MS (8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

! A T - O N E - M E N T

‘Atonement’ – for me, it has a solemn,
lifetime, deathtime, this-is-final
ring to it – spoken in the severest tones
in some headmaster’s study in the skies…

and you, feeling that this is the last chance
to rake up all your worst, your very worst
memories that still chill your heart after all these years,
so you try not to think about them…

so, to ease the sense that fate’s about to pounce
and is it really true about hellfire…

you look it up in the dictionary ….

no, it must be some clever pun…
no, it’s there in black and white
and Oxford blue…

at…one…ment… oh,
how pure upon the page the words here rest –
look now upon this book, sweet masters –
see how the angels smile at human guilt…
there’s joy in heaven today…

just… that… you mean,
it’s really that simple, and
all that stuff from the past…?
so I can just… oh wow…

‘Sorry, I can’t come to the phone right now,
please leave a message and I’ll ring you back..
I’m having my daily at-one-ment…’

and maybe one day, if I work at it,
someone will say to someone else,
seeing me walking down the street,

'Just look at him, or if you're lucky,
talk to him - don't you admire his cool,
his here-and-now, and his at-one-ment...? '

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Comments (3)

Very Zen, Miguelito. I've seen the breakdown of this word, so, that's not new (to me) - but your spin on others perception is unique - and fun, in spite of yourself. Nice work, Mr. Shepherd.
PS... laughing to self... you do realise this is going to send our 'one-r' into overdrive? t x
Oh brilliant M! I'd never thought of the breakdown of the word (or I suppose one may, convinced by you, suggest, its etymology....) . I'll never be able to say it the old way again..... t x