by Raymond Humphreys
previously in ORBIS. Also on the website of THE POETRY SOCIETY
O Lord of our Days,
save us from the standard-setters;
the hush-voiced counsellors;
the inspectors; the auditors;
the therapists and the charterers;
the ethical advisers.
Please keep us from the clutches
of all doctors, lawyers and accountants.
Spare us the priests and law-makers:
(anyone in a long black gown).
Close our ears to the lying politicians.
Let us creep softly into fat-arsed middle age
without the child within withering away.
And when our minds become fuddled with years,
or drink, or straitened thoughts,
keep a few crystals of truth
alive in some bright corner.
Let not madness, nor yet cold sanity
And when the time comes
to switch off the light,
Do it quickly.
But not just yet.