Tag Archives: Prayers

The Canonical Hours of a Working Man

Matins

In the ghost world the

ghost girl dances her

ghost whirls enlacing me in

veils so seductive I

sometimes pray the

dawn won’t come.

 

Lauds

But dawn does come with the

prayer my feet will

find the floor and that the

floor will bear my weight so I

will not start the day

flat on my face.

 

Prime

If there is a God it is coffee-coloured,

coffee-flavoured, dark-roasted,

perking like heavy breathing, its

consort sizzling in the pan, the

toaster popping its prize with a

sigh like a prayer.

 

Tierce

In the mad rush of the studio I

see something, take my chance,

get the set rebuilt and

knowing it will take time

slip out to light my

prayer to creativity.

 

Sext

Shall I make this poem a pun on Sex? But

lunch is when I have a moment to

lust over those who, at work,

I respect, would never dishonour, but

at quiet times imagine

undressed, themselves lustful.

 

 

None

Mid-afternoon is a sigh—no, a

yawn into the vast face of the work we’ve

chiselled all day into something we

pray is vaguely human, vaguely

real, vaguely worth all that

spent time to achieve.

 

Vespers

Outside the lamps are lit just as we

switch ours off and head away home

praying all is well with those

work has cut us off from, lit

phone-screens in the car-park evidence of

love, concern and care.

 

Compline

Fed and watered—ok, wined!—I

wend my way to my hotel, call home,

check the news, reply to emails,

clean myself, resign myself to bed

praying the ghost girl will still be

whirling in her ghost world.

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A Modern Prayer

So uncertain of your existence, I

append “pass it on” to each and

every prayer, along with an

inappropriate smiley or a

sly wink, hoping you will

get the joke or at least

not take offence and forget to

forward my imprecation to the

relevant authority.

The Anti-Beatitudes

Curséd are the nice, the ones who

don’t get in your way, who

open doors and don’t expect a

thankyou.

 

Curséd are the small of voice, the ones who

don’t dart up their hands, or butt in, who

see a space but don’t see themselves

inside it.

 

Curséd are the generous, those who

don’t take credit but give it and get

nothing in return but

forgetfulness.

 

Curséd are the myrmidons, the

hard workers, the al-desko set:

someone else enjoyed their

lunchtime.

 

Curséd are those with talent but no balls

watching those with balls but

no talent rise effortlessly

above them.

 

Curséd are those whose work gets farther away

as the roads get rammed earlier and

later until jam going meets jam

coming back.

 

Curséd are the worriers who

churn in their hearts’ syrupy valves

the clogging cares

of others.

 

Curséd are the Mothers and Fathers,

each feeling the other neglectful while

neither has anything like

a life.

 

Curséd are the children who wait at the gate

for a late parent whose tears, heard

through the wall, will eviscerate

their youth.

 

And above all curséd are the people whose

goodness drips off your life like

beads of rain off an

impermeable.

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