Friday, December 15, 2017

“Advent Poem” By St. John of the Cross

"Little donkey, on the dusty road" - A detail from a painting by Huang Zhou (1925-1997) of eight donkeys. Ink on paper.

“Advent Poem” By St. John of the Cross

If you want, the Virgin will come walking down the road
pregnant with the Holy and say,
“I need shelter for the night.
Please take me inside your heart, my time is so close.”
Then, under the roof of your soul,
you will witness the sublime intimacy,
the divine, the Christ, taking birth forever,
as she grasps your hand for help,
for each of us is the midwife of God, each of us.
Yes, there, under the dome of your being,
does creation come into existence eternally,
through your womb, dear pilgrim,
the sacred womb of your soul,
as God grasps our arms for help:
for each of us is His beloved servant never far.
If you want, the virgin will come walking down the street,
pregnant with Light, and sing!


  1. I understand that it was Brother Francis who started the whole creche tradition. He walked a donkey into the church on Christmas day to remind the people of the story.

    1. the donkey does seem to be central to the story. I remember a children's story I had once about the donkey who carried the pregnant mother. I will see if I can find it.

    2. Seems that there are several children's books out there about the donkey, but the one I remember is "The Donkey's Dream", by Barbara Helen Berger.

      As he walks along, a donkey dreams he is carrying a city, a ship, a fountain, a rose, then a “lady full of heaven” upon his back. When the lady gives birth in a cave, she calls the donkey to her: “See what we have carried all this way, you and I.” A Christmas picture book rich in symbols of the feminine, with an author’s note at the end.

  2. 2Cents --------------

    i just cant think of a pregnant women
    about to give birth would be walking
    down the street with a lantern and singing
    not any of the females i ever new anyway -
    i do not think child birth is a warm and fuzzy experience

    happy happy blessings ___________________________

    1. Can you think of your life, itself, being a pregnant woman?

      I don't know about yours, bob, but my life isn't exactly what I would call a warm and fuzzy experience. There is a certain amount of "labor" involved.

    2. so this -
      just what i thought
      but alas dont know for sure
      about the discomfort of childbirth
      have had no direct experience, Amen to that !!!!

      happy happy ________________________________

  3. Replies
    1. I think I found the donkey photo on your site, Phil. THANKS!


Mary Oliver

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