Poems by Bridget Nutting 2016

Bridget NuttingBRIDGET NUTTING is a literary and visual artist who began creating as a child. She passionately explores innovative styles of expression through words, objects, and experiences, teaching people of all ages to do the same. Her poetry has been published in various journals; her art and calligraphy grace the walls of homes and offices throughout the world. She currently teaches online courses to international students. Bridget calls the Pacific Northwest home.


Day 30 – Compose a poem about your idea of patience.


What is patience,
we might ask.
Is it completing
a difficult task?
Is it waiting patiently
while others crawl,
or is it never, ever
moving at all?
Is it playing games
like “hide and seek,”
then finding the others
when you didn’t peek?
Is it anticipating
the birth of a child?
Is it taking the time
to train something wild?
Is it the time before Christmas
when you’re only seven?
Or is it the time spent
ushering Grandma to heaven?
Is it the food that is needed
to keep your family alive
because funds are short,
you wish for payday to arrive.
Patience – is it waiting
for the results of the tests,
praying that everything will
work out for the best?
A condition of life, that’s
Patience, you see.
It’s the cross that we bear,
Both you and me.

Day 29 – Write a poem about heaven.


Heaven is not
some place paved in gold with a man
seated on an elevated, golden throne.

Heaven is not
Saint Peter perched on a stool
pouring through a thick tome outside
immense gates made of pearls
waiting to pass judgement as we present ourselves
following death.

Heaven is not
a green plush meadow carpeted with
multicolored flowers, blue skies decorated with
rainbows, and baby-faced cherubs
passing out wings.

Heaven is
the first breath of each
newborn baby;
holding each one as I nursed;
rocking my babies to sleep;
singing lullabies and silly songs;
blessing their baptisms;
watching them master each new task;
building blanket tents;
dancing in puddles of rain;
kissing their “boo-boos;”
crying at their graduations;
rejoicing at their weddings;
celebrating the births of each of their babies.

Heaven is the paramedics
that answered our call;
the doctors and nurses that
met us at the emergency room;
the skilled doctors and technicians that
battled time as they fought to discover
a diagnosis.
Heaven is the skilled trauma surgeons and medical team
Who operated successfully,
Prepared the perfect concoction to suspend me in a deep sleep
without damaging my brain,
while they inserted a tube to allow me to breathe and
connected machines to monitor my life, all the while
holding me out of death’s reach.

Heaven is “The Prayer of St. Francis” on the loud speaker – “Lord,
Make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love” – reminding me that my job
here is not finished yet;
the surgeon who held my hand as
I was going under for my seventh surgery in two weeks –
“Don’t worry! I’ve got this! I will not let anything happen to you.”

Heaven is all those amazing people –
friends, family, strangers – who
held me in their prayers each and every day as
I recovered;
a family who sat faithfully beside my bed, continually
encouraging me not to
give up the fight.

Heaven is the boy I met when
I was barely a teen; the man I married;
the father of our children, my best friend and lover.
The man who promised, “for richer and for poorer”,
(too often poorer), and who promised
“in sickness and in health,” (who slept on a cot
by my hospital bed throughout my sickness).
Heaven is the love of my life; the arms
that encircle me; the gentleness of his touch;
the chest on which I lay my head to hear
the beating of his heart; the gentle brush of his breath
on my neck and my breast; the mingling of
our bodies and souls when we make love.

Heaven is the smell of the freshly mown grass;
the feeling of warm sand between my toes;
the majesty of the mountains;
the power and might of the sea;
the beauty of wildflowers in the fields;
the scent of sagebrush on the wind;
the gentle cooing of the morning dove;
the moon and all its phases;
the snow in the winter;
the colorful leaves in the fall;
the first buds in the spring;
the undulating heat in the summer;
the customs of the cultures;
the smiles of children;
the call of the ancients deep within my soul.

Heaven is here and now;
in each and every breath;
visible on each face;
alive in each creation.

Heaven is you,
and me,
and each time we make the choice
to do something to improve our world.

Heaven is gratefulness
and grace.
And, above all,
heaven is love.
Heaven is Love.

Day 28 – Use the heroic quatrain – pick someone you truly admire; and in her or his voice have them invite a friend to your house for dinner. The fun here is in your imagining her or his voice speaking well of you, encouraging the friend to consider how pleasant an evening it would be at your home.

Dinner With John

“As you send out goodness from yourself”
The meal we share will reflect your soul.
We rejoice in the bounty that rests upon the shelf;
A blessing of nurturing soup within our bowls.

“Your soul knows the geography of your destiny.”
It teaches us a kindness of rhythm in our journeys.
“The task of true friendship is to listen compassionately.”
As we partake in this meal, the soul nurtures out intimacy.

So at the end of this meal, we offer our thanks
For each day is a sacred gift wrapped around wonder.
Whether present in a garden or on a river’s bank,
Let no living thing put this a sunder.

(Quotes from the writings of John O’Donohue.)


Day 27 – Write a poem about the kind of artist you are.

To Be An Artist

My artist friend knows the name of each brush;
which colors to combine in exact ratios
to fill each grid on his blank canvas
to create amazing works of art – photographic representations
of the world and all within.
“There is a science,” he says,
“to creativity and the creation of good art. There is
a science.”

My writer friend knows each formula to create
a written work – fiction or non-fiction –
romance, science fiction, adventure,
short story or poem.
“If you just combine these elements,
in this order,
being careful to model perfect punctuation and
impeccable spelling, you will create
the perfect piece of literary art. There is a formula,” she says,
“to creativity and the creation of good writing. There is
a formula.”

I envy them – The ease at which they create,
for I bleed each time I’m called to my desk or easel.
Often, in the middle of the night,
the urge to create consumes me; nudges me awake,
binding me to the task –
an urgent call to supercede that which has already been created.
I hear music and words swimming in an ethereal sea of colors and shapes
imploring me to write or paint in an attempt to capture their essence for posterity.
I worship each instrument, giving thanks to the universe,
allowing a spirit to possess it, guiding the eventual outcome.
I struggle to interpret those colors and shapes that appear
as whispers and yearnings deep within my soul.
I hear the voices of artists and writers as they coax the divine images to speak –
they often speak in tongues and languages I struggle to understand.
I continually question their source, knowing there is no perfect answer, sometimes
begging to be released or set free
for the fear of failure consumes me also.
Who am I to be called to create?

I pray, incessantly, for the cure that quenches this insatiable thirst.
I pray for my unending questions to be answered.
I pray for the skill and agility to create that which only exists
in dreams and visions.
I pray to write,
to draw,
to paint,
to speak the truth
that lingers in shadows and
thrives in the light of reality.
I pray for guidance from
all who have gone before and
all who will come after.
I pray that this struggle will give birth to
beauty – my visual or written prayer celebrating
life, death, joy, sadness, pain, light, dark,
the Alpha and the Omega, sunshine, rain.
I pray for that which I will birth to be
a loving testament to the spirit which guides me and
gives me breath.
I offer up my prayer of thanksgiving;
my creation becomes my prayer.


Day 25 –

Write specifically about a repetitive activity.


Weeds crop up among the flowers,
a reminder of our need
to continually nurture the beauty in life.
I remove them carefully today.
They plot their return for
tomorrow or
the next day,
whenever I least expect it or
have extra time.
They are determined to infiltrate
my pristine garden;
a repetitive conspiracy to hold me captive
while reminding me that
all things worthwhile
take patience and
ongoing care.

Day 24 – Write a “moon” poem.

Moon Dance

The moon appeared
from behind a veiled cloud.
His brilliant beam of laser light
invited me to dance.

He unwrapped his visage
to caress the stars;
A beacon of mystery
in the blackest night,

Illuminating the neighbor’s cat
who crept on silent paws across the yard.
No stealthy attack to be implemented
On this mystical night.

The moon caressed each shadow
As he moved silently through the sky,
Revealing innocent roses dressed
As bandits in moonlit shadows.

Come dance with me
While all the stars rejoice.
Their twinkling a symbol of
Their grateful applause.

Day 23 –

Compose a poem that contains at least two questions.

“Just because” has never been
A satisfying answer to my questions,
Especially concerning the multiplication
Of negatives and positives or fractions.
Whenever I ask “Why,” the answer is never clear.
“It’s just that way because…” is the answer I always hear.

Whenever I ask other questions like
“Why do ships float instead of sink,”
The answer is far too complicated
Or the response is, “What do you think?”

So, why bother asking about the mysteries of life
Or if God is truly real?
The response would no doubt probably be,
“Well, tell me, what do you feel?”

Day 22 –

Compose a poem that gently instructs someone on how to be present.

Be Present

As sunlight creeps inside the dark,
It’s time to capture the breathe that lingers
Between dusk and dawn –
The breath of air that hovers
On the cooing of the morning dove
Awaiting silently
To capture the day’s first sunlit breeze.
Breathe in,
Deeply –
Let that breathe of inbetween soak into your soul,
Leaking into all your hidden crevices.
Let that breath linger in your soul before you exhale.
Breathe in again.
Feel your heart beating with
The beat of the earth.
Breathe in all the ever was and
All that ever will be.
Be present in each and every day.

Day 21 –

Have a close look at something and think of the centuries – compose about what it really is and has been over the centuries.

Papa’s Hand

My hand was small;
Nearly lost within Papa’s grip –
A gentle giant of a man
Whose enormous hand carefully cradled mine.

As an engineer, his hand fed the fire
Of a steam engine
As it rumbled across the plain.

As a young husband, his hand caressed the hand
Of his beloved wife as they wed and
for nearly seventy years more.

As a young man, his hand carried
his Army issue Bible
during the Spanish-American War,
eventually shaking hands with his commander,
Teddy Roosevelt,
who had led him and his troop into battle.

As an adolescent, he held the hand of his Mammy –
the woman who loved and cared for him daily;
a former slave who remained with his family
after the Civil War.
He held her hand and cried
as the angels carried her home.

Papa’s hand shook the hand of his own father,
whose hand had shaken the hand of General Ulysses S. Grant,
whose hand had shaken the hand of President Abraham Lincoln,
whose hand had shaken the hands of
Robert E. Lee and
Frederick Douglas,
to name a few.

Each time Papa held my hand,
I journeyed through centuries of history
All recorded in Papa’s hand.

Day 20 –

Write a rondel.(A thirteen line poem divided into three stanzas of 4, 4, and 5. The first line is repeated as the seventh and final lines. The second line is repeated as the eighth.)

The Book of Time

Wisdom is written in the book of time
From ancients who lived throughout the ages.
To survive and thrive, we follow these sages
In hope of experiencing life sublime.

Their legacy speaks; their lives are prime,
Although they lived during different stages.
Wisdom is written in the book of time
From ancients who lived throughout the ages.

Some were poets who recorded in rhyme;
Their stanzas scattered throughout books with pages.
Some wrote free verse or spoke in rages –
A commitment to their tasks resigned.
Wisdom is written in the book of time.

Day 19 –

Compose a lyric based on a dream you have had recently.

They Never Know

Rising from the valley floor
Nearly perpendicular to the land below,
Rigid cliffs covered with moss and snow
Edge each side of the rough and rocky road.
Upon the road,
I journey toward the sun –
Fearful that my momentum will never be enough
To reach the peak ahead.
My home, my sanctuary, waits
Upon that peak,
Filled with my dearest family and friends –
All those precious people and creatures whom I love.
I struggle, futilely.
I climb, exhausted,
Unable to reach the top,
Love and comfort
Just out of reach.
Aches and pains play hide-and-seek.
Muscles moan as they twist and cramp.
I have not found a better opportunity.
I am trying to reach you,
I implore.
They do not know
I climb and crawl,
Clawing each inch as I go.
They are left to think
I do not care.
They never know.
They will never know.

Day 18 –

Find six or seven words you like and string them together for a title. See what you can compose from this title.

The Lackadaisical Lament of a Lascivious, Languishing Lamister Named Leonardo
You can’t really be serious –
Things aren’t always as they seem,
Leonardo lamented
In a halfhearted way.
A harmless flirtation should never be
Classified as lascivious
Or bring feelings of dismay.
I’m not a thief; I’m not a thief –
if you knew me you would see.
I only stole that woman’s smile.
Oh, woe is me!
Oh, woe is me!

Day 17 –

Write a poem of celebration and praise using nine rhyming couplets.


Nature’s long sleep has finally passed.
A slow awakening has begun, at last.

The crocus and tulips present their test –
A careful arising after winter’s rest.

Green noses peek through leaves and snow.
They question – is it finally time to grow?

Patiently awaiting while days drag by,
Until suddenly, their noses stretch to the sky.

Springing forth, they release their colorful blooms –
Praying they haven’t arrived too soon.

The choir appears now, one by one,
Rejoicing in nature’s springtime sun.

Their colorful robes decorate the earth.
Now daffodils spring forth announcing their birth.

This kaleidoscope of color makes the robins sing –
A symphony rejoices with the birth of spring.

Resurrection manifests as the whole world awakens
Declaring life and love will never be forsaken.

Day 16 –

Go to your bookshelf. Count over nine books, open to page nine, find the ninth sentence. Begin your poem with that sentence. Don’t exceed nine lines.

From All Our Brown-Skinned Angels – Raul Sanchez
“Brown Angels At Work”


They park your cars and guard your keys,
Patiently waiting for your return,
Overwhelming aware of their invisibility.
No one see the husband, father, son, who rises each day before the sun;
The one who works three jobs to feed his wife and children;
The one who cares for his mother because his father died last year working the fields.
He runs to fetch your car, delivering it with a smile; grateful for the dollar you toss at him.
They park your cars.
No one sees who they really are.

Day 15 –

Write a poem that is a conversation between yourself and one of your favorite poets.

Maya’s Rainbows

“Don’t forget to gather your rainbows,”
Maya often said.
“I don’t understand,” I replied.
“What are my rainbows?”
“Your rainbows are those, gentle loving souls who
have gone before you.
Stand proudly on their shoulders
as you speak
as you write.”
“How do I know if they are here?”
“Your rainbows always come.
They gather around you and
lift you up.”
“But, why?”
“You are their hope.
You are their promise to
all the generations to come.
You are
their prayers for peace.”

Day 14 –

Ponder on this line from Tim Liburn, “I am trying to read the form of longing/And see a wind with the sun inside…” See where it leads you.

I Heard You Calling

I don’t remember
when I first heard you calling,
but I feel you in each breath.

Could it have been when,
As a small child, I wandered
Through your sagebrush adorned hills
Near the Yellowstone?
It was then I heard the ancients
As I explored your caves
Gathering trinkets and agates
That told your story.

Could it have been when,
As a teen, I roamed
the Big Horns at dawn
Catching Brookie trout and picking succulent, wild raspberries
to be prepared for breakfast?
It was then I marveled
at your crystal clear streams
and pristine mountain air.

Could it have been when,
As a newly-married young woman,
I buried my bare toes
for the very first time in
the warm brown sand
on the shore of the Pacific?
I was in awe of the immensity and
power of your creation.

Could it have been several years later when,
I anticipated the birth of our first child, and the years
that followed as I awaited birth of
each of our other children?
I was overwhelmed by the miracle of conception
and birth. The miracle of
tiny fingers and toes – a whole human being
created by your blessing of our union.
I marvel still as I gaze in wonder
at the men they have become.

Could it have been when several times,
just last year, illness nearly
called me to your side –
Away for this earth whose beauty fills my soul,
Away from my husband, lover, and friend,
Away from the children and grandchildren I hold so dear,
Away from this dimension into whatever awaits
in the great beyond?
Although I could feel you near, it wasn’t time
for good-byes – not yet.
It was your voice that comforted me.

I really don’t remember
when I first heard you calling,
but I feel you,
I still feel you,
in each and every breath.

By sponsoring my entries in Tiferet’s 2016 Poem-A-Thon, you help me share my poems with a wider audience while supporting creative expression during April’s Poetry Month and year-round with Tiferet Journal.
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Day 12–

Write a “Triversen” – a six stanza poem with each stanza consisting of three lines.

The Oak

Beneath the ancient oak,
the supple, green grass
offers shelter from summer’s sun.

He stands alone
in the vacant field
adjacent to our modest white house.

Sweltering Montana heat
creates shimmering waves
in the summer air.

Katydids and grasshoppers
sing lullibies to robins and crows,
nesting to avoid the heat.

Holding hands, we run
through dry, knee-high weeds,
finally tumbling onto the island of green beneath the oak.

Shivers undulate as we adjust
to the cool cushion of green and the rotation of the earth.
The memory lingers still.

By sponsoring my entries in Tiferet’s 2016 Poem-A-Thon, you help me share my poems with a wider audience while supporting creative expression during April’s Poetry Month and year-round with Tiferet Journal.
Please follow my entries and consider making a donation in my name.

Day 11–

Write a traditional haiku.

Little leaf trembles in breeze,
Clinging to its branch.
Do not resist letting go.

By sponsoring my entries in Tiferet’s 2016 Poem-A-Thon, you help me share my poems with a wider audience while supporting creative expression during April’s Poetry Month and year-round with Tiferet Journal.
Please follow my entries and consider making a donation in my name.

Day 10 –Use the following six words in the body of your poem: slant, pleasure, tremble, told, holy, rivulets.


Truth be told,
my body trembles
with each holy union –
rivulets of pleasure
quench or desire.

No need to tell it slant.

By sponsoring my entries in Tiferet’s 2016 Poem-A-Thon, you help me share my poems with a wider audience while supporting creative expression during April’s Poetry Month and year-round with Tiferet Journal.
Please follow my entries and consider making a donation in my name.

Day 9Write a “glosa” or anything that moves your heart borrowing lines from a favorite writer.

The Escape

On a summer morning
I sat down
on a hillside
to think about God –

–from “Song of the Builders” (Mary Oliver)

Escape was needed.
Honking horns, ringing phones;
Buy the groceries, pay the bills.
Clean the house, work each day.
Did you…
Can you…
Will you…
Why can’t you…
I need you to…
Don’t forget…

Voices echoed inside my head;
My voice silent,
Replaced by persistent clamor –
A deafening din
determined to decide
my every waking moment –

Keys in ignition, I drove,
Past honking horns,
The smell and sound of city buses;
Through stoplights,
Over paved roads,
To rolling hills,
Gravel roads,
Fenced fields
of horses, sheep,
cows, llamas.

Crisp clean air and birds chirping,
The aroma of freshly cut hay,
Barns painted red,
Crystal clear streams.
Car in park, engine off,
I could finally breathe.
On that summer morning
I sat down
on a hillside
to think about God –

By sponsoring my entries in Tiferet’s 2016 Poem-A-Thon, you help me share my poems with a wider audience while supporting creative expression during April’s Poetry Month and year-round with Tiferet Journal.
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Day 8 –Write a poem from a family member’s perspective about the view from a window.

From My Window

Only occasionally clear,
smudges on the pane
cloud my vision.

I see the farm –
milking before school;
I couldn’t wait to leave.

Finally, the call came.
“Uncle Sam Needs You.”
I enlisted. The ship became home.

I left my hearing
on that flight deck.
Look – my ship is right there.

One great moment in history – I was there;
on deck in Tokyo Bay,
I saw the treaty signed.

Why can’t I see beyond my ship?
The picture blurs.
Smudges cloud my view.

Do…I…know you?
How do…you…know…me?

Come. Sit with me here.
Look through that window.
Can you see the farm?

(Written in honor of my father-in-law, John Nutting, a brilliant man who battled Alzheimer’s Disease for several frustrating years prior to his death in 2012.)

By sponsoring my entries in Tiferet’s 2016 Poem-A-Thon, you help me share my poems with a wider audience while supporting creative expression during April’s Poetry Month and year-round with Tiferet Journal.
Please follow my entries and consider making a donation in my name.

Day 7 – Archetypes – Haiku on a mandala.

Reflection on a Mandala

Tread softly within your dream,
Called forth by the earth.
Her labyrinth cradles your soul.

By sponsoring my entries in Tiferet’s 2016 Poem-A-Thon, you help me share my poems with a wider audience while supporting creative expression during April’s Poetry Month and year-round with Tiferet Journal.
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Day 6–Compose a poem that speaks about something entirely hidden beneath the lines you offer.

The Web

Torrential rain washed it away.
Hours, maybe days, he worked
tirelessly rebuilding
one delicate strand at a time –
what appeared futile,
a labor of love,
determination –
A masterpiece, when finished,
glistening in the morning dew.

By sponsoring my entries in Tiferet’s 2016 Poem-A-Thon, you help me share my poems with a wider audience while supporting creative expression during April’s Poetry Month and year-round with Tiferet Journal.
Please follow my entries and consider making a donation in my name.

Day 5 – Try a tercet.

Four furry creatures, fluffy, brown, and full of their impish ways,
Teeter on the wooden fence – a refuge raceway from our two large black, four-legged kids.
They tease and chitter, scurrying to and fro – playfully exchanging taunts each day.

They still faithfully linger each morning, steadily perched while they call to come and play,
Unaware their two friends now jump and chase in some distant world – will they meet again,
the others here were left behind to ask questions and wonder why they couldn’t stay.


Day 4 – Write a prose poem.


The silver cast-iron pump was a sentinel guarding the backyard. It produced shivery cold water on even the hottest Montana days. The constant hum of the locusts penetrated the day relinquishing their duty at nightfall to the crickets and katydids. Papa wielded the pump handle with skill and finesse as the frigid water exploded into the buckets to be warmed on the kitchen stove for washday. He moved with ease as he pumped; a motion laboriously reproduced with the use of my entire four-year-old body. I was in awe of him.

He wore grey “dickey” workpants, blue and gold suspenders, a crisp white shirt with thin blue stripes, open at the collar revealing silver-grey chest-hair peeking through the top of his one piece, cream-colored union suit. (I knew what they looked like because I saw them waving in the wind on washday.)

Monday was always washday. I loved washday. Papa, Grandma, and I would work together for hours washing all the clothes, running them through the wringer (careful not to pinch small fingers), then hanging them on the clothesline to wave freely in the summer wind. Papa would lift me up, high in the air – I could almost reach the sky – so I could hang clothes on the line also. I was so important then. I was needed to accomplish all the chores that washday held! I didn’t know I was a just a child; I only knew I was real!

Day 3 – What spiritual attribute marks where you live as an emblem?


A black bear bids welcome
while papa bear piggybacks baby bear near.
“Frosty” cradles a wayward warbler.
Cherubs join forces with Buddha, St. Francis, and Santa –
A spiritual welcome to all beings seeking respite
From daily trials and tribulations.

both friends and family,
enter without ringing bell or
knocking on door –
crossing the threshold into serenity’s dwelling place,
a momentary diversion from challenges and chores.
Chimes announce their arrival.
They are welcome.

A small unobtrusive sign hangs firmly above the bell –
“No Soliticing!” –
A juxtaposition to the aura that surrounds this place –
A place so many call home –
An unusual paradox considering
Even those who are lost are offered rest.

Day 2 – Inspired by Mark Rothko’s Abstract Impressionist Art.

(The colors in the painting “Red” by Mark Rohko sparked a memory of the Wild Horses that roam the Pryor and Big Horn Mountain Ranges in Montana and Wyoming. The land is part of the Crow Reservation. If you have ever walked among these hills or seen these wild horses, you know the impact of this experience. One of the only remaining original Medicine Wheels exists in these hills.)

Limestone ridges and primordial red clay dress
this ancient land.
Ancestors whisper secrets to young Crow warriors
on vision quests –
visceral journeys through sagebrush hills, hidden caves,
and buffalo jumps –
a treasure hunt through spirit-rich lands,
a search for meaning and purpose;
survival for a primitive lost in an industrial existence.

Brother Raven chants offerings from this vast peacock-colored sky.
Coyote mourns of innocence lost; howls reverberate on sacred canyon walls.
Shamans from ages long past murmur revelations on gentle breezes.
Their spirits gather around the Medicine Wheel
mystically arising from this sacred land as feral horses,
their linebacked dun color indicative of the earth
from which they came.
The air is pregnant with neighs and nickers; the sound of hoof beats pound the ground.
A roan steps forth, invocating protection for this native son.
Ancestral braves nod their approval, then melt slowly into the red earth.

The warrior’s quest is finished.
He must carry this knowledge into his life,
Never losing the wisdom gathered.

Although ancients speak, not all can hear.
Although seekers seek, not all can see spirit horses.

Day 1 – Choose and object where you live…

A gentle sentinel,
patient and poised,
Gently sprinkling her
metaphorical fairy dust
Filled with inspiration and
Coaxing my lifeless instrument to rise
and bleed black or blue
on pale parchment.
A collection of random thoughts
or complex ruminations –
Compassionate renderings –
on life
or love,
Called forth by iridescent wings
and a prayer.