advent poem (ii)

We tripped, and falling forward into Advent

we blundered into waiting, unprepared

the altar purpled; candles spluttering

a welcome for the hesitating king.


As candles marked the time we took to walk

the plodding path, something unfolded there:

our ancient fathers knowing floods would come

prepared to sail to a different home

and prophets wept alone in wilderness

and desert heat, a head upon a plate

the price for crying out ‘Prepare the way’.


Another curtain falls. But hope was in

an angel visitation, bearing down

on one shy girl. Outside the brown leaves turn

to mulch, the wetly rising smoke leaving

a hole in the resentful bonfire. Now


the damp gives way to rain, as if the last

drops in the world have saved themselves for this,

a heralding of water, levelling

the crooked earth, the stone, the moss, the path

till at the dawn, the eastern sky is streaked

with something bright – the golden key that will

unlock the wait. O Morning Star, appear –

illuminate the turning of the year.

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