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Eight Days A Week

georgebest2_1970On Palm Sunday

I learned that people love a donkey but popularity is ephemeral

That a brand new hosanna is easier to sing than a broken alleluiah

That an epiphany on a day of rest may go dark in the rest of the week

 

On Fig Monday

Something came over me like a red mist,

I blew my top, Lost my rag,

Everyone went quiet, Looked down at their sandals,

Tomorrow I’d have to wear that t-shirt again,

‘I’m sorry for what I said when I was hungry’

 

On Great Tuesday

I was staying with thirteen ancient nuns in a convent,

Some of whom had been among the original disciples.

Living in silence, they had become lost for words,

Into which they invited me,

‘Your presence and prayer here

Will enhance the world’s store

Of stillness and reverence.’

 

On Spy Wednesday

Popping my head, briefly, above the parapet of the everyday

I caught myself in the lens of some inverse binoculars

It was me I was focussed on, and also it wasn’t

I could see myself inside some other world

And here was everyone, on the corner of Fourth and Walnut

Walking around shining like the sun, And I loved them,

They were mine and I was theirs… but it was too bright

I ducked down quickly, went back into hiding

In case someone spotted me, seeing us all.

 

On Maundy Thursday

Johann Cruyff died and Wales played Northern Ireland

I remembered my Dad taking me to the Vetch Field, Swansea

In 1970, seeing George Best, total footballer, in his green shirt.

Like Cruyff, he could make you believe in God,

In the evening I played five-a-side

But forgot to do the Cruyff Turn

 

On Good Friday

I hadn’t anticipated the death, nor that I’d be the killer

Not that there was nails or blood as we hung up,

Just another of those small, everyday expirations,

When hate seems stronger than love

Something told me it is finished,

And the darkness felt stronger than light

The Poem looked completely abandoned

And death was stronger than life

 

On Empty Saturday

We met old friends, in the country, whose love had recently

Been pronounced dead and buried, But here they were

Looking at each other now, foreheads glancing

Like death was not the end, kissing each other

As if Easter Sunday was possible

Later, we met a relative, called into looking after an ageing

Uncle, wheelchair bound, And his partner,

Not quite all there, (the part of the all that makes us make sense to each other, having already left)

‘Well, we’ve got no bloody choice, have we?’ he said,

When pressed, on his daily saintliness,

His answer, kind of confirming it

I thought maybe no day is ever as empty as they tell you

Something is happening behind that stone

Even if you can never imagine a day,

When someone has rolled it away

 

On Easter Sunday

I tried to be like the fox, like Wendell Berry says,

I practised resurrection, I discovered I needed to

Practice more, At least 10,000 hours,

And probably I’d still need a hand.

 

(This poem was abandoned on Good Friday 2017.)