On the day of the Winter Solstice: a poem to be read, sung or said for Christmas.

Whilst the words refer to the middle east, the room I had in mind could equally be now, nearby, and familiar to you.


When sleep calls, sweet-heart,
And your cheek falls, warmth-wards,
To your dream land, bed-warmed,
Consider this now, great thought.

Of far lands, dust-blown,
And a place there, pink-skied sheep-land,
Where Christ lay, your Belovéd.
Many winters past, my belovéd.

A simple space, a concrete room,
Where mummy rocks, coo-coo, dove’s tune.
Cows low, goats groan – friendly fellows!
Lambs nestle in the subtle shadows.

Heaven dips, earth-bound,
And from chiton white, a radiant light,
So wars must slumber, taking fright –
Mankind wakes, o blesséd Night!

Peace to you then, good child,
Warming quilt yearns morning light.
Christ is born, mourning ends,
Night flees from gentle Bethlehem.

© 2018 J A Elcock

Reproduced by permission from Vallum, published 2018 by The Artel Press.