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Lay for the Day
1st November

The undead of all species get their feast, and the various servants of the Dark Side, but we don't make much fuss of the Church’s wonder-workers and martyrs today, or the souls of the departed tomorrow.

All Saints’, All Souls’ and Hallowe’en

Don’t suffer.
Remember there are good times after the bad
and bad times again beyond those.
That’s where memory helps,
embracing good and bad together.

My work is now yours,
being all that I was,
for art is unforgetting.
Unforgetting and helping others
not to forget.

I love you, then I feel my pen failing
to produce anything here worthy of its source.
I love you but my pen is failing
to produce anything here but words.

Words are a common love;
they bind us as much as love.
Words and love both insist
that we continue when we would be finished
and remember, which we do not.

I hope everything works out well for you.
I can’t draw you all into one picture
for a while yet, at least;
but I will. I hope
that works out well for me.


John Gibbens
from Makings ’77-’83


The Lay Reader: an archive of the poetic calendar