The Wise Men

It was slow and cold over the malevolent mountains

where icicle adorned camels tread on vague 

suspicions of trails. Their bitter breath freezing

in the air and each of us huddled gasping against

the icy blasts. The camps were hard; starting a

fire and hiding under the rough rugs and skins,

sheltering under the lee of snow weary camels,

with whitened humped backs or cool rocky caves.


We thought we’d understand, but soon forgot what 

it was that drove us here. A star hidden by dark 

clouds, just glimpses to direct our guarded gaze. 

Plodding feet of chilly camels. Holding on to the 

idea that somewhere was a birth that was God 

given. Months ago we’d spied the star as it rose, 

spilling its golden beams over the earth.  Each of us 

serious in science, astronomy and have called us wise.


Though seeing us now, cold and blizzard blown, they

might not  think it wisdom that sends us on the way, 

but the desperate need to be in a place away from the 

wolf howling, grinding, wind of violent living. The

drifts of snow became light dustings. And, we could 

see trees and the apathy of mountain passes became 

joy of green valleys where we rested, hunted and then

slept. But the beckoning star called us to continue on.


Thru’ the glittering night watches and gathering ourselves, 

we walked on towards a future that may be no future. 

Doubts come in droves in deserts, fearing our foolishness 

we arrived at a place our forebears knew and called the 

city of peace. The gold globe of  the temple shone 

in the late sun and the people jostled us with questions 

and insults as the camels shouldered their way up

narrow streets. Our wise servants buy from sumptuous, 


Thru’ the glittering night watches and gathering ourselves, 

we walked on towards a future that may be no future. 

Doubts come in droves in deserts, fearing our foolishness 

we arrived at a place our forebears knew and called the 

city of peace. The gold globe of  the temple shone 

in the late sun and the curious people jostled us with 

questions  and insults as our camels shouldered their 

way up narrow streets lined by newly laden stalls. 


Our arrival noticed.  We are coldly summoned and

invited in to see the suspicious king whose questions

hurt.  Gradually he reveals the cruel tyranny  of a

jealous man and we are caught in his spider web,

and there is no new- born king, only a silly hope

born of scientific observations and superstition. 

and now with wounded pride we hear his hidden 

snarl as he ask for our return with eyes of iron.


Twas the news of the baby he wanted. Like an asp,

he would worship the opposition. Perhaps we 

were wise after all – searching for goodness and 

seeing through his veiled threats and violence. 

As we left,  the star brightens on the horizon. 


Faith, like a newly lit candle wavered and held.

It was not far the unfolding. O’er Bethlehem it

shone. We murmured and mumbled as it stopped.

And we asked of a baby. And we met a few ’til

we saw the child, and felt the surrounding holiness.

No need for words, 

we fell down. 

We worshipped 

that we did not know 

and hoped that this smiling gift 

would bear our hope.  

We gave him from our store 

Gold, frankincense and Myrrh, gifts worthy of him 

and believed in our hearts that God was here.  We left,

 quietly and travelled home on a God given route

with a burning in our hearts:

knowing that we had been

at a beginning.

Christmas, what’s the point?

The lonely are lonelier,

the poor – even poorer,

the weak are slowly weaker,

the spoiled are so spoiled.

And there is a place

where you are either

outside or in. And no-

one asks you to enter.


The sad are even sadder,

the glad somewhat gladder,

the fearful – more fearing.

The workers – hard working

and there is a place

where feet are on the rest,

food is served to the best,

And joy is an Offshore Bank account.


Bastard! they called him,

born in squalor they said,

cuckolded his father she did,

and then he ditched them and

rebelled against their traditions,

Legalism and tyranny.     Instead,

He loved the sick into health,

gave sight to the blind,

restored the dead to life,

and hatred heartened them.


Captured him, killed him quick,

denied him a future. Just to stop

the rot.   Tortured by lash.

Crucified,  Christ on a tree,

They tried to rub him from 

history but love rebounds,

restores and reconciles.


Love gives the weak strength,

Love will feed the hungry,

Love befriends the lonely.

Love cares with the fearful,

Weeps with the tearful, and

Somewhere He is celebrated

still.  His sacrificial love 

flows and received heartens

and always a reason for joy.


Nadolig Llawen, Happy Christmas, Feliz Navidad, Joyeux Noel Frohe Weihnachten, 圣诞快乐, חג מולד שמח, Gëzuar Krishtlindjet, Ikrisimusi emyoli, ハッピークリスマス, Счастливого Рождества, Καλά Χριστούγεννα


Mercilessly the virus pursues us and prunes life on earth,

Masks are worn and relationships torn and born on the net.

Massive queues by the hospital to see the overworked staff.

Moment by moment worsening ’til Covid conversations are

Mixed with Christmas Greetings and curtains closely drawn.


Many people are working to avoid the pyres, wreaths and woes.

Multiple hands crafting vaccinations against poisonous progress.

Measuring and creating the chemists turn to war on an invisible

Mutinous enemy who coldly challenges their clever craft, then

Mutates into something new, something vile, a calculating killer.


Maintaining their arsenal governments buy their weaponry, 

Munching machines greedily tear down healthy trees and plants, 

Marksmen shooting innocent angry orangutans trying to flee.

Miserly we carve up our life, green space and wonder why it

Mercilessly bites us back!


Must we fight nature instead of nurturing the glorious wonder?

Masterminds of the world unite to secure a future for the whole.

Moved we should change today not tomorrow bearing the sorrow.

Mother Nature calls us to be as one with the beauty of our world.

Mother Mary birthed Jesus who spoke then of saving all creation.


Magi and shepherds hailed his coming and angels split the skies,

Moaning lips accused him. Shattering the hope of unity and progress.

Most times we occlude the truth that Christmas is the celebration of

Making us one with the creator who made each leaf and flower,

Multiplying shape and hue and scape. And true in steadfast love.

Christmas Threatened- Bah Humbug ?

She reached for the plain bread to lay it out.

One slice each with beans off a far Foodbank.

The disappointed children eat without pleasure,

and look with eyes that show meagre years 

of Tory rule. 


The face of plenty stares at them from the news-

paper stand – jolly eyes like Santa with a twist 

that is more like Satan. The little ones go to 

bed and hunger for tomorrow to be school, 

free meal fed. 


Crumpled faces of adults who see their kids

starving are fury whipped as they hear the

politicians think Christmas will make it well

while each day destroys their little ones

health and hope.


Bold figures with blind eyes, and deaf ears

to the cry of the poor, talk of turkeys and

the poor cry for bread and this time there

will be no knitting because they cannot 

afford the wool.

Ghosts of Christmas

They politely exercise their prero

-gatives by     sitting on our beds

when we crack open an urgent

eye to begin the day. They come

to us in each piece of wrapping 

paper and gift, the stockings on

the mantelpiece breaking open

wounds and joys and hurts and 

crazy memories of floundering


in snow, or singing hymns in

a cold church, with a blowing

organ reviving the hearts and

hearing their voices we may be

gladdened or grown disturbed.


They are there in the mince pies

and tight waist bands, the sixpence

in the pudding or watching from

the tree where the wrinkled tinsel

is worn thin with long use. By the


glass of wine another one waits

and smiles at the champagne, for

those bubbles are surely as old

as the hills, and blind us to every

old ill; that comes with those thin

faces from yesterday’s Christmases.

They seldom stay long; but enough

to raise merry memories, or of a 

heart burnt in the flames, not of 



of life’s random acts of cruelty.

The Shepherds

Did the star, so bright, kill the night?

The baby silent in submission to the

hands of unloved men and women?

Did angels hover and sing so sweetly?

Filling the sky with their susurration,

articulating the glory of an organic God?


Did Mary know that the sweat, pain

and agony of giving birth; was just the

beginning of his? Pain filled parturition 

of an embryo space where no-one need

protest, or claim difference or worthiness?

A love-in that shelters, equals and seeks

to redeem the bound world’s corruption.


The Shepherds knew. His life was like

their sheep, full of potential and then

the slaughter, the bloom of red 

spreading out to cover the blindness

of those; who saw their own images

and sought a sacrifice to cover their greed.

A Letter to Santa

I’ve written my letter and sent you my note,

he’s bound to see just what I wrote,

its not a lot but I’m sure he’ll see

that all these things are not for me.


Dear Santa, please may I have a big box

of peace, homes and hope along with my socks,

a jigsaw of food for all empty hands,

and drinking water in all of the lands.


Please will you take those who harm kids,

and put them in crates with very heavy lids,

and all those leaders who are pow! power mad

please, stop them because they are so very bad.


Please, stop climate change injustice,

regrow trillions of trees and lots of ice

help all people everywhere to finally see

that plastic does not belong in the seething sea.


Please Santa, we are so very very stuck,

and we turn all God’s beauty into muck.

I am afraid that everything is going to pot,

please, please,

place in my stocking all of this lot.