Little Jesu we greet you 
With the angels and shepherds; 
On this happy morn,
As the blessed Mother looks on you,
 With her love.

Fill our hearts with compassion
For the poor, sick and lonely;
As this is the very best gift 
We can bring you this day,
Apart from our love. M.D.
(poem written for Christmass 2003)

A census was a coming, 
disturbing the pattern of living 
for families hastily returning 
to their ancestral abodes 
to obey the Emperor's command.

"Must we go now?" said Mary,
"Yes, we must," insisted Joseph,
Even though it was the worst time
(for Mary was about to give birth).

A hard time they had of it,
A long journey,
A wearing journey,
To Bethlehem for Caesar's taxes.

This paying of taxes overshadowed, 
or perhaps you might say, 
brought into perspective, 
with the birth of a babe.
Out of Bethlehem-Ephratah  
will come He to rule the earth.

Christmass is about a birth  
the messianic birth 
but birth too for all creatures 
awakening from dark, wooden sleep.

Deo Gratias.

Venite adoremus.    M.D.

Bells of Bethlehem silenced,
no heralding the Birth
this Christmass
Disrupted by angry shouts and shots.
Shrieking cries startle 
the starless night
from the bewildered.
Alleyways their home.
No child to cradle this Christmass.
The stars sigh
the One born long ago
in Bethlehem. 
They know His birth was special,
Unique you might say,
To cry with the bereaved,
to comfort the wounded,
to mend the broken hearted.
To turn confusion into harmony,
bitterness into forgiveness,
hatred into love.
Bells will not ring this Christmass
yet the angels still will sing
'Gloria in excelsis Deo
et in terra pax
hominibus bonae voluntatis.'
Let Christians everywhere
echo the angels' song
for bells to ring again
in Bethlehem.
BELLS OF BETHLEHEM - written Xmass 2004.
Another Christmas 
 is dawning,
 in a world ignoring, 
 dismissive of values 
 of dignity and worth.
 The prophet cries
 can this continue?
 Do you not see? 
 This very way
 all will be devalued.
 Why have you 
 forgotten the One 
 Who entered your  world
 To bring dignity to all.
 But the world answers,
 We do not need You
 for we have our hope 
 in our  materialism,
 in our consumerism,
 in our consolidated wealth.
 Who gives a thought 
  to how we came here     
  Here we are, and here
 we have plenty to enjoy,
 without thought of how?
 Fool, says the prophet
 The day comes,   
 you called to account
 by the One Who came
 to show you the way,
 born in a lowly stable
 in a Bethlehem inn.           

Marianne Dorman.
Return to Index
O Sapienta Instruct us in the paths of knowledge, in the wisdom of Your eternal Word.  
O Adonai, Lead us to the burning bush and cheerfully accept Your laws of righteousness. O Radix Jesse Teach us that we can shelter under the shadow of your wings in this vale of tears.  

O Clavis David Loosen our tyranny of sin Give us repentant hearts to turn completely to you. O Oriens, Enlighten our minds to the many injustices committed in our war-torn world.

O Rex Gentium Rule all peoples whom You have made from a piece of clay.  

O Virgo Virginum The lily among the bramble, Direct us to your beloved Son, Born on Christmass Day.  
Rejoice all with the angels
on this holy night, Gloria in excelsis deo at in terra pax hominbus et bonae voluntatis. 
O Immanuel, Abide with us
As we wait in faith and prayer for Your birth in Bethlehem.

Poems for Lent and Cross
click here
You came unannounced
save for angels’ delight; 
no majestic entrance 
onto this world’s stage.

Only Mary and Joseph knew 
the Child born that night 
was destined to lead 
people on a different path.

A path not strewn with gold 
but with words of salvation; 
a path not leading to power 
but to the kingdom of heaven.

Only those with ears to hear
 the angels’ bursting delight 
with truth and sincerity 
kneel in pure adoration.
Myriads of angels 
in the depth of night
fill the starry sky
With gloria in excelsis. 

Seraphim and cherubim
Watchers and holy ones,
Angels and archangels
Hover over the stable.

Brightness from their presence
Disturb the nearby shepherds
What means such brilliance?
They ponder in their hearts.

"Fear not”, they hear.
A great thing has happened.
The Messiah has come
Greet Him in Bethlehem.

Angels still sing their song,
Like bells they beckon us, 
To sing the heavenly welcome
Gloria in excelsis.


Mother Mary, what did you feel 
as you first gazed upon your first born?
Were you overwhelmed 
with the miracle that lay in your lap? 
those tiniest feet and fingers, 
all so fragile but perfect.

Were you scared to touch,
as you longed too so much, 
not knowing just how delicate 
this gift of God is?

 Did you ponder on how 
the babe would cope 
with the outside world 
after leaving the warmth of your womb?

As you marvelled these things
did you see the eyes open 
for the first time in this world?
The tiny mouth wanting to suckle, 
The feet  kicking against the outside air.

Very slowly it dawns 
this beautiful babe is ours 
to love and to cherish until death do us part;
To nourish with milk and meat 
To bring up knowing our forefathers, 
written in holy script. 

All mothers share your wonderment, O Mary
In giving birth to another miracle of God’s love,
Yours was so very, very special.
Being the Child too of the Most High.

A light has shone this day
For every child born
He will be called
Wonderful Counsellor and Prince of Peace
To rule our hearts for ever.

Adeste, fideles, laeti triumphantes;
Venite, venite in Bethlehem,
Natum videte Regem angelorum,
Venite, adoremus, Dominum.
M. D.

The Word spoken 
To ordain creation,
Fulfilled the ancient plan 
since the exile of Adam.

When the time was right
In the depths of the night
when shepherds only watch,
Mary bore her Son.

The Word not able to speak 
the message of salvation
His humble birth brings
To reopen paradise gates.

The Alpha and Omega 
by angelic spirits surrounded;
in the midst of pure light,
a shadow cloaks the crib.

Throughout His ministry 
that shadow followed
Until lifted high at Calvary 
to reign for ever in glory.

Christ’s story is ours too.
There will always be the cross.
Forgiving when wronged.
Loving when despised.

Yet the joy of the Birth 
never does fade
amidst sorrow or pain 
loneliness or death.

For Christ is born today.
Gloria in excelsis Deo
 et in terra pax hominibus 
bonae voluntatis. Alleluia.

Poems for Easter & Pentecost

In the grand silence 
of a frozen night,
A striking illumination,
Turned the night 
into dazzling day

at midnight watch,
only shepherds awake,
huddled over a dying fire
saw this wondrous sign,
hiding scared faces.

Huddling closer together  
Muttering, what is this?
Some great catastrophe 
to end or begin?
Interrupted by a voice.

‘Be not afraid’!
Listen to me
A consoling message 
to you and all who listen,
A Saviour has been born.

Hurry to David’s city
There you’ll find Him 
in a cattle stable
with Mary and Joseph,
Welcome Him as your Lord.

Your first earthly messengers, 
simple country-folk 
 proclaim You as Lord.
Glory to God in heaven,
Peace on earth to all. M.D.

Christmass 2012
Creation came into being,
Chaos gave way to order,
Darkness to light.

The ocean dancing with fish, 
Land prancing with animals,
With man master of all.

Seasons followed one another,
Dormant winter to spring shoots,
Summer frolicking for autumn harvest. 

The word saw His creation 
struggling hard to survive
Groaning under its travail.

I must sing a new song
To restore My creation.
A body I must take!

The Word unable
to speak a word 
entered our messy world.  

In a cave cold and damp
He who is God was born
Unknown to earthly creatures.

Only angels greeted his birth
 to shepherds huddled in the field.
Hurriedly, they came to Bethlehem .

Here they found baby Jesus 
cradled by His blessed mother
To acknowledge Him as Lord.

Each Christmass celebrates
God’s divine intervention 
to put all things right.

So let us  cheerfully say,
Deo gratias this Christmas
And again, Deo Gratias.

Poems for Advent.

What can I offer the Christ-Child this year?
After a year of devastations, 
hurricanes, floods and fires, 
and the never ceasing of guns.
So many dead, homeless, lost;
Fleeing from the known homeland.
Some hoping to start life anew;
Others disheartened and disorientated.
Innocent victims imprisoned. 
Some pleading for political justice;
Others seeking non-violence  
in a flawed world.

We need you Lord 
as the Prince of Peace
in a world that says, 
Might is right.

What do you preach 
in your swaddling clothes 
O mighty God 
and Wonderful Counsellor?

This world is no different
 from when I was born.
Militaryfeet marched in Bethlehem, 
sharp swords slaying innocents.

For those who heard my voice, 
Learnt of peace and pity.
To love and forgive 
and to trust in Me, their saviour.

At Christmas cast out our sins. 
Penetrate our frozen hearts;
Prevent us from stumbling 
and walk willingly in Your love.



Bells still ring joyfully 
on Christmas Day greeting
 the birth of Mary’s Son,
 the Redeemer of the cosmos.
 God’s gracious gift to us 
promised by the archangel.

Jesus born into a world 
of fear and oppression
Looking towards better times, 
less taxes and checks
More freedom for life 
but needing a Saviour.

What does Jesus’ coming 
mean for today’s world? 
Christians rounded up and shot,
 others driven from their homes, 
churches ransacked and burnt 
fleeing from danger and death.

This is nothing new.
Parents and Jesus fled hastily 
escaping the hateful Herod.
Children slaughtered screaming
Mothers wept uncontrollably 
in the face of jealous tyranny.

It still exists in many forms,
 secular values accelerate
In the world Jesus came to free.
Deliver us, O Christ-Child 
to live in your service 
by caring for brothers and sisters. M.D.

The end times it seems,
Lightning killings,
blood splattered on walls,
Who can endure the day of his coming;
Who will stand in his sight?

It began an evening of pleasure,
one taken, one left behind.
They run to and fro in the city.’
O tempora! O tempora!
Comfort ye, comfort ye, my people.

How can all this be?
Is it really happening?
In a city stunned.
De profundis ore te.
Lord hear my plea.

It is enough, enough.
Time to ponder why.
Forgotten, to love and honour: 
the Lord of all creation
and of righteousness.

Christmas celebrates His coming
teaching love and peace
and to live within all peoples, 
Praise to the holiest in the height 
and in the depth be praised. 

This too is forgotten. 
Secular and selfish societies 
wonder why, no peace.
The light shone in darkness 
and the darkness comprehended it not.

Truth is, His kingdom 
will not be destroyed; 
it lasts for ever and ever.
Gloria in excelsis Deo
 et in terra pax. M. D.

CHRISTMASS      2016
The year of frustration and foiling,
Uncertainty burdening many, 
seeking a safer and surer life,
believing in a better and brighter future.

Insulating and isolating triumphed over
“Do unto others as you have done to you,”
Who is my neighbour anyway?
Is he the one knocking on my door?

Even nature itself challenged confidence 
Raging rivers ravished land and life,
Rubble upon rubble, past and present.
In a darkened and desperate world.

Despair and desperation need an answer.
What answer? A living hope.
A gift not in sparkling paper,
A royal birth in Bethlehem-Ephratah.

This is what makes Christmass, HAPPY.
  M. D.

In a year of violence, no more  
than on that night of silence, 
when the Word came amongst us 
to make us children of light.

‘Four thousand winters past 
Adam lay ybounden’ 
Soon to be rescued by Divine love.
Thanking too the obedient Maid.

0n Bethl’hem’s holy night He 
began eating the apple’s core.
Not only for Adam and Eve
but all coming after them.

No wonder the angels sang on that night,
Such wonderful and welcoming news 
“Glory to God, peace on earth.
And good will to all peoples.”

All hearts that are not stone
let the angels’ song ring out 
in every corner of the world 
welcoming the Prince of peace.

Joyeux Noël.

A time of global turmoil,
Democracies faltering,
Nationalism simmering.
Autocracy on the move.

The wilderness and the parched land 
shall be glad
and the desert shall rejoice 
and bloom like a rose.

A lack of tolerance and acceptance,
Not listening to another, 
Ignoring another’s presence, 
What of indifference?

Whatsoever things are true … 
honest … just ... pure … lovely.
Think on these things.

What for a better world?
Not in the pre-Christmas partying,
Nor in excessive spending nor indulging
Nor in escaping the clamour and clatter.

Then the eyes of the blind be opened, 
and the ears of the deaf unstopped; 
then the lane shall leap like a deer,
 and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy.

Walk in light, not darkness 
to a makeshift manger 
in ‘a sorry, poor village’ 
for ‘a birth too big for this place.’

New things I now declare
 before they spring forth
I tell you of them.

God breaking-in to our world.
Sending His beloved Son
To pitch His tent amongst us
Christmas is Thy ‘full-ey’d love’.

See, I am making all things new

I am the Alpha and the Omega …
the beginning and the end.

How silently, how silently, 
  The wondrous gift is given! 
So, God imparts to human hearts
  The blessings of his heaven.
No ear may hear his coming;
  But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive him, still
  The dear Christ enters in.

Flames raging through bush, 
unchastened by the wind.
Choking smoke hazarding vision,
Folks fighting relentlessly 
against overwhelming forces.
Animals trapped in bush habitats.

Blackened and soiled land,
Treasured possessions captured,
Livelihoods temporarily shattered,
All is gone.

Where can shelter be found?
Can a new beginning arise from the ashes?

Shelter was on the mind of
 two very weary travellers, 
a long, long time ago.
A young woman in labour,
Nothing but a barn to be had.
Enough thought the two.

Hustle of day gives way to 
the temporary silence of the night.
Stars in their orbit 
offering celestial light to shepherds.

Their watching suddenly interrupted
by fear and trembling.
‘Do not be afraid’, 
only good news I bring.
A Child is born this night 
to drench life and hope in all, 
even in the darkest days.
Venite! M.D.

Darkness covered the earth swiftly,
Seemed the plagues of old returning,
Merciless the silent enemy devouring,
Throwing life into contradictions.

Loved ones struggling to breathe,
Families grieving their dead,
Hospitals confronting the unknown,
Where is mercy and pity?

The enemy marched on and on.
Over highways, seas, valleys and hills,
With its contagious weapon,
Only one combative weapon—lockdown.

Many simply hated that word,
Freedom not to be denied,
The wise thought otherwise.
Welcoming Wisdom early at her gate.

Our sufferings have wearied us,
Prepare a way home,
Advent with her candles offers

O comfort! O comfort!
‘Full ey’d love’. Bid us welcome to
Bethlehem afresh. Ponder anew.
‘And shall we then no voices lift?’
M. D.

The candle of Hope, 
barely glimmered, 
its light so dim.

Lockdown imposed again. 
For so many folks 
‘twas lock up time.

Months of aloneness ahead 
for so many elderly, like 
a rudderless ship.

Who can endure such loneliness?

Shrieks of heartache anguish 
haunted many a neighbourhood. 
Another souls succumbing to Covid.

Nearby hospitals overflowing; 
Nurses replacing loved ones, 
Keep watch beside the dying.

Who can endure unrelenting grief?

Midst this scary Covid spread, 
Love continued reaching out. 
Many comforting, feeding, clothing.

Love has endured all this suffering.

That Love came at Christmas, 
Lighting the candle of Hope 
to dispel all shades of darkness.

All will be well, very well,
The Advent candle of hope 
shines again to lead the way. M. D.

Christmas bells ring with joy
  celebrating the age-old message.
  A Saviour was born
  in lowly Bethlehem.

  Bethlem-Ephratah, so small
  a village of little repute.
  Invited, ‘come and see’,
  What shepherds and wise men saw.

 Today, this royal city,
 Circled by man-made wall
 symbolizes a forgetfulness,
 what wisemen and shepherds saw.

Yet Christmas morning still
 rises with its wing, as
 that first ray of light shines
 on the holy Mother and Son.

This blessed and peaceful scene
 turns spears and swords into
pruning hooks and ploughshares,
  producing a fruitful harvest of love.

That love, Divine Love,
a Christmas gift to all.
Come and sing joyfully
The new creation song. M. D.