Christ at Christmas

The Jesus child,

The Jew,

is front and centre,

of our tinsel dreams

about the world

as it might be,

as it could be,

in the economy of innocence.


The icons of mother and child,

vivid in images and echoing in songs,

shimmer with possibilities

that many think

and many feel

are all too hard to realise

and yet so insistent

in human desire

for something good beyond nothing.


Christ, the Messiah,

born of Mary,

is icon of an unstated togetherness

and euphoria

that bind us together

just at this one time of year,

this crazy time of good will,

as atheists, believers

and those who

care only for the sacred in the now.


Christ at Christmas

is the shared consciousness

of the desire to

be more for each other

and to give the tangible

and the intangible

as a cohesive act in

a world the consistently

defies the cohesive.


In all this ritual,

with celebration and the mute

joy of the presence of the other,

there is the emblem of the Christ

that exists and does not exist in the revelry,

as a faint memory for some,

and a vivid expansive experience for others.


Yet, outside the gates of our joy,

outside the confines of class and culture,

in the streets and houses of disaffection,

lie the other ones,

who are wrangling with survival

and living with the pressure of the lie of prosperity.


Does the Christ at Christmas live there?


Does the Christ,

the baby born in obscurity,

the wandering refugee,

live there as a drug for despair?

Or is the child just the sign

of this profitable time?


A meal is shared

and a gift is given;

churches fill that are mostly


and the refugees

and those who sleep hard

or not at all,

look up at the stars

and think of the child,

the Christ at Christmas,

who shared their poverty

and lived their despair.