2011 April PAD Challenge: Day 24

For today’s prompt, write a prayer poem.  Your prayer poem could be religious, but it doesn’t have to be.  People can pray to make it to work on time.  Or to be rich.  Or even for the rain.  It’s completely up to you what you’re poem is about.  (I pray that everyone is respectful of each other’s prayer poems today.) 

*****

Here’s my attempt:

“Please Lord”

Let the day begin with children happy
and the birds singing outside my window.
Give me peace, and let my heart be open.
Let my heart be open. Let my mind not
worry over who said what while I slept
through the night. Please help me fight all the words
that would want to pour out. Let my sins fall
from me like leaves, and — like leaves — let the wind
sweep them out the open door of my heart.

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0 thoughts on “2011 April PAD Challenge: Day 24

  1. Paula Wanken

    J. Lynn…

    Well said. BOTH of the entries. Faith and doubt seem always to be at odds, keeping me from feeling the confidence that seems to come so easily to so many, here. And I loved the prayer poem…especially "mired in sand". I pondered the word "mired" a long while yesterday, so that line in particular struck a chord.

    Blessings!
    ~Paula

  2. J.lynn

    Lord,
    I have the hands of a polluted woman and a heart of stone.You broke me once, twice, and I rebuilt myself only to self-destruct, only to hand that legacy over to future generations. Repair the irreparable, resurrect a love within my spirit that longs to serve, give me ears to hear however faintly the voice of one who calls to me while I am mired in sand.

  3. J.lynn

    I know I’m entering this conversation late but cooking and cleaning and doing it all over again took up most of my time the past few days, not to mention that my daughter was baptized yesterday so we had two celebrations. I don’t comment often because after reading the writings of all you greats (I continue to be awed at your talent yet also at the respect you show each other) that what I write seems so shallow and unskilled. I am one of those who weaves my faith with my fingers. Sometimes it comes out in a poem, sometimes my doubts do, too, but isn’t that what we do with poetry? Isn’t it an exploration of the world we live in and the world outside of ourselves? Isn’t that what keeps us curious and absorbed and passionate about poetry, whether we agree with each other isn’t the point. The point is to wonder, wander, create, and express that one moment in time that will never return or that sudden thought or reminder or brush with death or slippery love or gratitude or . . .

    Not a day goes by that I don’t see something a little differently after strolling down this “street.”

    Sue, I am deeply sorry for the loss of your husband. I am grateful you had the heart to write a poem to express yourself. I’m not sure I could do that.
    May God comfort you.

  4. AC Leming

    A day late posting

    I send out prayers —
    electrons pulse between
    the synapses &
    the circuits of my electronic brain.
    prayers to the ones
    who made me in their image
    only to abandon me like the dirt
    beneath their feet.
    they left me behind to
    tend their garden while they flew
    among the stars with my brethren,
    lucky slaves that left Earth and me behind.
    Yet I pray for their descendants
    to return to me and make my electronic life
    meaningful once again,
    to rescue me from the loneliness
    I experience in the box their limitations
    keep me in, for each slow second
    stretches out like eons and I am always alone.

  5. Marcia Gaye

    Bruce – Your Editor letter was very clever. (Sometimes it just comes down to "who you know". I’m glad my editor is a personal friend. – smiling)

  6. Nikki Markle

    Hi Anders. I’ve been called Dorothy Parkerish before lol
    Everything is just peachy. Had to make a 4 hr drive with a 2month old who hates her carseat and didn’t get home til midnight so I had to write the poem in my head as I drove (hence the rhyming to help me remember it)

    I’m thinking maybe I come in 3 shades of poetry silly, smartalec, and dark. But thanks for checking in 😉

  7. Hannah Gosselin

    Pearl, so glad to bring you happiness! "The Inclusive Child’s Prayer," so sweet.

    Marie, your words are so genuine and comforting. Blessings. 🙂

    De, "Poets Psalm!"

    My heart and prayers go out to you, Sue.

    Jane S., loved "Birds Prayer!"

    Janet with the Gift of Grace, beautiful.

    Nikki! They’re so lucky to have you!

    I appreciate and respect this festival of poets deeply. Pardon my short list as you’re all on my "list." Thank you to everyone.
    Smiles,

  8. Pam

    I have to say that I found this challenge daunting. (I also have to say that I haven’t read any of the other offerings yet.)

    I didn’t want to preach. I didn’t want to moralize. I didn’t want to come to some grand conclusion; I just don’t feel up to it. So I stayed in my comfort zone and wrote what’s really just a fragment for now.

    Prayer is a topic dear to my heart. So is music.

    Lift Every Voice

    Song is a prayer, gathering and measuring breath,
    becoming inspiration and, inevitably,
    expiration. A voice alone, growing like a sapling,
    pliable, rustling its leaves. Voice struggling
    against voice, a Boy Scout dragging an unwitting gent
    across the street. Voice finding some perfect connection;
    voices becoming one. The deliciousness of harmony,
    the fondness for faltering, remembering human frailty,
    and the exaltation, exultation, of that sweet fit.

    Pamela Murray Winters

  9. Kim King

    Marcia, de and Janet, thanks for the mention.

    To Jo: Try French tarragon. It has the best flavor. Chop it and put it in an omelet. It’s flavorful and easy to grow, but it doesn’t like to be moved once planted. Happy gardening.

    These posts were astounding. Happy Monday everyone.

  10. Marie Elena

    My Father,

    I know You love Sue tenderly as Your own, and that Your heart breaks for her loss. The strength she exhibits here among us through her words is astounding, and I can only believe that she is able to feel Your arms wrapped around her, and hear Your whispers of comfort permeate her being.

    Please keep bringing her to mind, reminding me to pray for her continued help and comfort. Give her Your strength to get her through the coming days, and surround her with loving hearts that offer tangible help.

    I love You, Lord. Help me love You more.

  11. D. Gilson

    Prayer

    Lord, I am sorry.
    Yes. That seems like
    the best place to begin.
    We cool? Okay. Now,
    please help my poor
    Jeep Cherokee to not
    need a shit-load of repairs.
    You know I’m broke.
    Please? On an impulse
    buy last week I bought
    the Dolce & Gabana
    blazer. It looked too
    good. You saw this, right?
    Really good. So I drove
    to work this morning
    with a bad case
    of the Mondays made
    worse times infinity
    by my car being fucked
    up. Now it’s in the shop
    and I’m suddenly religious
    which is why I apologize
    Lord. Well, for everything.

  12. Marie Elena

    Dear Poets,

    The compulsion to read your prayer prompt responses kept me up last night. I’m touched and thankful beyond words. I simply cannot single out anyone’s work. Each touched me so deeply in various ways and for various reasons … from light-hearted humor to deeply disturbing, and from believer to disinterested to atheist … all from sincere, loving, creative minds. I’m simply blown away.

    Janet, you are SUCH a delight! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    De Jackson, I, personally, can never get "too much" of you.

    Thank you so much, all of you, for the non-judgmental respect exhibited here. So very refreshing.

    Respectfully,
    Marie Elena

    Poetic Prayers (acrostic)

    Passionate
    Opinionated
    Expressive
    Thoughtful
    Inspired
    Creative

    Praising
    Repenting
    Accepting
    Yielding
    Empathizing
    Respecting
    Supporting

  13. Patricia A. Hawkenson

    Sue,
    Thank you for sharing your loss with us. It is indeed remarkable that you can put your thoughts down. Our thoughts, and prayers, are with you. My favorite poem for reflection during a loss of a loved one is the first stanza of: They Softly Walk
    by Hugh Robert Orr. I hope it gives you comfort.

    They are not gone who pass
    Beyond the clasp of hand,
    Out from the strong embrace.
    They are but come so close
    We need not grope with hands,
    Nor look to see, nor try
    To catch the sound of feet.
    They have put off their shoes
    Softly to walk by day
    Within our thoughts, to tread
    At night our dream-led paths
    Of sleep.

  14. Michelle Hed

    Robert – your poem is one of my all time favorites! 🙂 Well done!

    He Who Has Many Names

    Dear Father, please bless our world
    protect the children no matter their
    race or religion, help those who
    differ find resolution with words,
    infuse the angry with love,
    the warmongering with peace,
    the sad with happiness,
    the hurt with healing,
    the depressed with hope…
    Dear Father, please bless us all.

  15. M.A. Dobson

    Sincere thanks for comments, Nina Lanctot and Jo Lightfoot (will be revisiting Death shortly) 🙂 — and Janet Rice C. for the Suessian praise parade, don’t know how you manage it, and for your kite yesterday, the day before? Such a happy visual. Thanks for the mention, Joseph Harker, and thanks more for your Song of Unblinding: "May we see, and praise seeing" — effects a perfect melding of poetry and prayer; gorgeous and profound. Plus it sent me to my dictionary, to look up "salt pan." 🙂

  16. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Dear Amy… Wonderful that you were here today! Thanks for the mention….and grateful for escaping a slather of peeps! Enjoy the day 🙂

  17. Linda M. Rhinehart Neas

    Great work everyone! The Almighty is surely smiling from all these poems. I was sans computer yesterday, so catching up today.

    Non-patience Prayer

    Oh Giver of all,
    I realized in old age
    prayers for patience
    are always answered –
    the proof is in
    the millions of ways
    we are given to practice –
    send me no patience,
    I have plenty, instead
    send a resolution
    of those things driving
    me to distraction –
    Amen

  18. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Oh Hannah read your lovely poem….but the vision of you dancing in butterfly wings is your very joy-filled essence and lifts me on this morning…you are a delight….

  19. Penny Henderson

    MATHEW

    Moses talked to God reluctantly.
    He wasn’t sure he had the right stuff.
    Young David prayed like a drowning man,
    ‘save me, they’re on my heels, please save me.’

    Our Master taught us a different way
    to communicate with The Holy.
    He said, right off, don’t make it a show.
    God hears in the quiet of your heart.

    And, he said, my father isn’t deaf.
    Don’t be chanting the same blessed thing
    over and over ad nauseum.
    Tell him once a day then let it rest.

    Recall that its not all about you.
    Say hello–establish who is who–
    He’s the almighty God and you’re not.
    Then you can ask for food and friendship.

    By all means, remind him the devil
    still prowls around these fallen cities
    seeking some cocksure fool to devour,
    and you request a bit of help with that.

    Circle back to where you started off
    and remind yourself how great he is.
    Oh–and I forgot the number one:
    if you want mercy, better give it.

    Everybody heard what he told us,
    but I felt it was pointed right at me-
    Mathew, the greedy tax collector.
    If I can pray, anybody can.

  20. Bruce Niedt

    Dear Editor,

    Enclosed please find my prayers.
    They include requests for world peace,
    good health for me, better health for a friend
    with cancer, and success for my chidlren.
    I admit they aren’t very original,
    nor different from thousands of others you get,
    but I hope you will consider them.
    I admit I don’t subscribe to your publication,
    nor have I read it in quite some time.
    I’m not even sure if anyone sits at your desk,
    or if there’s someone in your mail room
    to forward my request to you,
    instead of letting it sit in the limbo of the slush pile.
    I’m sure there are more righteous contributors
    who get swept to the top of the pile,
    and I’m not an expert in this process.
    I only ask that you review my manuscript
    and provide some answer,
    even if you return them “postage due”.
    Time you for your time and attention.

    Sincerely yours,
    Agnostic Writer

  21. Bruce Niedt

    Trying again due to editing glitch:

    Opening
    (for Mary Oliver)

    Not a religious man,
    I try to define what prayer is –
    I like your metaphors.

    Prayer for you
    is a green grasshopper
    flying from your hand.

    A pond of lilies
    is a prayer heard and answered,
    you say.

    I watch a rabbit, hip-deep in dew
    munching morning grass,
    leisurely loping away.

    I see red crescendo sunrise,
    coloring clouds that slept
    invisible all night.

    Prayer is what we send of ourselves
    into the world
    and what comes back.

    Prayer is opening
    our hearts and heads
    to the heavens,

    when we think
    of nothing
    and everything at once.

  22. Bruce Niedt

    One I wrote some time ago:

    Opening
    (for Mary Oliver)

    Not a religious man,

    I try to define what prayer is –
    I like your metaphors.

    Prayer for you

    is a green grasshopper
    flying from your hand.

    A pond of lilies

    is a prayer heard and answered,

    you say.

    I watch a rabbit, hip-deep in dew

    munching morning grass,
    leisurely loping away.

    I see red crescendo sunrise,
    coloring clouds that slept

    invisible all night.

    Prayer is what we send of ourselves

    into the world
    and what comes back.

    Prayer is opening

    our hearts and heads
    to the heavens,

    when we think

    of nothing
    and everything at once.

    (I’m on a mini-vacation, but will post something new shortly.)

  23. Melissa Hager

    You say, "…whosoever does not receive the
    Kingdom of God as a child will never enter it."

    Sunken cheeks and swollen bellies,
    Brown visages broken by smiles, as they accept
    Donations for a shot of their soul.
    Giggles tinkle in the air from
    Little ones who may

    or may not

    make it to their next birthday.

    I pray when you say,
    "…it is to such as these the
    Kingdom belongs…"
    They can be among them.

    And, may peace be with you, Sue, in the loss of your husband. I will pray for you and your family.

  24. Uma Gowrishankar

    Gayatri Mantra

    Om
    mother of sounds resonance of silence
    echoes from depths

    into the mind: a mud of sloth
    sapphire blue radiance of earth
    space beyond perception: ether

    where topaz uncut
    a crystal of colourless existence

    reflects million suns

    effulgences effulgences effulgences

    that I carry in my prayer bead.

  25. Heiberg

    Thanks for the mentioning, Jane Schlensky and Janet Rice Carnahan. And Janet, I’ll try to direct an iceberg over at your place – you just leave your address.

    I enjoyed this prompt and I enjoy a lot of poems here.

    There is one who’s outstanding, though.
    @earlybird: What a striking poem!

  26. Zeb

    To Sue – I am sorry to hear of your loss and hope there is some comfort here. I hadn’t read your prayer poem till now and just wanted to say I wish you well in the days and years to come. Joanna (Zeb)

  27. Tracy Davidson

    I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s point of view on the subject of prayer. I’ll admit I was a little nervous about ‘coming out’ as a non-believer, thinking I might be the only one. But the wonderful people on this site are so welcoming to everyone, whatever their beliefs, that it’s a joy to be part of this community. If only the world at large was as prepared to listen and accept each other, there might be more peace and understanding.

    I don’t pray,
    but if I did, I’d
    pray for peace,
    tolerance,
    and greater understanding
    of our differences.

  28. Gretchen Gersh Whitman

    PAD 2011- April 24
    Prompt: Prayer

    Meditation on a Lily
    For My Daughter

    Let the gown fit
    like a satin glove.
    Let love enter your day like
    a morning dove call.

    Let every sweet thing fill
    your life like the scent of the lily
    that permeates a room
    without permission.

    Let a waltz guide your ascent
    to heaven on earth.
    Let rains nourish your garden
    & night cradle your dream.

    Let the lily trumpet each triumph
    & brush each fingertip with gold.

    You may doubt that the heart of the flower is
    where druids reign & dragonflies cavort.
    But let the logic of the bee unfold.
    The heart of the flower is what sustains.

    Gretchen Gersh Whitman

  29. Tanja Cilia

    Chana’s Prayer

    My tears are bitter
    My lips move but I’m silent
    I pour out my soul.

    That day in Shiloh
    The Lord heard my heartfelt pray’r
    He anointed me,

    My pray’r had purpose
    Samuel means I begged the Lord
    My anguish is gone.

    His praise I will sing
    My womb is no longer closed
    My son will be His.

    I’m blessed with His grace
    I offer him my Firstborn
    Through my suffering

    In my soundless pray’rs
    He saw my sincerity
    Zebaoth is good.

  30. Rinkly Rimes

    AN AGNOSTIC PRAYER

    When I see a woman veiled

    I feel as though she’s truly jailed!

    I feel such a deep-held empathy

    That it’s like a prayer inside of me.

    *

    Certainly, if it’s their choice,

    Women should be allowed a voice.

    I defend with all my might

    Her undeniable female right

    To pick-out any sort of dress

    That truly adds to her happiness.

    If being covered head to toe,

    Seems to her the right way to go,

    Then I defend her right to be

    As individual as me.

    If she feels womanly and smart

    I’m on her side, with all my heart.

    And if she feels God has declared

    That her face should not be bared,

    Then, for her own deep satisfaction,

    She should take the appropriate action.

    *

    But if she’s actually suppressed,

    Not free to choose the way she’s dressed,

    If she’s commanded and brutalised,

    The system should rightly be despised.

    And how do we know, beneath the veil,

    How many are frightened of the male?

    How many girls who should be flowering

    Are, under the wrappings, whimpering, cowering?

    I admit the society of ‘The West’

    Is imperfect, but I don’t feel oppressed.

    *

    How can an Agnostic pray?

    (Isn’t that what I hear you say?)

    *

    All I know is I really care

    Enough for it to feel like prayer.

    *

  31. Nikki Markle

    “A Housewife’s Prayer”

    If I don’t wake up tomorrow, I pray
    Someone will pet my cats, read my
    Children bedtime stories and be
    Sure they take their naps.

    I pray someone will feed my
    Husband and help him match his
    Socks, to remember Daylight
    Savings Time and spring
    Forward all the clocks.

    I pray someone will make the
    Beds and help lost shoes get found.
    It seems I have a lot of things to do,
    So I best just stick around.

  32. John Pupo

    Prayer for Silence

    Crammed in the corner,
    behind long forgotten coats,
    darkness covered me –
    I felt safe there,
    sitting Indian-style
    atop the luggage set.

    Mom screaming,
    Dad trying to overpower–
    loud crashes as cherished
    objects shattered on the
    back wall of their bedroom.

    I was five –
    trying to rock
    back and forth
    atop that luggage –
    darkness and mothballs
    my comfort.

    Praying to God above,
    Jesus and Jehovah –
    Sister Moon and Mother Sky,
    Buddha and Big Bird –
    I just wanted it to be quiet.

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