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Lay for the Day
20th May

St Bernardino of Siena’s day. Bernardino was an inspirational Franciscan preacher who lived from 1380 to 1440. His power to move his congregations through every rhetorical device at his disposal led to him being nominated as the patron saint of advertising. He wrote a treatise
on the practice of fair trade as compatible with a Christian life.


Weight of things unneeded and without weight
vacant lectionary teaching wastage
catalogues of no consequence of things
never to be ordered uninvited
invitations on forcible glossy
coated paper leotards blue ties smiles stiff
virulent pizzas etc sad
cumulation irksome and appalling
of offers not even considered mass
to shed before we go in at our door
or can leave through eddies of blurb black ice
of ink denying avenues of thought
The tyres make the sound of a slurp reversed
on the wet tar tonight under no stars

John Gibbens
from Collected Poems

The Lay Reader: an archive of the poetic calendar