A Prayer

The words I wanted to say
Are not the words I said;

There’s nothing more to pray for
Than one more deeply blessed.

I placed my hands together,
And sent thoughts heaven-wide,

Yet nothing here is greater
Than where your love resides.

Haiku #445 – #449

445.

Samurai’s breakfast,
Seaweed, curly kale and beef;
Other men’s leftovers.

446.

I pray I soon see
Your smile, just as it appeared
Before everything changed.

447.

For just a moment
I felt strong, strong as anyone;
An illusion flew.

448.

Your diary exists
Somewhere, if in lost ashes
Or singed memory.

449.

Your endurance test,
There’s no way of knowing yet
If I failed, or passed.

Fifth Sonnet

When returning, ride returning stronger,
When you stay, please stay a little longer;
The hearts of your new path will peal their bells,
Don’t dress your words for words don’t walk on shells.
Subdue blades of blue contemporaries,
You’re viewed with pride from our Hesperides;
You overcame the pitfalls of the second spells,
Exhumed the runes of youth from ancient wells.
History held out their liability,
Unbeknown, all the batons were empty;
The words from their spaces came tumbling down,
To write of rings and a white wedding gown.
So when you stay, rest a little longer;
May Love’s horse return you, ever stronger.

Antiphonary

Quotidianly the Church of Failure I entered,
It’s perched on the edge of the Perilous Cliffs;
Overlooking a township where sailors self-centred
Have painted Saint Elmo on leprous skiffs.

The lych-gate’s with knotweed succumbed,
The last wedding here only led to divorce;
The yew-trees colluded and suddenly plummed,
Incited cattle to trample, remorseless and coarse.

Saint Saviour’s statue outside the narthex
Lost both His hands in the penultimate storm;
The gargoyles with moss and lichen are blessed,
The Roaring Forties with tempests transform

The lands where narwhal skeletons rest;
A place of reflection and calm contemplation
With sea-kelp and crab claws dressed,
The trammelling corpses upbraiding salvation;

The empresses here are other crustaceans,
A giant squid’s eyes guard the vestibule;
Defrocking is also laicization,
The vicar defrocked to a village near Goole.

The organist abetting has been suspended,
We sing our cantatas in a capella ways;
The pipes and the pedals we had recently mended
An absconding convict stole, while in prayer we praised.

Some congregational hearts are not really in it,
They thought a Vesper a vehicle needing repair;
They thought that Lauds was the home of cricket;
Sabbas the Sanctified looks on in despair.

Quotidianly a coffin tips over the edge,
Parishioners strive to catch caskets with nets;
Coastal erosion reached bramble and sedge;
That view had survived a thousand regrets.

Those who tampered with truth eat their desserts;
We go home, watch executions from London to Delhi.
We petition each day to make matters worse,
But prayers are not heard from within a whale’s belly.

A Paradigm

In a later world our leaders contrived,
At first by ineptitude, and then by design,
To have observed by the populace
One minute of silence, every minute,
Though we have long stopped wondering why.
Once, with mindfulness and prayer,
With cross-border respects, and a diligent care,
Distilled into a series of moments where we forget
Which victim fell, which unwilling hero died,
In our hordes. I accept that in this parallel script
I have streteched reality, my prerogative,
Such is my meaning if to the nth degree applied.

We will meet in appropriated spaces
Without flowers or trees, just wreaths
On top of wreaths; no sounds of handles turned
Or choirs, nor uncomfortable muscles stretching on
Pews of yew and seats where our forefathers
Fell asleep on humid summer mornings;
But tolling bells, alarms, constant alarms,
And a hum of buzzers bought from the East,
And then silence. For silence has a sound,
It reverberates with its own sense of place
And patterns, a recognisable cadence which rests
On the tips of our tongues in that public square,
As in our blindness we carved out a palette,
As in the voids we saw an awful content, matter,
Hurtling towards the verge of these fabrics,
An unleashed herd of unborn chatter.