Mary’s holding Jesus, not like a god but like a baby, like I would hold my baby, and they are covered in gold light

by: , May 14, 2019

© Madonna and Child in a Landscape (2001) by David Jones, Oil on Canvas

after David Jones 


Mary is blue and turquoise 

standing on a hill 

geisha cheek and charring 

Mary is rain and dusk 

planting a bulb with her lips 

bare feet in the moss 


Mary is doll white 

Mary with a lamb 

little love 

time still before she’ll lose him to the world 

the gurning jaws of heaven 

spread banquet for the men while she waits outside 

but they won’t know his yawn like a baby owl 

meerkat snuggle 

smell of yeast and balm 

Mary blue and brimming 

the lamb on her lips  

a soft moon 

crescent of impossible flesh 

Mary gold before the trade-off 

before he grew infinite 

and how she wore it then 



secretly grieving the moon eyes  

that would follow her round the room 

Mary doesn’t remember what sex with god felt like 

only the sting of something snapped  

a broken instrument 

Joseph’s breath and beard 

three men unwrapping 

the infant screech of a goat 

Mary with thunder that’s worse before the coming  

like a week late period 

Mary blue immaculate 

blanketed boy on her chest  

gone and golden 

Mary would listen to all his sermons 

scan them for in jokes 

white smoke 

a secret message 


but this fucking public man 

Mary doesn’t feel holy  

stuffing pigskin in bloody knickers 

remembers how she bled for weeks after he came 

Mary full of wine 

not the warm waters of galilee 

assistant magi  

tipsy and trussed up  

leotard shine 

Mary and thirteen men on her right hand 

Mary with a lamb crackling on a spit 

when he blessed her 

she wanted to spit in his face 

tell him boy 

i’m the one who wiped away your shit  

when the moon came 

she sank her teeth in 

praying for the sweet bellied child 

she tasted wafer dust 

her blue mouth powder stuck 

dry as an empty church 


First published in Tears in the Fence 

Download article


Feeling inspired by MAI? Dedicated to intersectional gender politics in visual culture? Want to keep your feminist imagination on fire? MAI newsletter will help refresh your zeal for feminism with first-hand news on our new content. 

Subscribe below to stay up-to-date.

* We'll never share your email address with any third parties.


The team of MAI supporters and contributors is always expanding. We’re honoured to have a specialist collective of editors, whose enthusiasm & talent gave birth to MAI.

However, to turn our MAI dream into reality, we also relied on assistance from high-quality experts in web design, development and photography. Here we’d like to acknowledge their hard work and commitment to the feminist cause. Our feminist ‘thank you’ goes to:

Dots+Circles – a digital agency determined to make a difference, who’ve designed and built our MAI website. Their continuous support became a digital catalyst to our idealistic project.
Guy Martin – an award-winning and widely published British photographer who’s kindly agreed to share his images with our readers

Chandler Jernigan – a talented young American photographer whose portraits hugely enriched the visuals of MAI website
Matt Gillespie – a gifted professional British photographer who with no hesitation gave us permission to use some of his work
Julia Carbonell – an emerging Spanish photographer whose sharp outlook at contemporary women grasped our feminist attention
Ana Pedreira – a self-taught Portuguese photographer whose imagery from women protests beams with feminist aura
And other photographers whose images have been reproduced here: Cezanne Ali, Les Anderson, Mike Wilson, Annie Spratt, Cristian Newman, Peter Hershey