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Capiz Paról

A poem in preparation for Christmas

The St. Joseph Parish Church of Las Piñas City in the Philippines during "Simbang Gabi", a nine-day series of Masses practiced by Filipino Catholics in anticipation of Christmas. (Image: Ervin Malicdem/Wikipedia)

“. . .and the night spreads a new light
that no darkness can obscure, and
perennial faith shines forth.” – St. Ambrose

From the window it beckons: Come!
Come, you who dwell in shadows.
Come, you who slouch in despair.
Come, you whose body is aging.
Come, you who no longer care.
Come, you who scoff at mystery.
Come, you whose truth is your own.
Come, you whose eyes have grown steely.
Come, you whose seeds are all sown.
Come, you who taste only the bitter.
Come, you who mourn a loved friend.
Come, you who hear only sad songs.
Come, you who long for your end.
O dear ones whose hearts are tattered,
come bask in my warmth and my light.
Come feast on the splendor of color
that pierces through dreariest night.
Dance to the rhythm of starsparks!
Rejoice with glad hope and with joy!
Prepare for the One who is coming:
Holy Mary’s sweet baby boy.

(Editor’s note: This poem originally appeared in the Nov. 21, 2014 edition of Pilgrim: A Journal of Catholic Experience, and is posted here with kind permission of the author.)

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About Ann Applegarth 6 Articles
Ann Applegarth lives and writes, and teaches in Roswell, New Mexico, where she served as poet-in-residence for the High Plains Writing Project at ENMU-Roswell. Her poems have been published in print and online and anthologized in Shadow and Light: Literature and the Light of Faith. Many of her poems have been collected in Layers of Beauty (2020).


  1. Merry Christmas Ann⭐️
    Your amazing reflection and understanding of the capiz parol led you to compose a beautifully eloquent poem about it👍 Your poem made me even more appropriate the common symbol of Christmas in my country, the Philippines. I got a capiz parol for Our Lady Assumption church in Roswell, NM. I remember you were the one most overjoyed by it.
    And how blessed I was to have a secretary in the church office who is a published poet 😀💒💌💕

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