The Incarnation – a Christmas poem

Take all your hope and longing;
cover it in blood, urine, faeces, straw.
Cut the chord to your dreams
with a field knife or clenched jaw.

Here lays the King of the Jews.
Crowned between thighs,
Held in arms of exhaustion.
Bathed with tears, sweat
and the soft tones
of a mother
singing songs
of deliverance
between breaths
as the King of Glory
feeds folded at her breast.

What newborn would you not
bend a knee for? What labouring mother
would not make room for? Here’s how God
chose to be with His beloved;
in a state of utter surrender
and dependence;

making His way into the world
through a uterus. Trading a heavenly crown
for one of mucus. Later, finding
woven thorns pushed in its place as,
once again, God surrenders
to the fulness of humanity’s mess –
reconciling it all
to Himself;
counting no soul’s sin
against them.

‘The Incarnation’
David Tensen

pic by Ben Moses – Pexels


  1. Andy December 24, 2021 at 2:46 am

    It’s taken me a few readings to even start to be ok with this poem. It’s to raw. To ‘in your face’. To real. This is God ‘crowned between thighs’. It breaks me open and makes me face things I struggle to deal with. Thank you.

  2. Ron Graves January 1, 2022 at 2:43 am

    well said Sir Andy… we are among friends & I echo your giving of thanks. Excellent piece David.

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