The Visit

A rush of white wings, disturbing and distant,
Word whispered from the mouth of God, filling the feminine ear.
Enfleshed then, the Ave Child, swells the belly of a brown-skinned girl,
who tenderly dreams of loving a man, a fashioner of homely, wooden things—
stalwart sacrificer of cedar, he builds a sturdy life for she who knows not man.
A Jew of low degree, she has no family name to expiate the shame of her new shape;
a girl grown up in temple, she knows the lot of those who transgress Law.
Yet hearing in her heart the Holy Word, she feels the joy,
of one who carries within her womb—tender mercy, incarnate love.
She, least liberated, ponders the embryonic epiphany of an enslaved race.
Invoking ancestral voices, she articulates the deep heart cries of a nomadic people
who journeyed far from occupied lands, and placed their hope in the historic promise
of an invisible, yet uncompromising God.
It is for this promise that her people have suffered;
it is for this reason that they exist at all.
It is her uncompromising assent to conceive the impossible
that makes visible the destiny of a chosen, yet outcast tribe.
As her man molds the corners of a cradle for the unknown, unborn child
She weeps for the sacrifice of trees, green saplings
Cut down by loving hands to bear a sacred son.
Dreaming that night, hand on her belly, she sees other hands, hateful, Herodic,
Cutting down cedars, young but mature, to bear and sacrifice the Savior of the world.
Suckling our little God, she experiences intimacy with the Heart of Heaven;
Soul searching in silence, she knows woman’s limitless love for her own flesh—
Heart severed in sorrow, she comprehends the limits of the human spirit
to accept the sudden and startling embrace of that which God chose to become.
–Noelle Clearwater/ Photo by Gregory Colbert from

II wrote this during Christmastide some years ago, thinking about Mary and her significant role in the drama of the birth of the Messiah. It is a beautiful story and she is an important archetype for many women, but she is often made to seem small in the larger scheme of things. I think that her motherly love, her suffering and poverty, and her choices and sacrifices are profound. Many women make these significant choices every day but they are not celebrated in this way although they should be. It is the women of the world who make the deepest changes in their children and so to the world.


  1. Another of your beautiful poems, so richly textured and full of thought-provoking imagery. Dear one, you *must* write more poetry. Please, please give yourself and us that gift.

    This blog is going to be amazing.

  2. Thank you my dear friend. I shall. I appreciate your kind words! I think you can post your picture in google if you like. So good to see you here!

  3. When I consider Mary, I'm drawn to the plight she must've experienced as yet-unwed pregnant "virgin"... women were executed for sins such as that, and obviously it was such a serious situation that an Angel was required to intercede on her behalf... or else her betrothed was going to cast her away for ruining herself.
    Surely there were a great many people who didn't believe in the immaculate conception story, so I'd imagine a certain amount of embarrassment and perceived humiliation followed her in public.

  4. Yes, Tara, I agree with. You. She was a young woman about 15 and very poor. I do not think the concept of immaculate conception existed in. Judaisms, but anyone with a knowledge of Greeks myth would have understood the idea. It is a beautiful concept. Her words in response to the angel's message are in the Old Testament and the. New. I heard. them often as a child in The Magnificat.
    Thank you for your deep insight.

  5. This is an absolutely beautiful, beautiful poem. Thank you for sharing.

    "Mary brought Jesus into the world because she was chosen to be the one for this work, and so she was trained in the knowledge of birth. It is said that Gabriel, the messenger, appeared to Mary in the form of a man. She thought that he wanted her as a woman, so she froze for a moment, turning to her Lord. If she had not relaxed, then the child born from that moment would have been uncompromising and impossible to live with. Your body is the Virgin Mary, the Spirit is Christ, the breath is the breath of God's Mercy. Your soul remains asleep until it is quickened by the Holy Spirit. Each moment of our lives a child is born somewhere. The child that is born could be a God-conscious human being, or it could be uncompromising, in endless competition with life. The responsibility in the realization of these things is immense. If you can hear what I am saying to you now, then you will begin to understand. Mary is the Divine Mother. Mary is in the blue of the flame, and Mary is the Matrix of all divine possibility in form, here, in our world. It is necessary that she be recognized. Learn to love God with all your being, every part of yourself, you heart, your mind, your soul, and then we may all be granted the understanding of the meaning of the virgin birth. Learn to pray and your prayers will come back from the very matrix that forms the child."

    --Hamid's words in "The Last Barrier" by Reshad Feild

  6. Cassie,
    I was deeply moved by this quotation. I had never seen it before. I was raised Catholic although I do not practice any longer, but I have always had a very special place in my heart for Mary. The archetype of the divine mother is one that resonates with me in a profound way and I love the way he uses her immaculate conception as the metaphor for divine possibility. He is also pointing to the fact of the divinity within all humankind--that God-consciousness of which we are all capable. It is lovely. Thank you!
    Peace and Light,


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