian and the Jew,
by the swords of East and West,
all those bullets in the Earth.
But it has seen Peace immeasurable too
given by the most humble of their peoples,
carried on the wings of a dove
thrown from the hands of honest prophets
and picked like morsels from the dirt to eat
by the tiny hands of innocence.
And I know there isn’t much a feeble man can do
when exiled in worries for peace beneath this moon,
when he accepts his guilt at denouncing love.
All a human really has is the power of a wish,
so for you my friend, whoever you might be this Christmas,
I wish you many, many flocks of doves.
©Michael J. Whelan
Published in the Tallaght Echo Newspaper 17 December 2015