I’ve been slipping behind a bit in my poetry project this month. There’s been a lot going on in my life! But it’s time to start catching up. So today I’m looking at one of George MacDonald’s most complex but also compelling poems, “A Broken Prayer”, a poem written in a hybrid of free and blank verse which contains some of his most striking imagery of faith. You can read MacDonald’s original poem here, and here is my response to it. Fragments of a Prayer (After “A Broken Prayer”) O Lord, my God, how long Shall I fret with striving and with anxious joy? How long, great King, will I stomp at Your throne, Sure within myself that I know best, A child prince with petulant demands While You patiently reign, grander plans at hand? I take Your gifts and clutch them to my chest, Afraid of vapour, fearing fading dreams; The future, vacuum-like, ushers me in, Yet I cannot see it with my haughty eyes And so I turn my gaze towards myself. I would be a child Resting at Your breast, no longing, no pride, But the smallest quake of earth, each gust of wind Sends me searching for the shadows where I wait, Mementos and anticipated futures in hand, Clinging to whatever I can hold, Afraid that You are not found in the storm. Most mighty One, Take my best thoughts, my best moments, Multiply them in Your soil; make me a harvest Of Your grace and truth, at work in every field. The grandest tree grown apart from You cannot know The life that bursts from Your ground, revives The driest trunk, the feeblest stem; it lives But if it breathes not You, it does not breathe. O Lord, take My weakest striving, my haughtiest dreams; Take my stem which writhes away from You. Take my fears and my self-sufficiency And graft me into You.