January 15, 2021

lent 2 — foxes and hens

Woodcut from The Black Aunt: Stories & Legends for Children (1848)

At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to him, ‘Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you.’ He said to them, ‘Go and tell that fox for me, “Listen, I am casting out demons and performing cures today and tomorrow, and on the third day I finish my work. Yet today, tomorrow, and the next day I must be on my way, because it is impossible for a prophet to be killed away from Jerusalem.” Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! See, your house is left to you. And I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say, “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.” ’

• Luke 13:31-35

foxes and hens

foxes and hens
foxes and hens
the world is made up
of foxes and hens

slyly conspiring
or serving instead
teeth bared and threat’ning
or loving wings spread

one sneaks ‘round the palace
one heals and makes sound
clinging to power
or laying life down

predator fox
guardian hen
the struggle’s continued
since way back then

crowns and crosses
foxes and hens
the struggle continues
’til who knows when


  1. Christiane says

    ” maybe there’s a beast . . . . maybe it’s only us”
    (Wm Golding ‘Lord of the Flies’)


  2. mothering Jesus
    you gave birth to a new world
    from a dead old tree

  3. Sometimes I think it will always be just foxes and hens, until nothing is left. Sometimes the dark vision gets a hold of me.

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