Silent nights

Orion’s torso lies diagonally

his belt etched out in one, two, three

Pearly studs that break the blackness

Here below, dampened pockmarked pavements

sparkle in sodium mustard yellow

jaundicing hands casting soft shadows.

I am alone, it is Christmas, I am alone.


Shopping trolley forlorn

casually abandoned on the lawn

adds to the general air of neglect

though the tidy fences suggest otherwise.

That’s suburbia for you.


In the bleak midwinter, not that long ago

woe on woe –

forget the mistletoe; I am alone

when circling thoughts made moan

and empty souls lacked hope and home

was not where their hearts were –

they followed a star.


But you Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small

And Elizabeth, though you are barren

And Mary, though you are nothing

will all have your parts to play

Don’t give up; you’re entirely instrumental

and there’s so much more to keep living for.

For “the people walking in darkness

have seen a great light”,

And “for those who lived in the land where death casts its shadow”

a hope has dawned

Don’t give up. Wait the winter out.

He’s on his way.


“And in these dark streets shining

an everlasting light

the hopes and fears of all the years

are met in thee tonight.”