Martin Robertson

Now and Then


I don’t believe in God, and yet I pray;

still less in magic, but I practise it.

At least I do not let

the mirage of consistency

dazzle me.

That narrow master shan’t dictate

my answers to the mystery.

Good unbelieved-in God, why should you care

to show a kindness to an atheist?

single him out as blest

by answering a faithless prayer?

Dark power

of formula and rune, to trust

you would be worse and sillier.

Trust, no.  But part of me prays, part keeps

fingers crossed for a magpie from the left

(things at least of that sort).

We only mean to say, perhaps:

Reason’s steps

are too stiff for life’s path, where fate

takes like cloud unpredictable shapes.