Mondays's poem

Comfort and Joy
By JONATHAN CWEORTH

The big day dawned
like an apocalypse
and the natal star shone red

The Mother of God stood by the crib
with a Mona Lisa smile and downcast eyes
while Santa put a brave face on things
and handed out cigars

From their golden combat helicopters
the angels bombarded the cowering shepherds
with relentless goodwill and glad tidings

The animals wandered disconsolately
in fields of inedible tinsel
longing for grass

And eleven hundred virgins
with haloes of spray-painted wire
queued at the gift-wrapping counter for eternity

The three wise men had bought their gifts
well in advance (during the sales)
but couldn't find their camels in the car park

A riotous conclave of cardinals elected five popes,
declared that Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle was heresy,
and gave up Christmas pudding for Lent

In the Holy Land
a plague of partridges blighted the pear trees
and reindeer fell from the sky

The little drummer boy sold
a christening cup online
for thirty pieces of silver

And Jesus wept

• Jonathan Cweorth writes with a poetry group in Dunedin.