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Rundle: a nativity scene

Guy Rundle remembers a very Australian Christmas.

Guy Rundle — Correspondent-at-large

Guy Rundle


Dim the lights and shield the candles
Thirty Kodak cameras flash
Before a yule eve almost shambles
The church grammar primary
‘Seventy-four nativity

Bears the markings of the era
Mary’s in a cut-down kaftan
Joseph: maroon dressing-gown
The donkey is the Johnston’s Afghan
Wise-men wear burnt orange crowns

On folding chairs, denim-ed parents
Lean in close to see their young
Christians? Er, syncretic nearer
Chakras, dolphins, est and Jung
Marys mum fucks wise mans father
Every Tuesday in his Saab Four
At back behind this Babylon
The vicar has his bike clips on
A skivvied teacher plays “moonshadow”
Yells directions, turns the page
As Mary drops potato Jesus
The donkey shits upon the stage

Where are they now, these midget saviours
Decades from their holy labours?
Mary, three grooms in tow
Does Pilates, Lexapro
The vicar, well he made parole
Slashed up in a dole hotel
Josephs end? perhaps the cleanest
“Dentist impregnates his hygienist”
Has a flat, alimonies (two)
Takes the kids to Maccas, then the zoo
The Afghan got the shagpile wet
Boxing day, to the vet

Oh dear we didn’t live the Passion
Caught in spark and die-away
In attics, with old boardgames, fashions
Those photos too, fade to gray
But for a moment, in that place

We had a small, sufficient grace


Leave a comment

6 thoughts on “Rundle: a nativity scene

  1. graybul

    It is not the high ground Guy . . .
    that today you seek
    nor do you care to reach
    an epistemological peak
    rather, choice of words designed
    aligned, focussed on affront
    stripped bare and unaware
    another ‘innocent’ in line to shunt?

  2. Guy Rundle

    That list line is set at smaller type in error, I should add; not done for twee effect

    1. AR

      Oh I dunno grundle, having that ‘list’ line writ smaller makes it the more poignant.
      Wassailing away.

  3. meg orton

    Goes for me too. A small ‘sufficient grace ‘ amidst all our human short comings.

  4. Hunt Ian

    Good grief, Guy, almost as bad as Rowan Dean

  5. Inner Space

    Oh great Guy so high up in the sky
    there must be a reason, i ll give it a try
    you wane and wax but neither hither or thither
    and to one on command you choose your slither
    tis not God that leads you aside
    but that religious facade that tears you inside
    so get down on your knees and rid your shamus
    otherwise it remains for you an ignoramus

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