Where is he...?
-- Matt 2:2

You wonder whether we are wise
to watch and wait for the advent
of one who long since his demise
has yet to come the way he went,

Who comet-streaked cross the skies
as herald of eternal light
then dimmed before our dazzled eyes
and dove into the depths of night.

Yet, in his wake he left some clues
for settlers on this asteroid
clues of our true origins, and news
of harmony within the Void.

So, by retracing his return
at this point in time and space,
we hope now at last to learn
how to live this life with grace.

--- Mahlon H. Smith


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* Author's note: This reflection based on Matthew 2:1-2
was formulated as a poetic response
to critics of the quest of the historical Jesus
& sent as a Christmas greeting
to other fellows of the Jesus Seminar
  (December 1986).

Image: The Omen
is a lithograph by the author
based on a 1910 photo of the comet
whose appearance on Christmas night 1758
had been predicted by Isaac Newton's colleague, Edmund Halley.
Its eagerly anticipated reappearance in April 1986
disappointed many amateur astronomers
(including this author)
since it was barely visible to the naked eye of earthlings.
To get clearer and closer images
(like these posted for an astronomy course at the U of Tennessee)
more powerful sensitive instruments were needed --
such as the Mount Wilson observatory telescope
and the European Space Administration's space probe Giotto.

Image & poem are conjoined here as a parable
of the necessity of scientific investigation
of phenomena undetected by casual observers,
not to suggest a historical equation
of the so-called 'star of Bethlehem' with Halley's comet.

Collected Poems
Mahlon H Smith

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