Shylight in Verse

Shylight is a story for Christmas. You can click here to find it on Amazon Kindle.

The muse for the story was the brief life of my beautiful niece, Charlotte Ava McManimon. For me, she was the deepest intersection of joy and grief, hope and loss, helplessness and inspiration.

Below, I’ve pasted a couple of poems that she also inspired.


Charlie-girl’s Second Birthday

When a child is taken our hearts are broken

By loss and the hopeless ache

of unfulfilled promise.

A staggering darkness

Where we looked for only light.

We are never again whole,

Or so we feel,

And we wrap our wounded selves

In our incurable hurt,

Wringing soul-filled tears from crumpled dreams

Until even sorrow seems glory

Compared to the sudden silence within

And without.

But a child is also given

Into moments like these.

A hope where hope has fled.

“For unto us a child is born,”

A Son of peace and glory.

“What child is this?”

And why should we care?

Will he return our stolen joy?

And straining to see meaning,

To see light in this present darkness,

We look through His first birth

And into His second—

His death and resurrection,

And we see . . .

And we see . . .

And we see . . .

Some of us still only see what was taken

Refusing faith and what was given

But faith is the search beam

And love is the glimmer

Lost in the darkness and just out of reach

And we reach . . .

And we reach . . .

And we reach . . .

And Love in His time reaches back

And that first touch that first taste

Of returning joy is enough

Not to quench,

but to further enrage our thirst

for more

More love, more joy, more


And hope is a fight

Hope is where we must live

Clinging to small joys

Chasing faint glows around dark corners.

Faith is hope in true things

And when faith meets promise

The Promise


Our deepest loss can be turned

To great gain

For God never steals our joy

Except to improve upon it.

We miss you Charlie-girl!

But we have faith

That a daughter was taken

But a Son was given.

A daughter was taken

And made perfect.

A daughter was taken and with her our joy

But only for a moment

Taken for a time,

distilled in pain,

returned in glory.

And we wait . . .

And we wait . . .

And we wait . . .

The next one is less about Charlie-girl and more about Jesus, but developed as I was writing Shylight, which of course was about Charlie-girl.

Shy the Light

Dimly through the veil, the Son

Breaks in muted splendor,

Seed of Heaven, sown in flesh;

Glorious surrender!

Ever joyful, Heaven waits,

Faith eclipsing sorrow;

Trusting that the Promise comes

Brighter than tomorrow!

Angel voices filled the night:

“Peace on earth, and favor.”

But few are those with ears to hear

Or eyes to see their Savior.

Hostages to curse and law

Till Jesus satisfied it.

Earth and Heaven intersect

God and man united!

Shy, the Light, that Holy night,

But, Oh, was He lifted up!



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