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:
It’s 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 God’s 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 David’s.