Morning Prayer

don’t worry about my soul, just give me back my stylus


Hail Minerva
Full of Grace
Goddess of Disappointment,
Petty Theft and
Flaked Tuna in Broth

It’s Dave.
Remember me?
Eighth floor?

From the depths of my
Shame and squalor
Largely self-induced, but whatever,
I cry to thee.

Restore thou to me
What I have lost
Generally, my innocence, but
Specifically, my smartphone,
Which I may have forgotten to charge.

I know, I know.
You don’t have to tell me.

I have followed too much
My desire for devices,
Purchasing today
What is identical
To what I already have,
Except priced a thousand dollars more,
And minus the headphone jack.

I always kind of enjoyed the headphone jack,
And I can only surmise
That someone knows better
And removed it for my own good.

So—thanks, I guess.

It was The Early Adopter, the Evil One
Who tempted me, this time
With a three-lens
Camera, which merely enlarged
The scope of my incompetence
To twenty-four millimeters.

Forgive me the sin of pride
For I have taken billboard-sized jpegs
Of undistinguished architecture
Just because I could;
Standing one hundred feet away
Bouncing flash off the clouds;

I have snapped the sunrise
And the sunset
Confusing effort for result

For their beauty cannot be expressed by
What looks like
An orange rectangle on top of
A black rectangle,

So that I have to explain,
“That’s a picture of the sunrise.”

And they say, “It’s lovely.”

It really isn’t much, but
It gets me through the day.

Blessed Minerva
I cry to thee in my confusion and sin

Return to me the lost socks
The runaways
The big-toe-hole’d
The hidden-under-the-lint-tray-in-the-dryer

Explain thou to me
The mystery:
How clothing still exists
When three times its weight
Is eventually collected in lint.

What arcane law guides
The transmutation
Of twelve tee shirts, some of them silk-screened,
Eight pairs of denim jeans
And one jockstrap

(Which I still look pretty good in
If I don’t attempt to dance,
Pretend I’m only forty-eight,
And carefully position myself with my back
To the light)

Into several pairs of checked boxer shorts
Which I have never seen before
And a Romper set for a two-year-old?

Verily my soul doth tremble
And thy wrath is upon me

At least, that’s what I get from all this hoo-ha.

Where was I? Oh, yes.


Restore thou them
That now live with thee
In paradise

So that the

Which you could imagine being worn
With a garter
By a retired Secret Agent
Formerly in the service of Her Majesty

Hangeth not out with the

Whose trim, stretchy white
would barely graze the ankle of
Billie Jean King

Blessed Minerva
Patroness of lost Hope
Baroness Apathy
Keeper of the Curled Up Luncheon Meat

Grant me your indulgence

For I have walked trembling with the unrighteous slackers
Through the mountains and valleys of
Soiled bath towels

Holding a Wacom stylus and
Searching for a Bic lighter

In thy ineffable wisdom thou hast granted me
The lighter
But snatched from my hand
The stylus
Which is, apparently, gone forever

Gone with the unholy tribes of Ninevah!
Gone with the bakers of raisin pies!
Gone with the summer sunshine of youth
Filtering through clouds of pot smoke
On Yorkville Avenue!

I just remembered—
There’s something else.
Oh, is that a problem?

So, yeah, I’m a little high-maintenance today.
Suck it up, Fish Fingers.

I mean, it’s not like you’re
Beating off crowds of acolytes
With a stick,
Miss Seen Better Days
Downgraded Member of the
Roman Pantheon;
“Where is she Now,
The Broad with the Can?”

Right? So listen up.

O Minerva,
I grow old,
Miserable offender,
And my usefulness is sore diminished.
For if fifty is the new forty
Then sixty-five is the new
Cryogenically frozen.

Give me my due:
A time somewhere between
Afternoon roll call and
Cinq à sept when I can

Unload my hard-earned wisdom,
Such as it is,
Onto the next generation
Who will sip, nay, quaff, the nectar of my words
And go away well advisèd.

No more for me the
Bringers of false witness, who cry

“I’m listening, old man!”
And really believe it

As they continue texting
And I enlighten the
Indifferent tops of heads.

Crush thou them beneath thy feet,
Those feckless ones!

For their names are cursèd in Willowdale,
Their counsels unheeded in Mississauga!

Great Minerva—
I think that’s all
Thanks for listening

Even though you or some other
Deity with a warped sense of humour
Still have my stylus.

But maybe you needed it
More than me,
Perhaps it gives You
An obscure pleasure.

Hey, I can let it go.
Sometimes all I need is
To unburden myself.

And I have.

Now back to your real job—
Taking care of dolphins
Flaking tuna

And reminding people that
The Trident,
Formerly the weapon of
That old trout,
Poseidon—and, please, do give Him my regards—

Is now the name
Of a sugarless gum
Made, as they say, for our chewing pleasure.

Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper!

“As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be!”

I’ve never thought about them before,
The words of the doxology,

And this is a real trip, but—
That’s what I always say:

“The first ten minutes
Tells you everything.”


Tell us what you think. Keep it civil, yet interesting.