Thursday, January 1, 2009

Magic for ’09: Lisa's Lord's Prayers

Finally! So glad the page has turned. Aren’t you happy to see the new number we’re in at last? Nines are nice: triple magical, since three is a magic number and nine is thrice that.

I’m having fun looking back, looking forward, cleaning my pantry (literally!), and gathering my tools and plans. It seems an apt moment to offer a prayer/poem I wrote a few years ago, to help the new year start off right.

Lisa’s Lord’s Prayers

Our mistress
who art in star-wash
bright be thy name.
Thy queendom come,
thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily mead
and forgive us our marks on others
as we forgive those who put a mark on us.
And lead us not into the underworld
but deliver us from the dark.

Our father
in the world’s waters,
glistening be thy net.
Thy currents calm,
thy steady arm
extend over these oceans.
Give us this day the fish’s flesh
and forgive our over-taking
as we forgive those who steal our catch.
And lead us not into the dark gulf
but deliver us from storms.

Our canopy
arced over the universe
untouched be thy sheen.
Thy net of time
billow and shine
in matter as in motion.
Give us today our honeycomb
and forgive us our history
as we forgive those who would forget.
And steer us away from the black holes
but toward life.

Letters of God
in every cell
golden be each stroke.
Your power come,
meaning be done
electrically in nerve and spirit.
Give us today our act of truth
and forgive our indecision
as we forgive the strong-voiced who stay mute.
And lead us not into judgment
but deliver us from fear.

who art alive now,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy time has come,
thy will be done
in action as in dreaming.
Give yourself this day on earth
and forgive your failings
as you forgive those who fail all around you.
And lead yourself from suffering
into joy.

Our cats,
who art in Oakland,
springy be thy paws.
Thy catfood come,
thy wishes be done
in day and night and cat-dreams.
Give us today our purr of love
and forgive our absence
as we forgive the fleas who live in your fur.
And lead us not with claw-marks
but into languorous sleep.
PS: I don’t pray to myself in the next-to-last verse out of arrogance, though it does feel a bit radical to do so. Try it, dear reader: say a prayer to yourself as well as to the Divine – because you are both.

© 2009 Lisa Bernstein



  1. I completely love this. It's a joy to ride the beautiful rhythms of the original through the reinterpretations of these verses.

    This is why I've loved your poetry for years. "Give us" more... :)



Thanks for adding your voice!