Weathering Storms with Poetry~ Gatherings from Ireland # 358

Hell’s Bells, the storm that raged here in Tramore last night reduced me to a state of quivering, blithering terror, especially when there was a loud thump on the roof that would have been grand if it had been in the early hours of Christmas morning!

As I lay with my hands jammed against my ears, poetry came to my rescue and especially two poems that I read in the last week or so in what I call my ‘poetry bible.’

Oh yes, I came as close to praying as I someone like me can:


Some days, although we cannot pray, a prayer
utters itself. So, a woman will lift
her head from the sieve of her hands and stare
at the minims sung by a tree, a sudden gift.

Some nights, although we are faithless, the truth
enters our hearts, that small familiar pain;
then a man will stand stock-still, hearing his youth
in the distant Latin chanting of a train.

Pray for us now.  Grade I piano scales
console the lodger looking out across
a Midlands town. Then dusk, and someone calls
a child’s name as though they named their loss.

Darkness outside. Inside, the radio’s prayer –
Rockall. Malin. Dogger. Finisterre.

Carol Ann Duffy

and in the deep dark trough of those dark early hours, I drew strength from remembering this one:


There are worse things than having behaved foolishly in public.
There are worse things than these miniature betrayals,
committed or endured or suspected; there are worse things
than not being able to sleep for thinking about them.
It is 5 a.m. All the worse things come stalking in
and stand icily about the bed looking worse and worse and worse.

Fleur Adcock

Carol and Fleur, thank you, thank you, thank you …..