Is it possible we picked the place on purpose?
Prompting, pushing poetry, prophecy, protest (Me?)
Perhaps the place picked us:
The festival for the manger baby
The busyness, the star, the stable
Outside the inn
Counting coins and traveling songs
Birthing noise and sandals in dung
Candlelight and conversation
Baby with nowhere to go, see?
At the door, no guards – but the soldiers come
At the window, no bars – but the soldiers come
Homeless and hopeful
Back on the road in the morning
Festival for a refugee
Shelter and seeking
Silent Night’s about asylum, right?
The island, right?
Attention centred on detention centres
Herod’s slaughter of the innocents
Holy night and all is alight with the riots (like the rhymes of the unheard)
Vagabond Lord / International Law
Human rights be a light on that tree
Off and on among the evergreen
From foreign seas with all the needle leaves
Red and green boxes
You and me
On our knees
Trying to imagine just what could be
Inside those boxes under lights
Like the baby in the trough on the Christmas night
Underneath a starlit sky
Live or die
Like the souls in those walls behind walls behind walls
Behind guards armed to fire
And no cameras inside
Small cages, big skies
Little gifts, blinking lights
Homeless baby, right?
While shepherds watch flocks we get undies and socks
While the refugees burn down their cages, we tan
In the afternoon street cricket sun while the man
And the mother of Christ and her son weep and run
To the country where once they were slaves
Will they never be safe?
The ocean of desert
The island of beatings and torture and raping and worse
All the waiting and waiting and waiting
Away in a manger
This little lost lady lies lonely and knows
That this stable is out here for a reason:
Too close to the homes filled with family and friends
Then that animal stench would offend, you know?
The cattle are lowing
The baby awakes
Lock that fucking gate
On the one day that’s stranded in three sixty-four
In the stable that’s stranded
Amongst homes with their double-locked doors
On the island that’s stranded by miles and miles, see?
‘Neath the star and the tree lights,
‘Neath the fires and the riots,
In the swaddling,
The cheap wrapping paper,
In the fencing and cages,
In the silence
The silence of night,
A Christmas surprise – and this on the island –
A new baby cries out
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