Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Second Breakfast

Some time ago I wrote this poem about my prayer life. This area of my journey is nothing to brag about. But most days I lift up the names of those I love and care about to a loving God. I don't know what this does but somehow I feel the energy of God is released when we pray. I know the old line: "Prayer changes the pray-er." True. These intercessions keep me in touch with folks I care about. But I think prayer is more than this. It is a mystery to me--and I keep doing it even after all these years. Here is the poem:

"Each morning, like clockwork--I
lay it out. My spoon and knife.
The cereal bowl. I turn on
the coffee pot--I dig out
the bagels, the milk--the juice.
I butter the bread and place it
in the toaster. I pour the cereal--
and sprinkle sweet and low into
the bowl. I sit down, turn on
the TV and eat from the bowl
while the coffee readies and
the bagel cooks.

An hour later--like clockwork--I
lay it all out. My prayer book,
my Bible. A book of poems to set the
pace for the day. I read a few pages.
I pick up the prayer book--open the
Bible and find today's Psalm. Like
buttered bagel and juice and cereal
and coffee--I eat and drink. And then
I bow my head and remember Bill and
Jala and Matthew and Leslie and myself
and the day just beginning.


  1. I love your picture of laying out your stuff for prayer.
    My late great friend Ray Whitley asked me once, "Helms, does prayer move molecules?" After all these years I still don't know for sure but my experience indicates that it does.

  2. i love this. we have so many routines that are as easy as breathing... but this one seems to have its own enemy that wins more often than i like.