Epiphany – and the Magi

If you’ve taken down your decorations, you’re early! Traditionally it should be Twelfth Night – the 5th January, or Epiphany, when the ‘wise men’ arrived. Ready for tomorrow, here’s my ‘Magi’ offering…




Summoning his courage, the man dismounted

and, hand on back, prepared to enquire

Had King or court seen the sight they looked for,

following that celestial shooting fire?


Short shrift was what he felt they gave him

though to his face they seemed keen to help.

He didn’t hear but sensed the whisper

‘Let them find him, then we’ll kill the whelp’.


Slipping weary through foreign streets,

conspicuous in their eastern gear,

with tired mounts and aching feet,

feeling the pull of hope and fear


they came at last to a stable yard,

muck underfoot and the horses put out.

A baby was there, his father on guard,

so filled with joy and wracked with doubt


they gave him their gifts and went their way,

avoiding the court and all public show,

with confused thoughts, unable to say

if this was a future they wanted to know.


Reaching open country they increased their speed,

seeking to leave all their fears behind

and focus for now on the hope instead

that somehow they’d glimpsed, in that yard, the divine.




Tony Earnshaw

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