Fleshy Words

As I have, recently, been sharing some of my favorite poems relating to Advent and Christmas, I have been aware of the irony of it all.  Christmas celebrates "the Word" becoming "flesh"; and poems reverse the process, making "flesh" into "words".  Still, I trust that the appropriateness of the medium has come through in, at least, a general way.  To make the connection even stronger, though, I offer the following poem from Luci Shaw.  Shaw's poems are often delightfully mealy; they are best read aloud, letting the words fill your mouth.  They are almost chewable.  So, I encourage you to find a space where you won't feel embarrassed to be heard reading the following poem, and give your mouth, ears, and heart a treat.

Mary's Song

Blue homespun and the bend of my breast keep warm this small hot naked star fallen to my arms.  (Rest... you who have had so far to come.)  Now nearness satisfies the body of God sweetly.  Quiet he lies whose vigor hurled a universe.  He sleeps whose eyelids have not closed before. His breath (so light it seems no breath at all) once ruffled the dark deeps to sprout a world. Charmed by doves' voices, the whisper of straw, he dreams, hearing no music from his other spheres. Breath, mouth, ears, eyes he is curtailed who overflowed all skies, all years. Older than eternity, now he is new.  Now native to earth as I am, nailed to my poor planet, caught that I might be free, blind in my womb to know my darkness ended, brought to this birth for me to be new-born, and for him to see me mended I must see him torn.