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there is a place somewhere 

deep in the corners of our world

where this season

has been preparing

from a time before we can remember


quietly moving in us through the ages

with the sound of hope

it is found in a hint of an ancient voice

calling us into something new


a prophetic whisper

formed by a truth

now ready to be born

between us


in that space that is the shape of a relationship

that holds the sound of our coming together

that knows the touch of what we can create between us

the space where hope is born



deep in the corners of our world

this season shifts once more

and takes for itself a name

an advent name

born through struggle and hope

honed by waiting and scarred by fear

a name that is only a whisper as yet





Starlight scatters sparkle across the frost

and the midnight blue

feels hollow against the cold


the air is heavy with the weight

and stillness

of waiting


There is a rumour among the trees

whose branches are frozen by the night

that the light will come


that this deepness of dark

will rise

as the season turns


and all that has breath

holds it

for that promised moment


and the waiting is deep

deep enough to hear in the distance

a gathering of words


coming from ancient times

and full of restless hope

that carry the light


and slowly the night shifts 

and the darkness hesitates

with the singing of angels


frost shimmers

with a gust of light 

as keen as a child’s cry


for somewhere in the east

the darkness is broken

by a rumour:


the light is on its way



In such a darkness as this

at solstice 


In such a place as this

in advent


In such a moment at this

at manger-side


may we finish with the words

the descriptions

the definitions

the explanations

and let you be


be the turning of the light that shrinks the solstice shadows

be the presence that makes every place holy

be the moment in every moment that means something


may we know it

in our hearts,

and feel it 

in our souls,

and touch it

in our communities,


beyond words

yet a word

made flesh

a word


a word

that breathes with life

with love

with us


So be it


Solstice & Carols






The name Emmanuel

is a tough name

spoken by those

with bloodied hands

who have struggled and hoped escape from bondage


Voice 2:

a name for struggle

against a world that oppresses

and proclaims as fake

the news of hope

for the least among us


Voice 1:
a name for revolution

that curses the darkness empire uses

to hide their corruption of freedom


Voice 2:

a name for anger

that is heavens own

against the silence of the powerful

whose power

has come off the backs of the powerless


Voice 1:

a name for disruption

of the heady routines

of the rich and well-fed

in favour of the hungry and poor

and sits with them

in their worn-out clothes


Voice 2:

a name for challenge

for the doctrine makers

who would rather Jesus 

was meek and mild

and placed in a manageable box


Voice 1:

a name for tension

in the hearts of the kings of the world

the everyday Herods

whose way is fear 

and method is control


Voice 2:

Emmanuel is a name

that has been honed by the poor

dented and bruised by the world

scarred and scratched by rewriters of history

yet it is God’s name

and it means justice

and it means hope

it means: God is on the side of the least,

the least among us.



What do you do after news like that?


My head was full of questions


and my heart… my heart was full of song.

It just burst out of me

all these hopes I never knew I had been carrying

buried in me

generation after generation

given to me by my ancestors

passed on by them

burying them deeper

enough that we had forgotten what they were


but the angel’s words

called them

drew them to the surface

and how did we not know

that God’s good news

would be a song

a rich lyric of freedom


that magnifies your soul

and rejoices in God

my saviour


how did we not know

that God would sing in us

of freedom

of mercy flowing into each generation

of the poor lifted up

and the rich sent away empty handed


It wasn’t a shout

it wasn’t a cry


it was a song

and I will sing it

with all of my soul

to my child

new breath and vulnerable to the world

but born to enflesh this promise


And I will sing God’s ancient word

first breathed at creation

a lullaby

his flesh will stretch into

waiting yet

but soon lying in my arms


and my soul magnifies


joins the holy song

of God

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