Advent & Christmas

This is the night month of wilderness voices

And exotic creatures:

The lion and the adder,

the asp and the cockatrice,

The wolf, the calf,

And a little child to lead them.

The darkness is fretted

With the sound of a golden chorus

Concerning One coming to rule.

What went we out for to see?

Jewels in the night air,

The broad fields, the winding river

And moonlight soaking the moor.

The world and its three dimensions:

The natural imprint of the brooding Trinity.


Ask a child about Christmas:

Itís all in the clinging apprehension

of Christmas Eve; The pulse of expectation.

There is something odd

about true prophecies:

They do come true

But not as we expected.

They looked for the Messiah as

A beautiful youth,

The warrior David

Returned to shatter Caesar,

As he slew Goliath with a single stone;

Or Judas Maccabaeus

Running with Godís spears

Against Antiochus Epiphanes.


But the chariot of this warrior

Is a manger;

His first act a retreat,

Flying into Egypt;

Reversing, as it seemed

the triumph of Moses.

Later in the Christmas afternoon,

In the too bright electric light

And toys discarded

By the sleeping child:

Three trees bare and scourged by the wind

Wait to be redressed

In the holy springtime.

And his stone is not like Davidís.

Peter Mullen

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