by Carol Ann Duffy

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 1 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.


  1. Lovely poem.

    Music City, TN looked awful close to Cin City, OH. And closer now that I'm in the middle of the Four Corners region of the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.

  2. the atmosphere of this poem sums up the shipping forcast and radio four perfectly.. there's something so elegantly british in it...

  3. It helps if we purposefully stop and listen for what might be welling up in us.

  4. "someone calls a child's name as though they named their loss"

    How is it that some folks are able to sum up whole eons of experience in a simple few words that leave us speechless at their insight, their vision... the stuff of great poetry... a short phrase that calls up a world of longing, longing for something lost long ago... our innocence, perhaps ???

  5. I don't know, Owen...some days it leaves me breathless and full of gratitude, other days, desperately and bitterly jealous. I ask magic eight ball if I'll ever write as elegantly--"All signs point to no."

  6. Owen has already made my comment. As for you, I think that if you shake magic eight ball again, it will come up "Yes, absolutely."

  7. I enjoyed this poem. It gave me a burst of inspiration this morning. I think it really captures those moments when one is totally out of hope, but a glimmer of light soars out from inside.


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Hey, thanks for your thoughts and your time:>)

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