SHEEP LIKE STONES: AN UNUSUAL, ATMOSPHERIC CAROL

I came across this little Advent carol recently in a book our family love, ‘The thirteen days of Christmas’ by Jenny Overton. It is very spare in its use of words but rich in its images and the atmosphere it creates. Has anyone discovered this carol already?

advent+candles[1]

‘Sheep like stones
in silent fold,
snow like ash
settling cold.

Walk a world
bereft as dream,
birdless wood,
standing stream.

Bethlehem:
the children whine;
travellers
wait in line.

Tired men ring
the courtyard fire,
tethered mules
crowd the byre.

Stumble through
the cattle-pens;
overhead
roosting hens.

Spread with bales
the reeking floor;
birthing bed:
sacks and straw.

Trim the lamp;
bemused and numb,
watch and wait:
soon, a son.’

And talking of sons, mine is arriving this afternoon for Christmas. Yay!

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