Saturday, December 28, 2013

16)Michelle H: Mild He Lays His Glory

Mild, He Lays His Glory By 
 Meditation on a Line from "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing"

Was it shaken off simply, 
like dew 
from a lamb's fleece? 
Or laid by, folded neatly 
like linens 
on a stone? 
How did God separate 
Himself from stars 
to slum in sinew, 
leave Power simply 
lying in its place? 
Did He thunder and tear into Time, 
or was it soundless as a falling star?

If the Glory shed from You like dust 
when You slipped beneath 
the surface 
into womb and world, 
Then what was left 
          but us?

Surely, how you set aside 
your birthlessness 
to be a son 
is a mystery too great. 

But this we know - 
You wrapped yourself in our world, 
walked into crowded inns and closed hearts, 
stepped into cells and stink and surrender. 

Your Glory not cast off 
but underground, 
Gone to seed - 
Buried deep in veins 
like roots, 
and through touch 
tendrilling hearts to heaven.

All that Eternity still spread 
through your bread-needing body, 
for the stuff of sin itself, 
fingers curling 
once more 
into dust. 
Roots working beneath the curse, 
breaking concrete from below - 
raising sons 
of earth.

Michelle H. is a courageous woman, an excellent writer and a passionate lit teacher based in Colorado Springs.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

15)Chris Krycho: This is the Way that World Ends

This is the way the world ends:
with a woman's pain and a squalling child
the old world dying and the new world rushing in
like the newborn's head forcing its way in pain from

A Big Bang of agony and delight
 to start a life of sorrow,
to end in death,
to inaugurate forever joy,
to end in life with the end of ending lives.

The end of the world comes with a bang, a whimper,
a cry muffled by sheep-sound and mother's breast
 the groaning of the earth as she whirls under the silent,
shouting stars and the assembled host of heaven,
waiting to be born

Passionate for truth, Chris Krycho is composer, writer, blogger, web designer.  He also recently became a father.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

14)Although it's been said, many times many ways...

"God is watching us, God is wa-"

Take me to your leader.

Sharing space.

I remember I remember...
The archbishop at St. Paul's,
The tracks, the Sierra Nevada, Christmas dinner out the back of the
Suburban, and snow in my beard,
Apricot Jam in oatmeal containers, Candy Cane cookies, Call of Duty...
I remember standing on the edge of the Atlantic and welcoming Christmas
On the jetty, just you and me and the guitar and Switchfoot's On Fire.
Worshipping as a family, and The Grinch read aloud in the animated
Cadence of my father's voice.

What's with the baby?
We asked for your help,
Couldn't you have sent someone else?

I remember I remember...
Door to door cookie deliveries.
Services in at least five different languages:
The Princeton choir, the coughing lady on
the Zócalo, the little blue orphan who had found a
Home with his fingers in the frosting, Krispy Kremes
for gas station cashiers, caroling in shelters and old folks' homes
and town squares and churches. 

And what good are a couple carols?
My heart aches, that once caroled heavily, they
Never see us again. Keep singing, but...

Peace on earth.

Sharing space.

Make my heart a manger,
Let it be your bed.

We were celebrating Christmas today.  I was on the stage, sang a song, что за дитя: 
"И что за радость сейчас рожденна, в моём сердце, в нутри меня?"
But what joy can live in a sinner's heart?  A messy shitty stable where the guests
Haven't always been royalty.
They don't really do Christmas here in Kyrgyzstan.  Half the songs we sang
Weren't even Christmas songs.   There's this one "I run into your arms"
we sang.  Embracing God.  Not just believe, not fathom, but hug.  What the Hell, God?!?
I don't feel it, I don't want it, this...isn't me right now, I can't sing this.

So at about that moment Veronica came up and gave me the biggest hug a six-year can give. 
And she stayed there, holding me, for at least an entire verse, before she flitted off and pulled
Alëna forward to dance with her before God, right under the stage. 

I cried because Veronica ran into my arms, she saw God in me.
I cried because Veronica's arms, although she's half my size, were the arms of God
Wrapped around me in that moment.

Imago Dei.
Hands and feet.
In him we live and we move and we breathe and we have our being.

The word became flesh. 
Not distant, not 2000 years past.
He was just the first among many brothers.
And wherever two are gathered and harmonize prayer:
Christmas, Merry Christmas.
Joy to the world.
The Lord is come.

James Metelak is a poet, photographer, musician, and the primary curator of Headpiece full of Straw's 25 Days of Christmas.  Check out his other work at, youtube or his poetry blog

Monday, December 23, 2013

13)Estrela Hyatt: Feliz Navidad

Estrela Hyatt is a Brazillian-American singer-songwriter from Pensacola, Florida.  Her passion for worship and life are truly inspiring, as are her knowledge of languages and heart for people.  Her recent worship album Estrelando is available for purchase at CDBaby and on Amazon, check it out and subscribe on youtube.   

Sunday, December 22, 2013

12)Julia Sołek: Twoje przyjście (Your Coming)

"Twoje Przyjście "

Bóg przyszedł bo już czas
Czas by zamieszkać w nas
Za Twoje przyście o Panie składamy podziękowanie
Tak miejsce masz Tak pośród nas tak w nas......

Bóg pragnie zbawić świat
Świat zagubiony biedny
Za Twoje przyjście o Panie składamy podziękowanie
Tak zbawić świat Tak wszystkich zbaw tak zbaw....

Bóg widzi Cię choć las
Las też miłości pragnie
Za Twoje przyjście o Panie składamy podziękowanie
Tak trudny czas Tak oświeć nas i las.

English Translation:

God came because there is a time 
A time to move into our hearts 
For your coming, O Lord, we are grateful
There is a place among us 
God wants to save the world
The world is adrift and poor
Please save the world
Please save all of us

I pray God to see you though there is the darkness of the forest around us 
The forest also needs love 
For your coming Lord, we are grateful
Even in hard times Light us up, light up the forest.

( you should know that it is connected with the place where the song was created - Sokolniki Forest )

Julia Sołek is a medical student from Łódź, Poland;  besides being really smart, she's also a talented artist, and especially loves singing. 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

11)Melody Gerke: Treasures

three is the number of Divine Love:
you shall marry the man your heart holds high
when you have a child;
it will be time
when the Holy One arrives.

do not be afraid.

when your pulse pounds
at the sound of his name aloud;
how the eager compass inside your ribcage
forever points toward him:
these are good and true, dear.
treasure them with the rest.
let the knowledge of his intention
grow quietly in your soul—
let him go and build,
let him follow his own instructions.

do not forget your precious work:
to rest, to sing,
to dream,
to eat well,
to be fascinated;
to be full in body as you create,
as you cradle the stuff of Heaven.

know this is wide,
know this is wild,
and breathe, darling,
for you have been chosen.

your heart alone can hold these treasures
and thus they are yours.

Melody Gerke is an Oregon-based poet and singer.  Check out some more of her poems and musings on tumblr

Friday, December 20, 2013

10)JL Jacobs: Prayers and Poems.

Come sit beside us, O God, within us, around us
and energize us to be more,
to seek our status in your Spirit,
to seek our identity in You.

May we be one in You,
as we brother and sister together,
that in becoming mirrors,
we might reflect your shining
as the stars do the sun.
O God of our transforming
help us see the miracles about us,
to realize when your are there
rivering our deserts,
and building roads through our oceans.

On Synaesthesia
and Beethoven’s Marcia funebre:  Allegro assai
How many poets
do you reckon       see / hear
music in colors?
Is anyone surprised
Samuel Taylor Colridge
described      the bright
the deep            purple
of Beethoven’s slow
movement of his Eroica.
Call now: Two flutes, two oboes,
two clarinets, two bassoons, three horns,
two trumpets, tympanum, and strings.
Famous funeral march tempo
into music that almost goes away.
Diminished A seventh.
Color now:
Purple. Royal. Hallowed Advent.


God of manna in the wilderness
God of living manna
upon whom we feast
in Holy Eucharist,
we entreat you,
into the whole of our beings,
that in love
we may honour and prefer you,
keeping our committment
to your Holy Word.
We await you
that we might
your Shekhinah, your radiance,
and ourselves become
a sacred tent of the Covenant.
JL Jacobs is an Oklahoma poet, and the author of The Leaves in Her Shoes.   The first and third pieces were liturgical prayers written for St. John's Episcopal Church. 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

9)Audrey Miller: Gift

From the Artist:  “Gift”:  Christmas is a time of giving gifts. It has never happened in my experience, but recently I realized that the thing about giving gifts is that they can be rejected. Our father offers us his gift: salvation and with it love, life and light, but nothing can make us accept it. We are free to choose. We are free to accept it and live and free to reject it, turn away and be consumed by the darkness. As a Christian, every day I am free to reject God’s will for my life. This Christmas I am reminded not to take this gift for granted and to cling to he who gives it with all my strength.

Audrey Miller is a recent Studio Art graduate of CSU Chico and one of the most joyful people I have ever met.  She currently lives at home and works as a waitress.  Check out her Artslant website .

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

8)Josué David Suazo: Canciones de la Navidad (Guitarra)

Josué David Suazo is a Guatemalan guitar player and artist. He loves instrumental music as well as contemporary rock music. He has been a member of several bands such as Link and Doce, and is part of The Classical Guitar Orchestra in Guatemala City. He loves to produce music and teach it, and he hopes to start a project to give a voice to the voiceless through art. He is also a fan of cookies and milk.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Some tunes for your Christmas playlists

Didn't get a submission yesterday, but figured that SOMETHING should be shared to make up for it: 

Check these two Christmas albums out; they're by far two of my favorites, and best of all, they're free!

| For sweet guitars and little rollickin...check out the Oh Hellos... And for spine-tingling frosty melodies, don't miss Sleeping at Last's Christmas Collection: We'll be back with more 25 Days tomorrow!

Monday, December 16, 2013

7)Stephen Carradini: Watching the Heavens

Everything seems out of control
From the weather to the food
Shortages and terrifying storms
Everything plowing to an inevitable end
Watching the heavens, watching the heavens

And yet a pause

Amid marital crisis and construction delays
The Christ was born
In a world staggeringly like ours
The same fears, the same hopes,
Watching the heavens, watching the heavens

are we unknowingly arrogant
To claim this the end of the world?
That we get to be present for it, Exclusive?
That we were powerful enough
To overthrow world without end?

I worry, indeed, about the world
But this is the sign that Christmas is:
Fear not! I bring you tidings of great joy.
For unto you is born he who controls the world,
That you may fear no more the world
But celebrate that your savior is at hand
And from whose hand you will receive the power
To make your tiny dent upon the world
This is Christmas: that we are free
Because God said, you are free,
And thus we try to free alike
Those injusticed, those in pain,
Those affected, even global warming
This is Christmas: the beginning of our and their
Arrived hope,
Watching the heavens, watching the heavens

Stephen Carradini is a writer and musician from Oklahoma who currently resides in North Carolina.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

6)Ryan and Nicole Bowman: Joyful News 244

By Ryan and Nicole Bowman. 

Ryan and Nicole live in Florida and are active members of the Sacred Harp singing community, traveling almost every weekend to sing.
For more info:

Saturday, December 14, 2013

5)Greta Cydzikaitė: Laukimas.

Texts taken from numerous advent hymns.  Photography and editing by Greta Cydzikaitė

Greta Cydzikaitė is simply awesome.  Originally from Mažeikiai, Lithuania, she studies psychology and music at the University of Glasgow and plays violin, sings, draws, and volunteers in her spare time. 

Friday, December 13, 2013

4)Krista Kahsen: O Come O Come Emmanuel Photoshow

Krista Kahsen is a recent homeschool high school graduate.  She recently did a gap year service in Mexico at Refuge Ranch (a family style children's home) and is active as a photographer, pianist, and piano teacher. 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

3)Kathryn Nellis: In the Bleak Midwinter

Kathryn Nellis is a professional artist based in Pennsylvania and a recent graduate of Gordon College. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

2)Kathryn Nellis: November


I chose this tree because it exhibited maturity, perhaps even signs of damage, but vitality and hardiness as well. I hoped to evoke the Jesse Tree (there is the suggestion of a vine at the base of the trunk), and also foreshadow the cross.

The birds (Canada geese) speak of brotherhood, pilgrimage, and the prophets. Tangled amidst the branches, they almost appear to be leaves. The geese also provide movement and life, suggesting that there is more than what lies within the edges of the painting. They are destined for a place unseen. 

The tree seems static, but the luminous trunk, extending branches, and quilt of decay below remind us that it is only waiting within itself, still stretching out, still providing life, preserved by its sap until spring.

In both paintings I experimented with dripping, sanding, carving, glazing, and impasto painting. I used a palette knife to apply much of the paint, which helped me loosen my application with unexpected textures and effects.

I was inspired by Gerard Manley Hopkins’s “God’s Grandeur,” and by Bruce Herman and Makoto Fujimura’s QU4RTETS exhibit. 

Kathryn Nellis is a self-employed artist:  a talented painter and musician, she recently graduated from Gordon College in Massachusetts and now resides in Pennsylvania.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Day 1: Kelvin Fowler "Anointed One"

Kelvin Fowler is a Kiwi pastor, poet, writer, and artist who lives in Klaipėda, Lithuania. His exploits include numerous publications, poetry tours of the UK and Germany, and various adventures like those in his book Clueless in America. Check out more of Kelvin's work at, including his latest book, Verses for the King

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


Wonderful time of the year...

HEADPIECE's 25 Days of Christmas starts in SIX DAYS!!!!!   Woohoo!!!  Get excited and bust out your Christmas albums!  We bout to do this.  Send your submissions asap!  Poems, Photography, Creative Non-Fiction, Fiction, Film, Music, Art, if it's artsy and Christmas or Incarnation-related, we'll take it!!  The hope is in community to refresh our view of Christmas, so that those stale old traditions can be beautiful, and to share art, because art is awesome!!!

Please send submissions to me on FB or to jimtak23 AT g mail, please send you submissions before December 20th!

Be sure to check out last years submissions for inspiration.  We've got a place for your work right here.  :) 

Si tienes algo artística sobre la navidad o sobre la tema de la encarnación en español...por fa envíalo también...podemos traduccirlo para los gringos.  :)  jimtak23 en gmail punto com.

Если у тебя есть что-нибудь по-русскй, что-то исскуство которое на теме рождества или зимы или воплощения, отправьте пожалуйста на э-майл jimtak23 на gmail точко com.