The Feast of the Nativity

‘Twas the night before a brilliant star
They roam the desert near and far,
When they happen upon the city of light
The City of David in all her might.
Greeted, they are, from here and from there,
Yet nowhere to lay their heads so fair.
So in with the beasts they go without shame,
While in quiet hope, the Son of Man came.
And angels dance from altars on high
While shepherds rejoice with shofars in vie,
When hence the wondrous sun rising east
Shines upon kings and their magnificent feast.
Come, they did, bearing gifts for the Son,
Three kings, to be clear, approaching as one.
Laying their gifts at the feet of their King
They fall to their knees and homage they sing.
One gift from the mind for all that we know,
All wisdom abounds so beauty may flow.
One gift from the soul for all that we heed,
All our strength, all our might, so all may lead.
One gift from the heart for all that we feel,
All our joy, all our pain so all may heal.
For today is born a child in time
And the Glory of God rings from the chime,
Proclaiming goodwill to all who will hear
Banishing forever all of our fear.
So sing with great joy and always in sight:
Merry Christmas to all . . .


Sonnet 49: The Cardinal of Hong Kong

to Joseph Cardinal Zen: Archbishop of Hong Kong, on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, 2019

Robed in the scarlet of ages gone by,
As kindness glistens from below his brow,
A sullen mien shows the pain of his vow.
For these shameless times, he will but cry–
To his God ever great; the God of Sanai.
With the seas, he breaths the air of Thou,
Watching as Rome surrenders to Mao;
This scarlet robe never bows to the lie.
He pleads and begs with his pontiff so dear–
And the sting of Judas cuts as a knife.
Rise, Your Eminence, and rebuff the fear–
Look to the stars for they’re always so near,
Look for the souls, your triumph in life.
For you, all the angels and saints will cheer!



Steven Insalaco lives and works in the Tampa Bay metropolitan area and is a professor of Humanities at a Pasco Hernando State College.  He is the author of Solicitations, a collections of poems including Soliciting Cicero, an epic poem in the tradition of Alexander Pope that examines the four most iconic subjects in human history: God, War, Happiness, & Love.

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4 Responses

  1. Monty

    When I encounter a name on these pages with which I’m not familiar, I’ve got an irresistible habit of reading their Bio before their poetry. Upon doing so on this occasion, I immediately noticed the needless comma after the author’s name, and then the term “a collections of poems”; followed by the seemingly-outrageous self-comparison with Pope.

    It therefore came as no surprise to notice that the very first two lines of the first poem were badly-written (“..a brilliant star they roam the desert..”); followed by the next two; and the next two . . and so it continued (“..all our pain so all may heal”). The diction and phrasing throughout was ill-considered. But it must be said that the rhymes were consistently strong.

    Hence, it was mildly surprising to find that the second poem was a decent effort: well-written with clear and understandable diction, and strong rhymes throughout (including the splendid ‘Thou’ and ‘Mao’).

    A tale of two poems . .

    • C.B. Anderson


      The bio aside, you nailed it in regard to diction and phrasing. And the narrative itself was rather disjointed, with images thrown in from out of nowhere (except, perhaps, from an impulse to create rhymes).

      “heads so fair”(?)
      “magnificent feast”(?)
      “All wisdom abounds so beauty may flow”(?) — I have no idea at all what this is supposed to mean
      “rings from the chime”(?)

      There’s more, but I’ll let it go at that.

  2. The Society

    Monty, some editing has now been done to the bio. Thank you for the tip and merry Christmas to you! -Evan

    • Monty

      Ah, so I’ve been mistaken all along. I’ve always assumed that the Bios on these pages were in the author’s own words; that’s why I linked the errors in the Bio to those in the first poem.
      If it’s the case that the above Bio WASN’T written by the author, I apologise unreservedly to him.

      May I return the seasonal greetings to you, Evan; and may I bid you a contented 2020.


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