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Lay for the Day
25th July

The feast of St Christopher, patron saint of travellers.
From the book of Praises:


87. Of a Conductor


A small man with the eyebrows of a large one,
tufted with white, with white in the small beard too;

an Indian whom Providence has given
a job on top of his job of conducting,
of being the last of the cheerful Cockney
busmen, a-swagger and bantering loudly.

Dark and shy, scholastic physiognomy
from which each Hold on tight! – Move right down inside! –
and Yes please thankyou fares please! is delivered
with a mantric gravity of levity

as though your ticket rattled off with a quip
were a tiny attainment of good karma
and one more run up and down the 19 route
shall free him from the chain of death and rebirth.

 

John Gibbens
from Collected Poems
 

The Lay Reader: an archive of the poetic calendar



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