Sunday, 20 December 2015

Animal Nativity


Animal Nativity - Les Murray

The Iliad of peace began
when this girl agreed.
Now goats in trees, fish in the valley
suddenly feel vivid.

Swallows flit in the stable as if
a hatchling of their kind,
turned human, cried in the manger
showing the hunger-diamond.

Cattle are content that this calf
must come in human form.
Spiders discern a water-walker.
Even humans will sense the lamb,

He who frees from the old poem
turtle-dove and snake,
who gets death forgiven,
who puts the apple back.

Dogs, less enslaved but as starving
as the poorest humans there,
crouch, agog at a crux of presence
remembered as a star.

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