December 17, 2006

December Poem Of The Month (Part VII)

My webmaster's away so I'm doing this myself. Hope it works. Happy Christmas everybody!!!

3. Christmas Eve 8 pm. (from Norfolk Carol 1996)

My daughter's dropped the torch
From iced fingers
Snowing the bulb
So the batteries don't connect
To its heart-warming glow
And we can't see the carol sheet...
But the wagon is hung with fairy lights
Frosted with moonshine
And we look like a Christmas card.
And we finally get
Past the too-crowded Inn
To the Promised Place-

A stable of prototypes:

Some faithful sheep farmers
With a vision of angels
If not of the road;

Three love-crazed riders
As seen on Look East
(Come out of the sunset
On secret paths
Across low fields
Of mud-chastened pasture
And shoots of corn the green
‘Green’ used to be
When the world was young,
Through winter-silent
Norfolk afternoon villages,
Church windows glinting
Like texts of mediaeval Latin)

An unmarried mother
(With a "lily-white"
King Herod of Sleaze
Biting her back,
Her face pure as Venus,
Her faithful Joe
Not quite the winner
Her parents had hoped for)

And tucked out of sight
Behind a bottle bank -
A babe in a crib.
The outlook
None too bright
As I lift our broken lamp
And the brass strikes off
And my voice stumbles in flight
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light,
The hopes and fears
Of all the years
Are met in thee tonight.

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