A Prayer

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 petition-makers;
                                  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
                                  overtake us.

                                  And when the time comes
                                  to switch off the light,
                                  Do it quickly.

                                  But not just yet.

A Prayer - Raymond Humphreys
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