Friday, November 25, 2011


common book of prayer
by Chris Clardy

all the ways which women pray
have yet to be forgotten—
the way you fold the shirt (between your hands)
        is a folding of your hands,
the way you bow your head over the head of the person
lying fever-small in your bed
        is a bowing of the head,
the way when that is done you listen with your eyes closed, wait for dawn,
        lift the latch, raise the shade, pour the tea,
        and, turning toward the mirror,
        see all things coming
because you
are willing to say all things can come and are coming
        is a willing of all things—
and all these ways
are pages in your book (your body is the book)
with no words or words inside it
is praying is your body is a book
every time you move—
all the ways which women pray with their bodies
have yet to be recalled—
        forget words—
this will happen (any way)
and your book of prayer will be praying,
praying in the way
women always
have prayed


Posted with permission of the poet.

My Juicy Little Universe has the Poetry Friday round-up today.


Heidi Mordhorst said...

Wow. Where do you find all these folks and their poems? I like this take on prayer very much, and the layered simultaneousness of all the distinct prayerful actions.

Thanks for stopping by mjlu today!

Janet said...

Interesting take on the postures of prayer.

KKSorrell said...

This is great. I strive for this as I do all the quotidian things a mother does - cooking, dishes, cleaning. I strive to think of each thing as a blessing, both for myself and for my family. Nice poem.

maria horvath said...

Beautiful, just beautiful, Tabatha, about prayer as a gift.

Robyn Hood Black said...

This poem itself is a blessing! Thank you for sharing.

Linda B said...

Beautiful expression of the selfless acts that are performed freely for others. I like the way the poem seems so graceful as it moved through the lines from action to actual.

GatheringBooks said...

There is a movement in this poem that ravels and unravels - a transformation that is akin to a ritual - loving, praying, reading, chanting. So much to savor about this poetry. Thank you for sharing.

Mary Lee said...

Lovely. At first I felt a little left out, because I'm not a mother, but Linda (at Teacherdance) helped me to see the big ideas beyond mothering.