Prayer is a walk in the park


To play

Catch a face before it slides
from the plate. Screw in

an unblinking eye. Into one
corner hammer a tent peg

so a smile flaps but
holds good. Now shrug on

an amorphous coat. Hurry.
No. Panic won't make for fast-

buttoning; think reattaching
lead to dog, lock-picking,

wire-cutting. The fork-hand
easy but the truculent right:

a fist, a nest of magnets from
which you pry the index out

and fit it the length of that
silver spine, while those

around you spill the loaded die.



I make a point of coffee lately
to slip the house or break
the day.

At the counter my first word
is the wrong foot.

But I make myself understood
and pocket change,
straightforwardly, natural.

A thank-you comes from distance.

I have my book and my strategies
and time.


The park

When I feel the day is turning,
I go — without a dog or child —
to pray and walk
the corridors of light and shade.

Bees are bumping along the hedges
and birdsong clutters
the upper air. The scrunch
of gravel, distracts, places me — here. 

Aidan ColemanAidan Coleman's poems have previously appeared in the Australian Literary Review, The Weekend Australian, The Age, Southerly, Island, Antipodes, The Warwick Review and Westerly. His new book of poems Asymmetry is published by Brandl & Schlesinger this year. 

Topic tags: new australian poems, Aidan Coleman



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Existing comments

Thanks Aiden. "The Park" is lovely. I've been staying with a relative who is very ill and I've been finding myself too frightened to pray. Maybe I'll take the dog for a walk and I'll be able to.
Pam | 15 May 2012

Thank you beautiful.
Coral Wrona | 15 May 2012

Not really into poetry - but have copied The Park at the top of my to do list - thank you!
Kath | 15 May 2012

lovely. The time i discovered 'walking meditation' I felt I had come home. Not good at staying still but being out and the rhythm of steps is prayer indeed
jorie | 15 May 2012


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