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From Starlight to Candle-light

The Starry Night – Vincent Van Gogh 1889

Narrator Bob
Look into the darkness of the sky
see the explosion of light
the stars in their billions
spread scarves of filtered light
Stars are falling like pearls
One star
Glows with intensity
Ascending the night sky
it calls to you
it calls to me
to follow, it says:
All: Go Now
Not tomorrow
Not a gift but your Presence.


Adoration of the Magi Peter Paul Rubens 1609

Narrator Jane Dean
It calls to Eastern Astrologers
to follow and it says:
“I will take you
To the One
who will show all people
the depth and richness of their hearts”
Astrologers and Kings arise
saddle your dromedaries
bring your gifts, follow
Balthasar of Arabia,
Melchior of Persia
Gaspar of India
Magicians and Alchemists
Come follow,
Star calls
Follow the star-light
Be led to the candle-light


The Dream of the Three Kings in the collection, based on a famous Romanesque stone-carving in the Autun Cathedral in France.

He Qi. Adoration of the Magi, from Art in the Christian Tradition,
a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN.

Gentile da Fabriano 1420 Italian

Narrator Alex Dean
Shepherds on the hill sides
Cold in the darkness
Cuddled by fire, by sheep
Sharing brandy, Breaking bread
When sudden from the night sky
spirals of descending
angel brightness
on cascades of star-light.
And Peace comes like doves
To calm the turbulent Earth
and goodwill fills the hearts
of bewildered shepherds
Children: Find the One
Who will show you how
Not by Emperor,
Not by kings and queens
Not with people of wealth and power

It says: Go Now
Not tomorrow
Not a gift but your Presence.


Christina Saj -The angel appearing. Saj is contemporary Atist whose bright colours and patterns adapt ancient Christian forms such as Byzantium. Please see her work on-line.
Seeing Shepherds is a painting by Daniel Bonnell which was uploaded on October 16th, 2011.

Narrator Jane Dean
There is the land of Israel
city of peace Jerusalem
besieged by Romans, Jews,
Greeks and ‘gyptians
Unhappy city of Peace
Not there!
Not there!
But in a village
Bethlehem, the least
Hurry there with sheep
and gifts
and find the One
A little child
mother, father
parents poor
and enter there
the stable door
Pass hay stacks golden
Where cows and donkeys
bassoon and bellow the night
by starlight and candle-light
a baby is born
wrapped in cloths,
and loved to life
Here fluting shepherds come with lambs
and Magi come with gifts
frankinsense, and gold and myrrh

Working Title/Artist: The Crusaders Reach Jerusalem: Scenes from the Gerusalemme Liberata Department: ESDA Culture/Period/Location: HB/TOA Date Code: Working Date: 1732-39 photography by mma 1993, transparency #2a scanned and retouched by film and media (jn) 8_20_03
Leonardo da Vinci (Unfinished) Adoration 1481-2

Narrator Bob
Have you come
and are you here
follow, follow
Here you will find your heart
Its warmth of love
Its depth of joy
And a new beginning
Make a new beginning, for
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart) e e cummins

Nativity by Jessica Dean 2019
James Tissot- The Adoration of the Shepherds
Daniel Bonnell
Carols from King’s 2016#1 Once in Royal David’s City – The Choir of King’s College, Cambridge

5 comments on “From Starlight to Candle-light

  1. Trudy says:



  2. Excellent Bob.
    I made a similar Nativity area in a beer box for my grandson. It was so special making it with him. Moments to treasure. I thoroughly enjoyed poetry at school and you made it come alive for me again. Thank you Bob and Daphne. Enjoy your Christmas Celebrations and the New Year.


  3. Ayahelush Getahun says:

    God bless merry Christmas 🎁

    Sent from my iPad



  4. Edgar Viret says:

    Beautifully read and the singing at the end was the cherry on the top.


  5. Jan Wakelin says:

    Thank you Bob for having the eyes to see and taking the opportunity and time to gift us and ‘re-mind’ us of the power and joy of art and poetry, and Presence.

    Wishing you and Daphne and your love-ones a blessed Christmas.



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