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Books & Poetry

Poem: Ora pro Laura

Books & Poetry

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This week’s Poet’s Corner contribution, “Pray for Laura”, is from Helen Fletcher and was written in spring on the isle of Kerrera in the Scottish Inner Hebrides. As a multi “vision” of trees in paradise, the poem was dedicated to a close friend experiencing hard times.

Ora pro Laura

The spheres roll round:
the joyful decades,
the glorious decades,
the sorrowful decades,
decades of dead ends.

But there will come a time my dear
when children with armfuls of flowering branches
(leaving others with firewood for the mansions’ fireplaces),
laughing and running from far away,
will come to bring the branches to your fingertips –
every circular rut of your digits
is a socket for matching ring of a blossoming tree
that makes pink snow in spring –

and they will fit perfectly and the sap will run
into your blood and your blood into the sap,
and your nails painted pearly pink will grow
into magnolia flowers to hold the branches.

Then the children up on ladders
will get apples and avocados
out of baskets to adorn you
and will make a full crown.

And all this won’t be heavy
because you will be lying down by the water,
on your back by the beck by the walnut tree,
with your arms by your sides,
and you will let your hair down into the stream –
yes, the beauty parlour of Paradise!
and let your roots get drenched,
with your palms to the sun.

Helen Fletcher and her husband and their twin daughters live in the county of Cumbria, near England’s historic world-heritage-nominated Lake District. Helen read English at Trinity College Cambridge, and her poems have been published in UK literary magazines and online. Australia is close to her heart, because her sister lives here.

Readers’ original and unpublished poems of up to 40 lines can be emailed, with postal address, to A poetry book will be awarded to each contributor.

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