Christmas Poems

Published on 23 Dec 2016

By Fr Brian McClorry SJ


Arguments with Angels

To start with we

Found dreams

And arguments with angels.


After the counting

They found large songs

For so small a place.


Found out by a star

The wise could not be silent

Even their gifts were talkative.


Angels forced a journey

Beyond the Egyptian sea

And helped us escape again.


We came back

To bad news and a small shop,

Starting up once more.


In the beginning

And nowadays too,

Arguments with angels.


Made Flesh

Difficult to be made flesh –

Too many slips ‘twixt

Cup and lip.


Pious certainty elbows

Mystery out.  Fear’s control

Drives out desires dreams.


Have we caught him

Now at last in our small

Dimensions grasp?


The child cannon talk

Is not prayed to yet,

Simply wondered at:


But this is incarnation

Never straightforward

For anyone, even us.


Just now we gather

Quite incomplete

Around the birth


That is absolute:

Love and wisdom grow

‘Twixt cup and lip.



A year of no birth.

- Look closer, look true.


A year nevertheless of no birth.

- Keep silent, stay still.


A year indeed of no birth.

- Hear the words in the wind.


A year however of no birth.

- Search then for travellers.


Few can move: three

Wisdom figures gone astray,

Shepherds flockless in the town,

Some targets for numbering,

Angels oddly out of place.


But on the road

A couple move

By the raven’s cry

Toward a birth

As unobtrusive

As resurrection.


Christmas Trees

Born in a burning bush

About three thousand years ago,

Then later more commonly

Bereft of needed room.


Is every bush a burning bush,

Do leaves of knowledge and of life

Keep green?  Is no fruit forbidden,

Space where there was none before?


Oh pray with care to find

How on this fissured earth

Each pine needle flames

In wonder at the burning


Wood of resurrection.