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This day, when all
the neighbours in my street have left
their rubbish out, is
(according to the Julian calendar)
Christmas Eve, and so
all that rubbish will disappear
on Christmas Day - at least
it will disappear from the street.
It won't really disappear.
It will turn up elsewhere.
But we believe
that on this day
God took the form of a
newborn baby
lying in a feeding trough
and as if
that wasn't enough, we say
that the whole mighty stream
of all the accumulated
rubbish of the world
will disappear
for ever
into that
infinite abyss
born this day
when the stars
(according to the Julian calendar at least)
tremble in fear.

[The end of this poem refers to a version of the old English Cherry Tree Carol in which Joseph asks the baby in Mary's womb when His birthday will be and the Child replies:

"On the sixth day of January
My birthday will be
When the stars and the elements
Do tremble in fear."

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