Monday, July 6, 2015

Matins and Lauds and Cats

Lawrence Hall

Matins and Lauds and Cats

Now stir your morning hopes into a cup
Of coffee sweetly censed with optimism
Along with milk or cream and chemicals;
Switch off the strident, nattering radio
And through the kitchen window note with joy
The dramatic stretchings of indolent cats
Yawning the beginning of their new day,
A tree frog working late, reposing still
Upon the screen as if it were a throne
From which he rules all insect destinies,
And a sudden fluttering in the grass
As an early bird gets his worm indeed
While a vapor of diaphanous mist
Slow-curls among the oaks, perhaps to seek
Some comfortable solitude for the day;
Old Sol, fresh from his adventures in the East
Serves sunlight filtered softly through the damp,
Fresh light for your breakfast, a Matins
Psalm sung to you all the way from a star.

Matins and Lauds without any Cats

If your sunrise view is of garbage cans
And utility poles leaning over an alley
Or if you have no window, or even a kitchen
If morning dew condenses on barbed wire
Or dripping concrete walls echoing-echoing,
If your only view is of a cinder-block wall
And the only sound is the medicine trolley
Squeaking through its early hospital rounds
Without any coffee or even much hope
Then please feel free to borrow for today
Any of the many, barely-used mornings
From those of us who in our ingratitude
Tend to begin our days of open windows
Not with a joyful litany of praise
But with a tiresome catalogue of complaints

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