Poems

A Prayer For a Poorly Child

After Gerard Manley Hopkins.
For Rebecca Leslie,
with joy at her recovery.

Maker, Swiftlover, override the rules
rifing in the malignant cells’ alliance,
their abracadabra coven in the brain,
behind the cosy plan-filled vessels.

Love-author, mollycoddle
those think-tank wire knots,
idea sparks that network hand in hand
an assembly outnumbering the stars.

Our lark has only begun once-upon-timing,
her pillows billow in yellow primrose rhymes.
Your tunes atone all fallings out of pitch:
sing her your Self-strummed hymns,
hum soundness into the naughty strings that bray.

Handle your yearling with holyridden husbandry.
Gainsay the bully, impeach the scaremonger
arsoning rampant since we let him in.

Breathe your rosefire down the neck of malady:
a single perfumed verb from you spring-cleans the fumes.
The garden that you gave us, in a mess.
We’ve cultivated briars for the thorns.

Blow us all to suit your unfenced fancy
transparenting your face in bowls of glow.
Unbridle us from Time’s parade in grey-stuff narrows,
the clock’s rude show-offs in each and every room.

Reword this nightmare into your daylight stallion
to ride your unfeigned gallop
that loves us loves us loves us.

First published in Domestic Cherry 2, 2012

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