The Psalms – a poem by Viv Longley

The Psalms

 
The psalms sing down the centuries
and meet me at the kitchen sink,
worrying overmuch about stuff.
 
I imagine a stylus poised over vellum,
a man pulling a jellabiya round him in a cold night,
yearning to express profound thoughts.
 
They had stuff too. The same stuff.
Children who never listened to their parents. 
Endless wars, good people who try to keep the peace
 
and work with the consequences.  
Then there is money, 
long wrangles about The Law,
and locusts too.
 
I intone the Psalms under my breath
in a quiet church of grey stone, 
dappled light entering
through stained glass windows.
They did the same in magnificent temples
with sand scudding in the heat.
 
The plain chant gradually
pulls a shawl of acceptance and
peace round my shoulders
giving me the strength to straighten up
and start again.

Viv Longley has been writing for her own pleasure since she was a child.  Later in life she undertook an MA in Creative Writing at The Open University, specialising in poetry. As well as having one collection (Tally Sheet, Currock Press, 2021) she is undertaking a number of collaborative publications.  Notably, Daughters of Thyme. She is also preparing a second collection of her own and a number of essays – the latter to be called I am in a Hurry. ‘Now nearing my 80’s, you just never know how much time you have left!’

1 Comment

  1. I like this a lot. Truly in the spirit (and grace) of the psalms.

    Liked by 1 person

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