Christmas Morning, Creek Side

Christmas Morning, Creek Side

A Poem by kentuck14


“A thrill of hope--the weary world
rejoices, for yonder breaks a new
and glorious morn!”
        --John S. Dwight, from
            the Christmas carol
            ‘O Holy Night!’

Water, once coursing in the earth,
no longer hides its consciousness
as it flows over the dropping level

of a creek bed. It speaks slowly
and quietly with a tinkling voice
and little sighs--but then grows

louder as it meets and then falls
in mini cascades over moss covered
rocks--clothed this morning in

Christmas greenery. This liquid
praise is no louder on this day than
any other, but seems to rise in the

still air and remain a second or two
longer than normal. It is a warm day
in late December--sunshine highlights

the bare limbs of the creek side trees
and the squirrel nests snuggled carefully
between branches. A few dandelions--

a rare Christmas flower--lie notably  
in the stubborn grass of early winter,
over which my young hound runs

and romps for joy. Winter birds flit
among naked shrubs like holiday
visitors arriving at the door of friends.

Despite all this, local groundhogs sleep
and refuse to awaken in their holes;
their slumber is balky--much like my

tired faith. My troubled heart has grown
cynical, weary in a world that ritualizes
solstice more than it desires substance.

My faith does not flow as doggedly
as the waters of this stream, nor is my
devotion and praise like the rejoicing

of these humble, water-baptized rocks.
The countenance of my face is, perhaps,
not as bright as the smile of December

dandelions on this holy morning.
Defeat, or something similar, comes
to mind--but this thought is more

heedless than the thoughts of the
minnows that swim in the shadowy  
pools of this creek. They know their

place in the world, while I feel absent.
Yet, I think of John Dwight’s Christmas
lyrics that we sang on this day’s eve, and

submit my faith for renewal in joy, peace,
hope and love. For if a weary world’s own
nature can rejoice on this glorious morn,

there is every good reason I can too.


© 2020 kentuck14

Author's Note

As many might know and some might guess, I am a man of faith. Yet, faith can be fragile;
for we are all fragile, subject to the disappointments that come our way. On Christmas morning I took my dog down to the creek that flows behind our apartment complex. This poem reflects my thoughts that stirred in my mind on that day.

My Review

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This is one of your best-written & most-thoughtful poems that I've read. I love your softly-flowing descriptive lines that lull us into a meditative place where the pondering is welcome. I think it's foolish to depict faith as something anyone does faithfully. We all struggle & lapse & distort & accuse . . . why shouldn't our relationship with God not be marred by the same things that mar all our relationships? This is a balanced & realistic way to show the work involved in balancing all relationships (((HUGS))) Fondly, Margie

Posted 2 Years Ago


2 Years Ago

thanks for your insights . . . indeed, relationships, even with God are fraught with .. read more
If I ever figure out what faith I have it would be a miracle:) I have a strong sense of something and a strange certainty of it but I can not define it I am not Judeo Christian anymore than I am a buddhist tho I embrace many aspects of both I find the arbitrary date of the birth of christ to be kind of offensive particularly when I found out it was set by the Catholics to coincide with the pagan traditions of the winter solstice celebrations:? It has not escaped me that this celebration is about the celebration of the birth of jesus regardless of the accuracy of the true date but it as many other elements of religion are the results of the interpretations of man and not that of the the divine and it is thru mans interpretations that lead me to question the doctrines. I was raised as a catholic and as such much in the church turned me to question the character of faith and as with so many other factions of christianity being anything but actually true to there faiths thus this has put me down this path.

Posted 3 Years Ago


3 Years Ago

Yes . . . it is an arbitrary date set by the RCC . . . and yes it was planned as a sub.. read more
Robert Trakofler

3 Years Ago

your poem and then my dialogue afterwards stuck in my mind and have been struggling to finish a poem.. read more

3 Years Ago

Good . . . I wish you all the best.
Beautiful write here Tom. Thank you for sharing your Christmas day thoughts, with someone such as I who is permanently struggling with my faith. I was with you in spirit, taking that walk with you and your hound by the creek. Dandelions are bursts of sunshine in midwinter. Any colour at all is gratefully received. Now the winter solstice has gone, the days will become lighter and I for one feel that it's not too long before spring will be on the doorstep. Loved your description here. Really appreciated the journey you took me on.


Posted 3 Years Ago


3 Years Ago

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with me. Here's wishing you all the b.. read more
T., I identify so much with this poem. And, since I’m only two hours north, I enjoyed the same good weather on Christmas Day. Still, I felt nothing particularly warm or special about the day.

I was reared Lutheran and attended church every Sunday and Wednesdays during advent. Maybe because I’ve not submitted myself to my faith, I’m reaping what I’ve sewn. Maybe I’ve been beaten down from life and a career that delivers mostly trauma (not joy), and I’m not as strong as others.

Thank you for sharing this poem. I totally agree with your last line. It’s inspirational.

Posted 3 Years Ago


3 Years Ago

Thanks for your thoughts. Here's encouragement to keep pursuing your faith.
i think faith wouldn't be what it is if we didn't doubt it sometimes, lean on it sometimes, and have it restored sometimes...
beautiful piece conveying this.

Posted 3 Years Ago


3 Years Ago

Thanks for your thoughtful review and your kind word.
jacob erin-cilberto

3 Years Ago

i always get lost in the places you take me with your descriptions...your detail is always so exact.

3 Years Ago

Thanks for the encouragement J.

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6 Reviews
Added on December 26, 2019
Last Updated on January 11, 2020



Lexington, KY

Started reading and writing poetry while in the Army many years ago. I picked up a book of poems by Leonard Cohen in a bookshop on Monterrey CA's Fisherman's Wharf and went on from there. I've had a n.. more..

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