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Nothing but dust

I once knew a girl who danced naked in the

Woods and wrote a book about witchcraft and

Paper ribbons that took to the air upon hearing

A bow strike the merry strings of a violin.


I knew a man, her husband, a character of

Curious disposition who set about investigating

The power of prayer. There was no book yet

But he had a file full to the brim of copious

Notes on divers schemes and mechanisms

Likely, so he thought, to reveal evidence of

The Almighty at work.


His ideas were all based on feathers or more

Accurately the solitary barb of a feather, barbs

So incredibly light as not to be there at all. Barbs

Balanced on pins, barbs in a vacuum, barbs in

Oil all came to mind and all were duly fashioned

For the purpose of praying that the almighty

Might be persuaded to reveal himself by causing

Any one of his curios devices to move by virtue

Of prayer alone.


Having set up his extraordinary apparatus he

Prayed and waited, waited and prayed. Prayed

Day and night for weeks, months after month he

Prayed and lo, nothing happened, nothing moved

Not even by a jot. The good lord was not listening

Or not prepared to take part in his experiment

And so in total despair he abandoned his ideas

To a shoebox which he placed in a cupboard.


Years later he opened the box containing his

Noble experiments and in great sadness saw

That all had finally moved - not by prayer but

By time - the box held nothing but dust.


© Joseph G Dawson
17/11 2018 and earlier

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