Inspires magazine. As the magazine is now out, with the poem very handsomely presented, I feel free to share it here: the first poem I've ever written to order. I'm grateful for the stimulus - I thought I might have written all the Advent poems I was going to.
As the months slide towards
the winter dark, the first pang
of longing stirs, like the
quickening of the unborn child –
the sudden recognition, yet again,
of waiting and of need.
This deep-felt urge was surely felt
each winter, on the darkest fringe
where small fires flickered in the gloom
and men looked east, towards the rim
where every morning brought the sun
a little fainter, lower, cold –
and now we wait another dawn,
a birth of hope and love and trust.
And do we long to see the Son,
or long for longing, long to kiss
the wind of love, its passing felt
by all who light their candles here?
The child stirs in the womb of dark.
We stretch our hands in hope, and wait.