Sunday, 7 November 2010

44. AL-Mujib – Reflective Listening

Suggestes answers, rescue, yearning --- 'Some days,
although we cannot pray, a prayer utters itself' Carol Ann Duff

Eating his breakfast
alone, young Andrew sits
and sings a shanty as he eats.
Shall we look and listen as he munches,

tears the air around
with Music of the Night?
Divisive toast and Marmite
- cut with sound!

No Star ever sang out from the heart
more truly,
or chorus-singer flowed with sound
so thrilling.

No blackbird called for light-on-earth
so earnest,
or wave crashed out from sea-on-rock,

Does it matter what he sings?
- of love or battles,
sorrow, loss or pain?
Does it matter?

Oh yes, it matters as long
as hearts jump glory in that song;
sincerity, exuberance, no care:

Mobiles on the train
Forgetting how to pray
we rabbit-on instead, stroking
mobile phones in praise
to a modern way of living.

Projecting words as kind-of-truth,
wagging tongues flap on - and on again;
speaking sometimes softly, sometimes rough,
with every word from worry, sorry, joy or sadness, pain.

Praying now I see
cold snow reach out so far
along England’s dusk. It’s Winter and a train
guard calls ‘I apologise’ again, again.

Broken promises! I’m only half aware he’s hoping for
a nod, a yes, responding to a tiny hope, his prayer.


  1. again and again ~ flap flapping ~ beat of the train ~ great diag and rhythym ~ Lib @libithina

  2. Oh, so sad ~ so poignant ..subdued applause, for how can one applaud sorrow with gusto?

  3. I love this poem. Only, remove "munches" or fix the syntax of the line cause it really hurts a beautiful poem. It's like ruuning into a pole you don't see in front of you by way of analogy. Again, I love this poem.