Moving Toward Comfort and Joy


I hum along while shopping,
Christmas carols fill my head
where gentlemen are put to rest
by god

While these merry gentlemen
are dismayed by nothing
I think I need to be dismayed –
dismayed by threat of nuclear war
and violence in our streets
dismayed by women with nothing
but a shopping cart to call home
dismayed by laws that lean toward the wealthy
while the working poor barely survive
in frayed edges of our culture

I want to step outside the good cheer
within my safe suburban bubble
to be disheartened
by the crying of the Earth
shedding tears of floods and hurricanes
by the ever growing shadow of
nature bent toward greed for the few

Possibly if dismay brings me to this cusp of despair
I’ll muster the courage to engage in action
to shift the direction of this dark movement
so that in the light of the new year ahead
I can offer tidings of comfort and joy


God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman is one of my favorite Christmas songs. (Here is an excellent version by the group, Pentatonix singing it acapella.)

This poem was inspired by an article in Tricycle Magazine called The Greatest Danger. The article describes that when the poet and Zen teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh was asked,  “What do we most need to do to save our world?” his reply was “What we most need to do is to hear within us the sounds of the Earth crying.” I hope that I can hear and act.

For all who celebrate holidays at this time of year, I send wishes for comfort and joy during this season that is so open to reflection and moving forward with compassion.

Photo courtesy of

17 thoughts on “Moving Toward Comfort and Joy

  1. Thoughtful and beautiful LuAnne. I know I find myself getting caught up in my grief I sometimes lose sight of others suffering and pain and lack. When I’m reminded I reel myself in and count my blessings ❤💚🙏

    God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen is my favorite Christmas song as well. Have you ever heard the Barenaked Ladies/Sarah McLachlan version?!?!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No, I had never heard that version but it was wonderful. Thank you so much! When I first saw McLachlan was singing with Barenaked Ladies I thought – how would that work they are so different? But their voices blended very well and the acoustic guitar was perfect. I will bookmark this one for my Christmas music list. Thanks again for this lovely gift. May you be surrounded by love this Christmas day. (Here we are surrounded by about 8 inches of snow on the ground. Yeah!)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Merry Christmas to you! It’s good to keep a little corner of our hearts open to dismay, to see the awfulness around us and try to use our talents, time and intelligence to be the one to add a little comfort and joy to another’s life.


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