The Fragile Tent Christmas card, 2011…

Dear friends- may you be gifted with joy and peace.

By way of a Christmas card, I offer a picture, and a poem. The picture is by Janet McKenzie, whose art  inspired this lovely book.

Mary. Mother of God.

Where you born already divine;

A scrap of human flesh with a

God only skin deep?


Or did the shape of Messiah-

The mewling lion of Judah-

Need nurture?


At the breast of this mother

Scarcely beyond child herself

You took in milk


What sort of woman

Might school the star maker?

Whose sharp words


Could cut through a

Heavenly tantrum like a

Shaft of light through shadow?


Did she teach the turning of

The other cheek against some teenage



Or perhaps this was always the point-

Power and might made tender flesh

The highest now most lowly


The filling up of hungry mouth

The arms that hold

The pride at a first step


The learning and the loving

The pulse of blood in fragile vein

The summer cough


From this material

A man was made

Who became Messiah