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Magi Momentum: Seven Poems on the Magi by Graham Kings

Date added: 10/05/2016


Farcical Journey


Persians not Arabs

Farsi not Arabic,

Magi not Kings:

worship not rule.

Crazy and farcical,

leaving two rivers,

to follow a star,

to worship a King:

a journey afar.

Leaving behind

family and kin,

like Abram of old,

unlike the King:

outside his line.

Through centuries


From the beginning,

Magi pondered and travelled;

offered and worshipped.


For the record,

Matthew collected taxes and stories;

scribed and described.


In the sermon,

Lancelot Andrewes translated and prayed;

preached for the King.


Through the poem,

T S Eliot essayed and imagined;

journeyed to Christ.

Feigning faith


Herod the King,

“racially Arab,

religiously Jewish,

culturally Greek,

politically Roman.”


Baffled, bewildered,

by naïve strangers,

Shocked and scared,

by sacred page.

Secretly, exactly,

gathers facts,

feigns faith,

requests report:

Diligent intelligence.

Offerings Presented

Away from home,
Mission accomplished:
It is finished.

Star trek over,
King discovered,
But not as they know it.

Rapturous joy,
Offerings unwrapped.

Mined mineral, for brilliant mind;
Sweet savour, for sense of spirit;
Balm of burial, for enwrapped body.

Warned and turned,
They follow the Way:
Another way home.

We Refugees


By the first dream,

I was assured:

Mary was faithful,

not fooling around.

That was fulfilled.


By the second dream,

I was warned:

We three refugees

needed to flee.

This was frightening.


We took the road South,

To Gentile territory,


Oppressive or safe?

Who could tell?


Sad and miserable,

Sleepless nights,

Hungry and thirsty,

on the move,

Hardships, distress.


How can we sing

the Lord’s song

in a strange land?

How long, O Lord?


Owning nothing,

yet, with this child,

Possessing everything.

Terror unleashed


Outwitted, outmanoeuvred,

Herod unleashes terror.

Revenge, outraged, ventures out,

Unresisted, unrestrained.

Many are slaughtered to slay the One:

The One survives to save the many.

Perennial problem


Into Egypt,

Joseph was sold,

rose to the heights,

and saved my people.


Out of Egypt,

Moses was freed,

received my Law,

and led my people.


Out of Egypt,

I called my Son,

brought by family,

renewing my people.


Threat of death passed over,

bypassing Judea,

Galilee beckons,

Nazareth welcomes,

my Refugee.


Tragically, later,

home town rejects

home-grown Prophet,

who cites my acts

for people outside.


Unsightly reaction incited:

my perennial problem.


These poems on the Magi by Bishop Graham Kings were originally included in Andrew Wheeler’s Desire of Nations: The Magi, their Journey and the Child (2015).

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