Following on from last week’s poem on the Annuciation here is another (rushed) new one on the Nativity. Forgive what seems a dark telling – it is probably an over-reaction to the latent nativities from schools and cards that plague my memory.

It often seems to me that Nativities are pregnant with everything but the reality of incarnation!


contracted strains

declaring pain

that will not ease with words;

nor does promise,


the threat unfolding here


choral angels


this woman’s waters breaking,

panting, pauses,

cries, and shouts:

the glorias of the evening


fingers fumble at the air

lips sip at life:

a baby suckles

at the body

of the girl

who cried in strife


nativity telling,

the first staging here,

of the pieta foreseen;

holding the baby,

Madonna-our Lady

knows; so let it be.


so men discard

on Christmas cards

the anticipated danger

Mary giving birth

to God,

so inciting threats of murder.




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