Some less sickly sweet Christmas characters

Posted: 15 December 2013 in Poems, Understanding Others
Tags: , ,


There are too many sickly sweet Christmas characters about. Let’s meet some others.

Herod The Great

I do this for the greater good. As Machiavelli said:
“it is better to be feared than to be loved”
In this- I have excelled.
My firm hand gives ensures peace for all.
I am a force for the greater good
Here, where the Great Powers contend with religious fanatics
I will not allow three wandering dreamers from Baghdad
To unwittingly unleash chaos and slaughter.
I will enforce the greater good
The Bethlehem Infections Control unit took all the little boys
For inoculations. Their deaths was such a tragedy
I will send flowers.
For the greater good, there will be no boy messiah.
“Loose talk sinks ships” they said. And nations too.
These ideas will be the fall and rise of many.
You have been warned.

The Thinkers and Mystics

It’s silly for a Think Tank like ours to start looking
For a Great Prophet/Divine Ruler/Saviour,
So old fashioned, so farfetched, so puerile.
It’s silly for three old men to leave their cosy homes
For Baghdad, Damascus, and then Jerusalem
Terrorism in the countryside, paramilitaries in the cities
Three grown men acting out comic book fantasies?
It’s silly to say, meeting Herod was great.
“A new ruler? Tell me more!” he asked,
As asked Charles 1st of Cromwell, Stalin of Trotsky
The fire in his eyes told us we were not so silly after all.
It’s silly to say, we felt stupid in the bike shed
Two PhDs, a Nobel laureate, huddled with a girl and babe
But all the different pieces fitted together
Perhaps not so silly after all.

A TraveLodge Manager

I care for my customers.
My twenty five rooms and car park –full
And that couple in the bike shed.
I care, when the girl pops the baby on my watch
My bed sheets all bloody, and no sign of the placenta.
What will the Health & Safety say?
I care, when a bunch of raucous shepherds turn up
Followed by three shifty Iraqis, who at least paid laundry bills
Then health inspectors sporting pistols looking for boy babies
I care about minding my own business, looking a quiet life
I think about that kid.
It’ll come to a sticky end

Temple Shepherds

We are the needed, but the unwanted
The night shift for precious cargo
Lambs for the Temple in Jerusalem
We are singing in the streets, intoxicated, bedazzled
Our playlists erased, video on our mobiles- blanked
But Glory rings in our ears and dazzles our eyes
We’ve seen the Promise, The Times are indeed A’Changin
We know that we too are both needed and wanted.
We too have seen The Lamb for the Temple


What is going on?
Such a kind girl, prayerful, thoughtful
I can’t believe what I’m told.
I am ashamed for her.
“What is going on, Cuckold Joe?”
“Asleep on the job – someone else did it?”
Or forced by paramilitaries or Herod’s men
Girls aren’t worth much in troubled times.
I feel sorry for her. And for myself.
What is going on in my head?
Old prophecies now rush though my mind
Nights filled with divine dream messages
I totter with the weight of it all.
So much going on: strange stars. Shepherds wild tales.
Three oriental oligarchs, Herod’s Secret Police
There really is something going on.
And I want to be part of it.

Bill Lovett


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