Posts Tagged ‘gloom of night’

Restarting the Blog

December 4, 2012

I hope to reactivate this blog, posting every few days. I begin with an original poem based on a moment in my life some years ago when my parents were still living. It becomes a sort of Christmas poem by a person who, formerly a fairly fundamentalist Christian, has become an agnostic committed to trusting reason and science and discounting the claims of churches and competing faiths. Still, a residue remains, and Christmas and the child who promises peace is still attractive.


My Father On His Knees    

a Christmas Poem           

Bill Evenhouse


In this evolving universe you often feel  alone

A billion stars obliterate the Christmas star that shone.

I grew up with all my Sundays and my life chock full of love

All based on my believing that there was a God above.


Now I’m an evolutionist quite sure that I can know

W hat I believe has evidence, but not so long ago

I followed in my father’s steps; creation was for me:

The moments when the great  I Am just told the world to “Be!”  


Today I sense relation to the birds and to the bees

I know we’ve all emerged from the ancestors of trees

And all things otherwise and where; and yet my mind’s eye sees

In main and misty moments, my father on his knees.


Now I’ve lived more than seventy years and the folks are gone, but I’ve

A memory of my parents’ home when they were still alive.

I’m fifty then, and talking to my mother in the gloom

Of night, my dad has gone into his dressing room.


Her back is to his doorway, she’s listening to me,

Her somewhat wayward son, who’s come to stay a day or two, or three.

And while we’re talking round about the things that we should say

I see my father by his bed, he’s bending down to pray.


His hands are folded on the sheets, his knees are on the floor

And I am sure I know exactly what he’s praying for:

After all the thanks and praise, he asks his God above

To bless his children with Christ’s sovereign love.


Dad knows the kids are different, some keep the faith, some don’t.

He wishes they would hold on fast, although he fears they won’t.

But still he asks his Lord of All, who surely will do right

To keep his children safe through every day and every night.


And after more than twenty years this unbelieving son

Holds on to Christmas dreams, long after faith has gone.

And though the tinsel turns me off, I know I truly share

The import of my dad’s and mother’s prayer:


The universe expands, bring peace at home and over seas

Grant safety from the guns and bombs and, maybe, could they cease

For wives and sons and daughters, may Heaven bless them, please

And for their children when we’re gone, we humbly bend our knees.




Merry Christmas, all of you who serve a Christ above,

And Merry Christmas, all who simply sense a need for love,

And Merry Something every one who in their minds eye sees

Their parents praying for them on their knees,

Their parents praying for them on their knees,

Their parents praying for them on their knees.

 December 2012