new zealand electronic poetry centre


Mary Stanley

online works

Threefold Prayer

Counsel my wayward mouth to cautious utterance
so that he never know Avernus yawns behind
my lip to swallow love. The needle-point of chance
swings down anger between us, palpable as a hand.

Counsel my eyes, by censure or reproof, to hold
no judgement of his difference, since I by all
my imperfections stand accused. Lacklove, we build
our ruin on a glance. By this offence we fall.

Counsel my ear to read his voice always by first
affection when he preached his syllable of need.
His word is my magnificat and speaks what thirst
is salt upon the tongue, driving our double tide.


Mary Stanley

Last updated 26 November, 2002