The Attendant Circumstances by Robert Farrell

I.

So spoke the Son. The paraclete
was author of his own conception,
and with his own hand
fashioned human attire
for the one who descended in secret
into a virgin’s womb
through closed gates; and went forth
from that virgin’s womb, again
through closed gates.
A marvelous thing every way:
the whole progress of his life.
In him the enemy found
nothing to claim as his own.
Yet he attacked
a being not his; condemning him;
condemned
by him, he condemned him
to the death
of the cross.

II.

Now, the method of procedure
is this: first, bring together in your mind
all the grammatical forms; next,
choose the most effective one – that case through which
meaning enters the ear
most delightfully.
A discerning judge
must be at work here; he must see
with discernment.
To be discerning, you need
both theory and practice. Precept
may be clarified here
by example;
take the following brief theme:
I  a m  g r i e v i n g  over this matter.
Now apply the principle just established:
From this fountain g r i e f  flows over me. Hence
the root (or the seed, or the fount, or the source)
o f  g r i e f rises within me. This affair
is matter and cause f o r  g r i e f. It sows
(or gives birth to, or piles up) g r i e f.
With cruel wounds, tormenting
g r i e f, you rage against me. My mind,
as it were, lies prostrate, injured and ill
wi t h  g r i e f.

Source text: “Part IV: Ornaments of Style” of the Poetria Nova of Geoffrey of Vinsauf translated by Margaret F. Nims (Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies: 1967)

Robert Farrell lives and works. He was born and educated. His poems have appeared. More about him can be found.

Christmas Carol Haiku Triptych & one other by Kern Windraith

Christmas Carol Haiku Triptych

Snow deep, brightly moon,
Wind blows my heart, winter’s rage
Coldly possessing.

No crib, sweet head. Stars
On the hay. No crying, stay.
Love me, dear heaven.

Season, be jolly!
Blazing harp, merry treasure.
Old passes. Sing all.

Source texts: “Good King Wenceslas”, “Away in a Manger”, “Deck the Halls”.

 

Artificial Tree Assembly Instructions
or Insanity Ensued

Tips:

Assemble
Contents from box.
Choose bags of hinge pins
And washers. Inspect frayed wire,
Cracks in lightholders. Identify sections.
Specific instructions: consult pamphlet. Hangtag
letter or number. Additional Instructions: Flap free,
Legs X-shaped. Tighten eyebolt through the flange. Stand.
Continue from the ground up. Fall into place gently
Within the tree.

Source text: “Assembly, Use, and Care Instructions for your Balsam Hill™ Christmas Tree”, balsamhill.com

Kern Windwraith lives in the once rainy city of Vancouver, British Columbia, where she writes poetry and fiction and waits for the dust bunnies to become animate and start looking after the housework. Her poetry has been published in The Literary Hatchet.

Christmas Truce & one other by M. L. Brown

Christmas Truce

candles

on their trenches

small gifts        breathing

burial parties

both sides        dead together

both sides

gathered
call ed.
Source text: Wikipedia Entry for “Christmas Eve”, segment 5.1, Christmas Truce.

 

[Stille Nacht]

1914
candles on trenches    trees

two sides          shout Christmas
thereafter

war

 

Source text: Wikipedia Entry for “Christmas Eve”, segment 5.1, Christmas Truce.

M. L. Brown is the author of Drought, winner of the Claudia Emerson Poetry Chapbook Award, forthcoming from jmww in the fall of 2015. Her poems have appeared in various journals and anthologies including Blackbird, PMS, and Not Somewhere Else, But Here: a Contemporary Anthology of Women and Place. Formerly a grass-roots organizer, M. L. Brown devotes her time, when not working on her poetry, to raising funds for a nonprofit health care clinic.

Yarn by Gareth Writer-Davies

our decorations were glass
but a wagging tail
shattered them

and brought down the tree

so with needles
you wove a Noble Fir

and with hooks
crocheted soft unbreaking baubles

a lovely tree
that may be bent
but never broken

Source text: www.amazon.co.uk/Christmas-Balls-Knit-Colourful-Ornaments/dp/1844487814

Gareth Writer-Davies was Commended in the Prole Laureate Competition in 2015, Specially Commended in the Welsh Poetry Competition and Highly Commended in the Sherborne Open Poetry Competition. He was also shortlisted for the Bridport Prize and the Erbacce Prize in 2014. His pamphlet, “Bodies”, was published this year through Indigo Dreams.

This poem was previously published in Ink, Sweat and Tears, Christmas 2014.