Thursday, August 30, 2012

A blogger's prayer

I was all set, greedily, to pray
that I'd encounter a good listener,
whose listening would bring me a full
awareness of what I'd said.
But then I had a thought:
my poetry is a good listener,
and even a teacher, skewing my
words sideways to create
a different pattern, a wake-up call.
As well, I can't influence
the outer world, only nudge a little
my inner self. So now my prayer
is that I become a good listener,
assisting friends find new meaning
in the stories that they tell.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

"The rack of this tough world"

I've been taken to the edge,
shown the depths of degradation.
Listening to King Lear, I find
it hard to contain the suffering
and feel as if my heart will break.
In the last few lines, we are advised
to “Speak what we feel,
not what we ought to say”,
then the curtain comes down.
There is no catharsis;
no restoration of order and tranquility.
I cannot choose but weep.
“Its only a story”, you say.
“Is it relevant?” students ask.
But the myth still resonates; problems
related to the generation gap abound.
We still need lessons of patience,
generosity and tolerance.
So whenever I meet Lear
my heart opens and opens again.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


I am being hollowed out by pain,
which leaves an emptiness to be filled.
That's not why I'm wracked with pain,
but maybe I can put the wracking
to a good end. I can choose,
choose freely. No, that's not right.
It's not my choice; it's been given to me,
a mixture of genetic strength,
social mores and education.

So, here I am, praying
that the emptiness will be filled,
that the mirror of my perception
will be polished and shine brightly
even in the blackest of hours.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Too much

Here's the problem: I have too much time.
Sounds daft, we all have the same amount,
but I mean unstructured time. And even
the structured time is heavy:
It's a mammoth task getting me up,
and putting me down (sounds Dickensian)
I'm left with three between-minder gaps
with nothing at all going on.
“Easy!” you say, “befriend time.”
Would you welcome even the dearest friend
who took to visiting three times a day,
every single day of the year?
And befriending time means structuring time;
that takes initiative, a skill
stolen by the M.S. long, long ago.
So I have gobbets, undigested
chunks of never-changing time,
like bland food that needs spicing up.
My spices in the past were playing
the piano, reading Proust and stitching
my tapestry. Also long gone.
Three gobbets a day are unbearable,
even two consecutively are hard.

At the risk of being boring,
I will emphasise again

Phew! glad to get that off my chest,
but writing the words gave me insights.

Ages ago, I smugly wrote:
“the trick is to consent” and I'd have
believed I'd consented once and for all.
But now I know I have to renew
my consent gobbet after gobbet.

When other activities are filched,
there is always prayer; like a nun
I can spend time in contemplation.
Praying takes me on an alchemical journey,
where I'm endeavouring to transform
the gross matter of my damaged body
into the gold of spirit.
Prayers please.