Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Thinking of angels

Oh, do not try to make it ordinary
or even think of credibility -
this visitation by the angel
or many
to shepherds in their freezing fields
or Mary -
no: I see hosts of snowy wings
descending in impossible sweeps
of power, I see
faces taut and gleaming, and those
piercing eyes that penetrate the soul
so that breath fails, and when it
passes there remains a vacuum -
and perhaps just a single

©C.M.M. 12/11

Dedicated to the choir of St Thomas, Fifth Avenue, for their singing of A Babe is Born (Matthias)

I've used a different picture here of the Annunciation from the one I used on blethers  - though nothing I could find quite matched the vision I had!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Winter Solstice

The silver tree is a white ghost
in the dimpled white of last week’s snow
as the pale glow in the eastern sky
shows where the short-lived sun will rise
while night withdraws itself to where
a thin moon hangs above the hills.

The coloured lights of the coming feast
Shine in the silent streets below;
The last cries of the drunken night
Are echoes, and the drinkers sleep.
The birds wait, frozen on the tree.
A prayer stirs in the coldest heart.

© C.M.M. 12/11

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Suffering General

The original Southern General Hospital, Glasgow

Hospitals no longer have that smell
- the fearful pungency of old -
no: there is a casual air
about the hours of waiting, where
random chat is fractured
and coffee cups abandoned
as if this were a station –
a brief halt in life’s affairs
a stop along the line
before the terminus.
Stop: don’t think of terminus,
not here, among the shifting
interrupted lives of those
who miss their names –
impatient calls and repetitions –
then stumble off to share their need
and leave, calmed for now or not,
out into the grey day where fog
swirls round a half-built tower
and coughing echoes in the biting air.

©C.M. 11/11

Monday, August 01, 2011

The conversation

Under a pale sun - not cool,just
grey and calm - the words
flowed. Dissonance and history,
patronage and eternal things,
maths and music and the links or
not links were tossed about,
resolved and questioned,
worried and smoothed against the demons
that might darken a day.
And all around the earnest talk
the birdsong fluttered in the unthinking light,
the peerless technique of the singers
rising and falling among the flowers,
its challenge merely territorial
its  beauty only in our minds.

C.M.M 07/11

Friday, April 22, 2011

Birdsong in Gethsemane

In the darkling garden
a lone bird drops
liquid notes like dark blood
beneath the quiet trees. And then
silence. And in the silence
the old struggle surges
as flesh and soul pull
apart. The body aches
to be the prayer, to feel
the God’s warmth
in the darkness. But
there is only stillness
and the blood’s song
and the everlasting longing
as somewhere far away
innocence sleeps.

©C.M.M. 04/11