Here are two poems for Christmas written by Paul Goodliff.
Every mother is a little lost,
heart-abandoned to their new-born child.
Indifferent to the waking and the cost,
the moment’s awareness, and the hair run wild.
But this one, straw-laid and linen-wrapped
somehow called forth more than just
the wonder and the usual joy.
Something more like worship— rapt
attention, woven into love just short of lust.
The memory of the angel’s glance
from heaven to her virgin womb,
and the stirring, more than simply chance
of hormones or, she might assume,
the thought of Joseph and his love, her groom;
it struck her then, as also now,
that this was different, divine somehow.
No, this one was different,
it was certain, and so strange.
Yes, her heart was won
by birth and God’s loving intent
that she should be the mother
of the Saviour of the world, the one
who would redeem — another
story, almost entirely,
than the one she had imagined
or her family might arrange.
This one would almost surely break her heart,
yet love her to be his willing slave.
No doubt about it from the start —
the one she bore, her world to save.
The Star-lit child
He who made the stars and skies
under the star-lit heavens lies
murmuring in the straw, now wrecked
upon earth’s farthest shore
this One whom God calls his elect.
The hands that fashioned matter’s form
are curled around a stem of corn
and grip a finger, proffered, when
shepherds visit, unimportant men
who, stunned by angels’ choirs and news
search for a stable – no time to lose
to find a mother and her babe awake:
signs of God’s love for humans’ sake.
With passing weeks a star shines still
brighter than Venus, more brilliant, ‘til
those who search for truths’ bold claim
find a king who bears loves’ name.
And will I too the search pursue
to find God’s purpose made anew,
and journey to that place, and pray
to him who is Love’s Truth, Love’s Way?
Yes, though now there be no star
nor angel choirs, nor, from afar
those students of vast heaven’s voice
that speaks of glory, birth and choice.
The Daystar from on high has shone
now in my heart, and heaven’s song
is sung in quieter tones and hushed
before a sleeping child, uncrushed.
Here I will stay to find new grace
from heaven’s rich store, the stable place
where God’s great love and mercy weaves
the pattern that, in this babe, believes.