Andrew Ford (b. 1957)

Christmas List
SATB choir and organ
words by David McCooey

Christmas List was commissioned by St George's Cathedral, Perth. I asked the poet David McCooey for words about the anticipation of Christmas that would be both contemporary and Australian.

© A.F.

Christmas List

You drive beneath the daylight moon,
past flower sellers by the roadside
who seek asylum from the morning’s heat,
their psychedelic harvests housed in

ancient eskies and bright plastic buckets.
The traffic’s thin and well-intentioned;
and unread emails snooze within devices.
Your children, clutching well-wrapped presents,

dream of plastic gift-cards from relations,
and seafood lunch beneath a cyan sky
But you remember all the words to all
the carols you sang in school.

Hosanna for the Christmas tree
that turns the whole world upside down.
Hosanna for the family
that turns the old world upside down.

You remember how the house transformed:
a yellow submarine upon the tree,
a tinsel bow tied round the ageing dog,
the tv trying to be appealing:

the queen, the news, the usual repeats.
Now as you drive a loaded car
you tick different things off your Christmas list:
the children safe from Herod’s agents;

the desperate families reunited;
a vision of the flaming Christmas Bush,
for which you lack a proper name,
that shelters birds beneath the daylight moon.

Hosanna for the Christmas tree
that turns the whole world upside down.
Hosanna for the family
that turns the old world upside down.

David McCooey