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
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?
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:
are too stiff for life’s path, where fate
takes like cloud unpredictable shapes.