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Lay for the Day
30th January


1948: the “Great Soul” Mahatma Gandhi is assassinated.
From the book of Praises:


66. Of a Visitor

Dark brown, fluttering in the room at night,
but not a moth. Its pole is not the light
but the open window. The wings hinge back
on each other, tremble open. A black
segment of the air broken off, itself
the ghost of a book, it lands on the shelf:
a butterfly. What other flying thing’s
less bodily, so utterly wings?
This the ancients likened to the soul
released from the shroud of the corpulent
caterpillar. She seems out of control,
stumbles even in her own element,
lost, fragile. Fear and pity, but wonder
too, go with her, where she may float or blunder.

John Gibbens
from Collected Poems
 

The Lay Reader: an archive of the poetic calendar