I have just come across this wonderful poem by John V Taylor in his small book “A Christmas Sequence” published in 1989 by The Amate Press:
One cave is very like
another. Rumour too late
smouldering over the hill
summoned me breathless down
the sheeptracks. Around the well
shrill twittering children reiterate
this as the place.
donkey’s dung at the door the only
evidence of arrival and departure.
This bare stage of staled straw
has seen no play, other
than birth and passing of beasts.
Yet I stand scenting the trace
of my own kind lingering
like smutch of candles quenched.
Nothing remains to hold
me here but the hollow plainly impressed
in the hay trough. Still the starling voices
chime faintly. I stoop, fingering
the firm fineweave bowl of the nest
that is the measure and mould
of my untenanted heart.
I love that … “the measure and mould of my untenanted heart” … though now, of course, it IS tenanted by the Spirit of the One who made the hollow in the hay.