God with magnificent irony / gives me at once both books and night.

Jorge Luis Borges, in Poem About Gifts. Disclaimer: translated, paraphrased. He almost certainly has blindness in mind when referring to night, but it reminded me of me complaining on Twitter:

Every night the same fruitless bedtime prayer: “Dear God, please let me stop getting sleepy so I can read more. Amen.”

A Prayer That Will Be Answered

Lord let me suffer much
and then die

Let me walk through silence
and leave nothing behind not even fear

Make the world continue
let the ocean kiss the sand just as before

Let the grass stay green
so that the frogs can hide in it

so that someone can bury his face in it
and sob out his love

Make the day rise brightly
as if there were no more pain

And let my poem stand clear as a windowpane
bumped by a bumblebee’s head

Anna Kemienska’s poem from The Book of Luminous Things, translated from Polish by Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh. Via malevichsquare.

Filed under: poetry, prayer.

Flannery O’Connor’s Androgynous Prayer from the Emory University collection.

Oh universe which is the all of being–reverence to you–your rule be known–and acceded to in darkness as in light. Feed us by the truth of our need. Let us not be deluded that we may transgress or be transgressed upon. Deliver us from the violence of the false. Amen.

I was reminded of this when I read a 1949 Time article about Death Be Not Proud. The author’s dying son comes up with an “Unbeliever’s Prayer”:

Almighty God forgive me for my agnosticism; For I shall try to keep it gentle, not
cynical, nor a bad influence. And O! if Thou art truly in the heavens, accept my gratitude for all Thy gifts and I shall try to fight the good fight. Amen.