by Jay O'Toole
Is there a place for giving hope 365 days of the year? What is the purpose of this life?
When Klaus had hopped upon a plane to help the Haitians live,
He smelled the cinnamon of home, and left with much to give.
The world of men was nothing new to Klaus' years on Earth,
But when the flight of hours made end compassion had new birth.
He coughed at smell of human waste that filled the balmy air.
The devastation laid in loss made aging eyes to stare.
Klaus found some workmen, shoulders slumped. He opened arms to say,
"That hurricane it's fury raged, left mess and walked away!"
"Just give a shovel! Fill my hand! And show me where to start!
"My gift is hope at hopeless doors, sore back before I part."
"You look familiar, Ancient Friend! Have you been here before?
"Your face is chapped. Your whiskers smudged with entrance roof to floor."
"In gladder days you know my name, but now much work we do.
"These folks have anger, hearts of loss, and hope we must renew."
Then Klaus digged hard against the muck and mire that was a mound,
Remembering his head to watch, when tree limb there was found.
Just one of many homes now gone, the owners sleep 'neath trees
In tents of kind souls helping cause, enduring musty breeze.
With muck-caked boots and sweat-soaked shirt, Klaus paused to process long.
He knew the needs, but now so full, the ancient had no song.
Klaus wept and bellowed for a time. The task was greater much
Than one whose famous laughing smile could cope with lasting touch.
His hoary beard now caked with sod, Klaus gave his daily strength
And when small helpers did arrive their skills were known at length.
"They think I work just once a year, and play and sleep the rest,
"But I would have them know the truth, I live each day as test.
"How true it is that Christmas Eve, I long to see each face
"So filled with Joy of Heaven bright and hopeful in its Grace,
"But through the year my spirit works beside those truly great,
"Who help the ones that hope has left, where lives are made to wait.
"As Father Christmas I am known, but that's my poorest name
"For my best gift is full of help as Servant that I came.
The Red Cross brings their gifts of hope in bags of daily needs,
while Klaus is filling each one well with hands of human deeds.
Samaritans Purse through helpers who work brings blessings of many great kinds
and Klaus is pulling next to side of workers tiredness finds.
The Third World lacks the taste of pleasant meat and daily bread,
but feeling hearts and broadest arms will meet each need as said.
Where devastation leaves its burly, pungent, awful wake
There Klaus is found in tender souls, who wish to give, not take.
How oft lament we stores that crave our money at the end
of year 'mid tinsel, pretty lights and toys that will not mend!
But through the year great needs arise that parts of self we give,
and when we do the smile of Klaus is seen in lives we live.
For Klaus a man with gift resources met the needs he'd find.
He brought in food and clothes to souls who needed heart so kind.
"The man you know who gives the gifts of great frivolity
"is not the one my mirror shows nor does the core of me
"If you would live a Christmas life throughout your earthly days,
"then eyes that see the needs of all brings hope in all our ways."
Line Count: 50
by Jay O’Toole
on April 26th, 2017