At Prayer – a poem by Tony Lucas

At Prayer

Stillness has dressed the table, smoothing
reflections in a marble floor.
One icon set against the whitened wall.

Briefly we rest with this, and then assault
the silence with our thoughts and feelings
all our tensions and attentions.

It appears not to resist, only makes way
before us, gracious, accommodating,
until we relent, too easily fatigued.

Deftly, the quiet settles back.
Somewhere there is water trickling
in the roof, birds beyond windows,

and a distant hum that switches off
and on. None of these affect
the stillness. It is all waiting.

We have such small endurance.
Suddenly a bell surprises us.
The world will soon enough resume.

This quiet will remain on hand, patient
of calm or tempest, pregnant with questions
of our readiness for change.


Tony Lucas has lived and worked in inner South London for many years, and continues to write and publish poetry.  His last full collection, Unsettled Accounts, was published by Stairwell Books in 2015, and he put together a pamphlet of more recent work, Presence, earlier this year.

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