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Lay for the Day
7th May


The first day of Lemuria, the nine-day Roman festival of the dead.
From the book of Praises:


43. Of the Majority

Who now preoccupy the ground,
whose passed passions enlarged the sun
and earth’s foundations handsomely
with their gifts of significance;
who furnished the uprights and bars,
enclosures and curves that you here
interpret in their memory;
who bequeathed even their bodies.

The dead still walk in your bearing
and wake their likeness from my sleep
when I dream the sea of deceased
raising its slow waves, shuddering
wind and lapsing hiss. One by one
the frayed crests flow into their graves.

 

John Gibbens
from Collected Poems

 

The Lay Reader: an archive of the poetic calendar