we congregate

at 3am

huddled, not with hands together,

(no one prays out loud)

in silent supplication to whatever

can remove us from this hour


we do not have our hands together

prayers are whispered inwardly

desperation tethered to the tiny tips of light

as they hurtle down from high above

this no smoking arena


we do not pray out loud

this ensemble of the baggy-eyed and tissue-tearing few

staring urgently at little bits of light

between our fingers

as we promise

to be grateful

in mundanity;

offer up today in trade

for breath upon the morning


we congregate

at 3am

frozen in a semi-circled episode of hope

and fear betrayal of a one-time-only faith



◄ Surprise

Jacob's Ladder ►


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Laura Taylor

Mon 4th Sep 2017 13:53

Many thanks Ray. As for willing stuff to happen, I have one really quite spooky experience of that, that I will tell you about at some point.

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Fri 1st Sep 2017 19:06

Very eloquent and the poem reaches the parts that we all feel at some stages. We need to feel connected to a greater whole. I can't subscribe to the "we'll never be good enough mantra and that we can be saved from that." We are all though addicted to life and its needs and temptations and why should the devil have all the fun.

I certainly believe we can will things to happen - another story. That must surely make us stronger and not such a burden on religion, which has enough problems of its own.

A great poem Laura.


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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Thu 31st Aug 2017 14:38

I think that every time we write a poem, we are actually 'committing' a prayer to the page, the ether, another mind - just an effort of sincere communication from one human person to another. And usually without rancour, if you couldn't exactly call it LOVE.

I was very young when I realized that most people approach prayer as 'bargaining', 'trade-off'. And I thought, even then, how ridiculous such a notion was, robbing the whole concept of magnificence. And what is life without MAGNIFICENCE? So, I think you must pray a lot.

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Laura Taylor

Thu 31st Aug 2017 12:08

Thank you Cynthia - great praise. Without saying too much, it most definitely involves love.

And thank you too David. Yes. I'm not an atheist, although I was raised as one, but I'm not religious in the 'this is what we do in church' kind of way either. I've only prayed once...

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Wolfgar Miere

Thu 31st Aug 2017 05:57

Hi Laura,

One time only faith is brilliant, how people turn to faith or god in adversity and offer up trade for survival.

This is a provoking poem and I wonder how many of us have felt this way in dark times. It is a question I have come to answer for myself, I do not believe in the "No atheists in trenches" mantra, because I have been one.

Years ago I did call on a god whom I did not believe in to save me, now realizing how futile such a trade off is I tend to curse him and goad him. The ironic thing is, to do even that is to offer up some hope of his existence, which makes me rather ridiculous myself, though I am an unshakable atheist still.

I suspect this refers to ongoing or recent natural disasters in the US, and it is a very true observation of human behaviour in terrible times.

As always we see through filtered media the very best and worst of people, people praising god while he destroys their homes, and people looting at the same time. All life is here.

Cynthia suggests there is love here, and I would say she is right, the love of life and the offering of souls in trade merely to survive, if that isn't love what is? and I think that is what lies at the very heart of this poem.

Excellent piece Laura.


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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Wed 30th Aug 2017 20:24

'Still as the night and deep as the sea' - a quote in English from a German poet whose name I forget. I sang this many times as an 'Art Song' during my vocal training so many years ago. This work evokes the same 'feeling' although it is not a 'love song'.

But, you know, maybe it is. 'Love' has many faces. I think this poem is magnificent. As, IMO, is your mind.

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