Friday, December 31, 2010

O, Prayer, thou dost work too well.

Humility, please grace my lips and make me slur
and make me stumble and make me sure
to lose the profits of my work
and to fall right into my own dirt.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Unshadowed Land: I.The Marriage Feast

Once upon a time, there stood a small, white flower growing in the wilderness, shining like a single blot of colored ink on a great, grey page. The mountains stood around, containing her, oppressing at times, always watching. As she grew, her petals widened, she stood taller and more shapely, and the curve of her stalk grew proper and strong. Any man would have known in an instant to call her a Lily, but she being the only flower, the mountains called her Phos, for she was the brightest thing in the land. The mountains always used the language of the great race of men when naming a treasure - they had few to name, and the memory of that great adventurer, stolid and strong, the only creature ever to find their home, remained as does the first scene of a romance, slightly embellished, and taken as Gospel.

The grey land was clean, it held the sun like a great bowl, flat in the center - like the priest's paten. And in the center, shining like the moon, Lily was like a beacon, a great whiteness, a sign of peace. Like a bride, dressed in purity, robed in light, she stood. Alone.

For ages she had stood there, life so long - alone, there were none to teach her how to die, and the mountains hardly knew of any sort of death past the cool exfoliation of the winter's thaw. She lived, joyous and free, unbound by gardens, terraces, or beds, and danced in the wind, for the great chalice of the land caught the wind and held it, swirling. They held it for her, for they knew how she loved to dance, and the mountains were quick to do for her anything in their power.

"O, dear Phos, sing us a song," roared the mountains. The mountains could but chant, or rumble at best, but Lily's voice was lighter, floating on the rhythm just as she did on the wind. The mountains loved to hear her song, and she sang it gladly, and with passion, unreserved and trusting. She sang her soul, the joy of the water in her roots, her love of the land, of the company of the mountains. She praised the greatness of the gift of the sky, of the clouds, of the rains, and the great smoothness of the land, broken evenly by stones and crags, bent by nature and time. She sang and danced, freely and beautifully, gliding to and fro in voice and body upon the rhythm and breeze provided her by the mountains. Peace was vigorous and excited, and all were joined in the song, mountain range and lily as one. All were as they were and knew it, and they rested long after the dance, still full in this never-ending unity.

O, body tall and sturdy.

Shriveled, old, unbattered but scarred
Beside the walk of neighbor's yard
And wrinkles, folds, long-laced skin
around the hardy, hearty flesh
which always seems to make me grin.

Bumps and bends and trunks descend
and branches branch and gashes mend
and leaves are gone but Spring will send
life back into wearied roots.

The moon above and cold below
and ground still whiter with the snow
and I can barely feel my toes
but the tree is textured lovely.
And my fingers all numb
but as I run my thumb
on bark, I can feel the honor
and great strength of the beast
which in yearly feast
and winter's brave retreat
has lasted the time it has stood.
And it stands rightly, straightly,
nightly standing for right and good.
And it gives glory to God and humbly stands on
and reminds me that, just so, I should.

So intricate and precious
unnecessary but lustrous
A gift so full and fibrous
for our warmth, our homes, our pens, our shade, our stools and benches and desks and beds, our violins and statues and boxes and altars, and our love as we look at the tree.

They don't call it poetry for nothing.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sharing is Caring?

I've spent time and prayer and pain
trying, oh, to understand;
To make and form myself a man.
And I want to share these joyous chains.

I don't want to be the type of friend
with whom the smiling never ends
and with whom parties become trends
because life is not without its cries
I know you do, and so do I.
A friendly face needs be without lies.

I want not to share only my joys
in festivals and wine, and noise,
but also joys which grow in pain
dying first, then ris'n again.
If you or I are called to cry,
then I would have it you and me.
There are purposed times for tears
and I'd be honored to weep with thee.

And I ask you not to see me rude
when I object and seem a prude
or when I shy away from sin
and hush up quick amidst disordered grins.

I ask thee now, to be my friend
and know, in that, that heav'n's our end.
And take me in all sobriety
and, of course, in all gaiety.

All loves are sorts of weddings
with pain and fears and mendings..
And feast and passion are joy enough
But shared as well are chains all rough.


It is like snow, which in this world's youth
was death and bane of all creation
but which, now Christ has built our roof,
the Church; now snow is insulation.

Monday, December 27, 2010

John XV, 15

Get ye out your Word of God
And drink the droughts of truth.

**        **        **        **        **        **

Do you deny your solemn duty,
what you have, as yet, to claim?
Are you so afraid of honor
that you back away from shame?

Is it that you hate obedience,
or that you think equality
something to be deemed indecent,
a sin against your "novelty"?

Now, realize that we all are victims
of that gross equality,
even in only that we are human
-- and even that is modesty.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Venite Adoremus

Around around around, a round
and rhythm carries life.
And her we come back 'round again
to the solemn birth of Christ.

Be joyous, friend, and joyous sing
for you were born for he.
But just the same, and even more,
A savior born to thee.

A Merry Christmas from all of us to all of you.  May peace fall like a ton of bricks upon thine wearied head.

Friday, December 24, 2010

A friend, my friend, a friend. (III)

Dear all of you most beauteous and precious feminine readers, I must, out of charity, inform you that there is a good bit of verbage herein which refers to women in the possessive or makes reference to a certain choosing which is metaphorically likened to shopping for a lawn.  Please be not offended.  I am a man, and a wife is her husband's just as he is his wife's.  And I have no intention of pretense that a girl is worth only as much as a shrubbery.  'twould be quite silly of me, in fact.
  And now, to business.

**        **        **        **        **        **        **        **

All I ever do
is fall for you
And every word we've ever said
is like a stamp inside my head.
It'd be a lie to say I've really seen
any thing you didn't see with me
ever since I thought of you and me.

Rational thought has damned itself
And I must start trying something else.

All's well ends well, they say the same.  Well, that'd be all good if I knew what was going to happen.

Objective thought and reason and considerations and prudence and self-knowledge is all well and good too.  At least until something in me has decided to go and fall for someone else.  And it doesn't make any sense.  There's no good reason for me to do something like this.  In fact, it is quite unreasonable.  And I don't understand it.  And the thing is, I feel I must, for there's no denying that there is a such thing as 'like liking' or 'having a crush' or 'falling for' somebody.  In any (even an adolescent) dogmatic exploration of the nature of love, crushes must be accounted for.

Truth is, I spent the past week in a state of having 'fallen for' Mary, whatever that means.  Essentially it consisted of me spending my time thinking about her, and her and me, and all sorts of silly things and how pretty she is and all that--and of course, how terribly perfect she is in every way.  I know this feeling, and so do others.  It's that which makes people think someone is, by all means, the best of their gender to have ever lived, to say things like 'all roads lead back to you', or to behave as though they would never be happy without the 'love' of this person. Perhaps it is partly the mystery and allure of the forbidden.  And perhaps it is partly the love of an idea, something which none could ever fulfill.  But surely it is a truly human fact that these things happen, and that we do not have so much control over them, no matter how fully we understand and believe in our rationality of existence.

And the fact is that none of this makes any sense.  Logically, I am completely capable of reminding myself that I am beginning to see a relationship between us as the only good which could come out of the situation.  I could remember that I am beginning to take the good of being single and pretend that it is no good at all.  I could remind myself that God works through the love of philia as much as that of eros.  I could try to bring it to mind that love is hardly a thing which is any more present in a marriage, in any automatic way, than it is in a friendship.  And I can reason out that clearly, I am attempting to attach myself where I should not, and where there is not even any hold.  But that helps not, and though I had no intention of pursuing Mary, I had still a great longing, what anyone would see as a great crush upon her (sounds horribly violent, doesn't it?)

And what I am forced to realize is that this thing called a crush or any of these desperate desires seem, in any real sense, to be simply a very strong sort of disordered appetite.  And it makes sense.  My appetite for food is disordered.  My appetite for drink is disordered.  My appetites for games and parties and feasting and literature and music and appearances and affirmation and art and sleep and money and comfort are all disordered.  Why should I assume that the appetite I may have for relationships, whether it be friendly or romantic, is the solemn and beneficent voice of God in my life?  Why should I assume that a desperate desire for someone's presence, for some pledge of their love, is God's will, and should, therefore, be immediately and single-heartedly pursued?  And that's if I have the presence of mind to think of God.  Usually it's more like assuming that this relationship is precisely what I need, that the fact that I want it is any withstanding indication that it's any good for me.

Now, in Mary's case, whether it be chance or some arrangement of passion in concordance with prudence, well, it turns out that she would be precisely the woman I would pursue in right mind.  Perhaps what captured my attention so fully is that she is so unafraid of human touch--so many have learned to fear the graze even of a hand or a glancing pass of the hip such that frantic apologies abound at the merest bump.  For someone like me who relates so well through physical contact, her ability to trust must be horribly alluring.  Or it might be her realism and wisdom, her humilty which checks my rampant and raucous pride.  Perhaps it is her purity or her chastity-her holiness.  And perhaps it is that she is precisely the type of girl whom I can see myself coming to at the end of each day, whom I would trust to raise my children, whom I would trust to watch after me.

And yet, none of these things would seem to prove that she is the fairest one of all.  None would suggest that she is the only star in the sky, or that she is the brightest, but realistically, it merely shows that she shines and that sufficiently for me.  Perhaps, though, this is the same infatuation as occurs between a man and his country.  Modern thought would have us all recognize in writing and with a judge present that 'no, my country is not inherently better than all others and does not deserve any special rights'. But human hearts, if left to themselves, will always have a great love for the very spot where they make their home.  But then, it occurs to me, that this only happens when that plot of land is already my home.  It would be silly indeed to love Wales above my motherland and home.  It would be silly to love my neighbor's house as the best.  Properly, the sun which shines on our own lives is no brighter than all other stars, but we love it and look to it as the only source of light because that it should be, for us.  We love it because it is our star.  We love it because it gives heat and life to us.

But then, wouldn't infatuation with a girl who is not mine, or who, in fact, is someone else's, wouldn't it be as silly as loving my neighbor's garden or having a passionate and romantic symbolism in my life centered around the warmth and dawning of Alpha Centauri or Sigma-2398?  But these things happen.  We humans recognize those with these disordered passions, it is only natural: astronomers who seem to consider Saturn their home, botanists who lust after every new specimen, as well as those who spend their lives pining after some forbidden maid.  The thing is, we are so slow to recognize any necessity in the temperance of these passions, these appetites--especially when it is as hard as getting over a girl.  We are commanded not to covet another's wife, and though we may find ourselves so desperately attracted to her that we feel we may not be able to control ourselves, we must make some providence for our restraint, as we must understand that this appetite is simply not in its proper place and will not find satisfaction.  (I will never see, no matter my desire, the dawning of Sigma-2398.)

The proper place of this passion, of this infatuation, is that same proper place of patriotism, of centralism, of love for one's own...anything.  It is when I am pledged to a woman that I properly am infatuated with her, for she is my sun, my shining love, my great and precious lady.  It is proper that I have this love for my lady.  She carries me onwards as I do her and she is my love as I am hers.  We share entire lives.  It is improper, then, to have this precious devotion to another's wife or to one who is not at least on the way to becoming yours.  It seems almost as silly to be searching for a garden for yourself and fall in love at sight of one, deciding immediately to purchase it above all others simply because its arrangement has caught your eyes spectacularly or because of the exotic and rare flower it holds, and disregarding entirely its ability to provide as you need of it.

And this all brings me back to Mary.  She, in no manner, is on her way to becoming my wife.  And if accompanying these feelings of devotion to her are thoughts of us in relationship, I should not be surprised, for that is the only proper place for such a devotion.  I do, however, need to recognize that there is a need to repress these appetites and ideas, just as I might repress the idea of a delicious dessert when it is quite imprudent to receive one.  I must remember that these thoughts of relationship are merely those, imaginations and fantasies, and that though it is but a facet of my human nature that I experience this, it is hardly something which should, by this sole proof, be pursued.

And there comes a final thought, one of danger and one situationally specific.  It is written by a good Catholic man that we should not drink because we have to, but precisely because we do not have to.  And one of the things which he means is that it is truly the most dangerous time to partake of a good when it seems to be the only good, and the most destructive time to enjoy a blessing is when that blessing seems the sole medication for a lack which is suffered.  Just the same, I believe, it is quite imprudent to embark upon a relationship in a time of this unwarranted devotion, for the arch has been built before the foundation, and as soon as the keystone of infatuation is removed, the entire structure will crumble and the wreckage will seem to present quite a challenge of extrication.  When a girl is seen as the best and most precious of all girls and when this girl is not, in any serious manner, designated as one's significant other, it is properly not the best time to begin such a project, as one will soon find that his nationalistic passion was wasted on a foreign land, and, when the land is reached, the voyager knows not how to love a home.

Mary is a precious friend and a dear ally in as much as we share.  And yet, she is no partner of romance.  It shall be understood that though she is perhaps a very proper candidate for marriage, a pursuance of such is improper as such a juncture in which I am so clearly infatuated.  All that seems to betray a sort of expectation, which could grow into taking things in a relationship for granted and, having not entered into the relationship in a right mind, being forced to leave the same in a mind even worse off.

My end is light and light my love
and to my end I gladly go.
And if you would come, my sun, my dove,
This light I'd gladly share and show.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A friend, my friend, a friend. (II)

The three words, most looked at as magical, are, in fact, most probably the least magical of things to be said. There is no show or pretense with them--no sleight, but only a great simplicity, that great unity, as things are joined to one.

"Aye, John, but that is precisely what you do not want to be doing. It seems to me, at least, the sign and signature of unhealthy attachment, of misguided purpose." We sat over a good coffee--what poetry is there not made better by some black coffee?--John had been doing some self-reflection recently, figuring the direction of his life, and he has this nasty struggle of insecurity and fear of something being missed. Just now, we were thinking of a phrase which any will find familiar, the idea of someone 'loving me for me.'
"But it asks a good question," I continued, "Why would you go and love another person in the first place anyway, why do you bother?"
"A year ago, I would have said 'for reassurance, support, for comfort, because it made me happy' and things like that. But right now, I can't say what I think-- all that seems all so complicated, and my relationships have never been so complex, and when they have, they burned like a pile of leaves. If two people had all those things on their minds all the time, they'd just end up sitting next to each other, holding hands, being reassured. And now that I think of it, all those ideas are precisely those pointing to a 'loving me for me' ideal of relationship." John finished, quizically.
"Slightly more talkative than usual, aren't you?" I asked, kidding. John wasn't ever short of words if he had something to say. "Here, I think someone told me this once. Now, what is the end of that kind of relationship, 'loving me for me'? Where does it put you? In a relationship, right?" He assented. "But after that, nothing."
"That's my problem!" John jumped in, "because that's precisely where I become too attached, too desperate, insecure. That's precisely where I abstract everything to the idea of having a girlfriend."
"That's what I'm saying. If you love her for her, you end up loving her for you. But then, if you can't love a girl for herself, why love her at all?"
"But I do love her, you forget" John reflected, "and if not herself, who else is there to love her for? In any real end, I suppose I love her as a child of God, but that's hardly practical."
"No, it's not, but it's right, I think. Someone told me 'Love works toward Salvation'. And in all desolation, I suppose that the only reason any of us would have for loving anyone else is that God loved them first."
"But how do I go about that? I can't just go out and say, 'We're off to the movies because God took you to the movies first.' That's ridiculous."
"No, I mean that when you look at Lu, you need to think not about how much you love her and whatever that would end in, but how much she is simply loved already--and from there, embark upon getting her to heaven. Love is, by far, most practically represented in a romantic light. When you can see the one great irrevocable good that can come out of it, it's easier to do."
"But what is it that I would do? What are you saying?"
"That you do the same as you always do, but that you trust God in it. Think, why did you choose Lucy?"
"Well, I suppose she's pretty..."
"I'll pretend for your sake that that wasn't the first thing you said"
"...and, well.... she's a good person."
"John, are you choosing a girlfriend or an employee? Why did you go out with Susie, or Joy?"
"Well, I guess I just wanted to go out with them. It was fun. And they were great, and pretty, and nice and all, but I don't know, I guess we never really got past just liking each other. But with Lucy, there are days when I don't want to hear a word out of her mouth and I'm tired and she's never understood how to play the piano but she insists upon plunking out chopsticks again. Or that one ditty where you roll your knuckles on the keys. Again and again.
"But I suppose that every day, I would still smile if she needed me to. I'd still drive her home and kiss her on the cheek after a row. I'd still love that scar on her forearm from the time she tripped coming into Ms. Nyler's class, if only because of the times we've laughed about it. And I'd be happy with her going out with her friends instead, or taking her time alone instead of me. And I look at her putting the pizzas on the display, and taking orders, and saying 'have a nice day' and I'm happy because she is. I guess the real difference is that I'd cut and run if I ever really believed that everything wasn't better for her having me around. Used to be I'd not go till I was damn sure I wasn't better off.
"I suppose I chose her because she is a good person, but also because she'd be a good wife, a good mother. I chose her for her sake as much as for mine. Because I think we'll both be better off. And because I think my children will be graced to have her as a mother."
"And that's why this is different," I proposed, "because it's objective?"
"I suppose, but I don't quite get what you mean."
"You chose her because of who she is, who she's chosen to be, and for her sake. And you love her because God does."
"Well, I'd say that's true, but they're just as true for you as for me, and I'd say that monogamy's pretty high on my list of relationship requirements."
"But that's just what I mean by objective! You chose her for the same reasons I would, or any other man. Because she's good, she's holy, she's beautiful, she's virtuous. And you love her in God's place, just as any man should."
"Yes, but you're not hearing me. I say there's something more than that. There's something to be said that she's with me, and no one else. There's something past all that objective stuff. All the good girls aren't just out with all the good guys. Life's not just one big orgy of virtue."
"And that's when you and she made the choice to be exclusive. And the thing that's different now with you, now you're with Lucy, it's that you really made that decision for a reason. And those reasons are all I think marriage is anyway. Just like a priest decides, for the glory of god, to spend his life serving the church, and therein receives the authority to facilitate, on God's behalf, the sacraments. You decided, and may decide in a much more serious way, to serve Lu with your whole self, and will thus receive the authority to facilitate, to embark upon that unity which can only be given to one, that physical pledge of the entirety of life.
"That, I think, is what Rob didn't understand. A priest doesn't suddenly stop finding women horribly beautiful just because he's made this decision. He does, however, choose not to act upon that most terrible beauty. Same, a married man isn't only ever going to see a good wife and a loving mother in that woman he has chosen and who has chosen him, but he will not act upon that with other women. If you are just going to love someone for them, and if that relationship becomes your only end, then the girl becomes an interchangeable asset. Romance is not in some 'True Love', but is in an irrevocable choice made upon an objective truth."
"Yes," commented John, cleaning the table, "that rant is all good, but you forget one thing. That even with all that objective goodness, it would never work if she and I were not friends, and if I was not able to love her like a sister."
"Well," said I, "I suppose that otherwise you would pretty much be screwed."
And with a nod, he followed me out the door, dumping our tray into the trash as we left. And that's what John and I talked about.


Hey guys.  Thanks for reading, letting me share things.  It's pretty great.

And bonus!  You'll notice, in the last post, the appearance of a new author!  Michael, you might say a patron of mine--he sees past the prose to the poetry of the things themselves.  Take it as you will, but you'll want to hear what he's got to say. What he wrote there is, I guess, a sort of fiction, a start of a short series.  Stories, situations, humanity, if there is any rhyme inherently more poetic than that, I surely will be surprised.

And if you're new here, thinking whether you want to keep reading, try some of the stuff I wrote in different periods.  I definitely go through phases in style and content.
Try some of the first poems for very hard-set metaphors.
The past week's poems have been far more emotionally driven and reflective.

And if you have any thoughts, reflections, connections, by all means, comment!  Every one of these poems is about myself in that I-no one else- am the one writing it.  And I write about humanity, either mine, or that of other which I experience through sympathy.  I would love to hear anything you have to share.

And if you like it, or know anyone who would, share it, by all means!  Truth is a gift that keeps on giving!

I hope you enjoy,
that something I do might lead you closer to Christ, even if simply through a greater love for humanity.
I pray for you, and Michael the same.

Monday, December 20, 2010

A friend, my friend, a friend. (I)

Her voice like polished candle-wax
with words like wicks, like shined brass tacks,
the pow'r of every golden lock
when backed by sun, of heaven's stock.
As if to bring the light to bear
to bring it shining through flaxen hair.

She called again today, as did Mary. A simple question of this, or that, or whether I would see her then, or now, or where I would be at such a time, you get the idea. True friends, and truer Christians, are those with whom I may share my life, and few men, manhood nonwithstanding, I find, learn this until late, that a life shared, a unity of purpose in the will of God is that simple singularity of which consists the 'Love' which all seem to desire, but not to recognize. And so I am found with more sisters than heart-felt brothers, sisters who are unafraid to share another's drink, to bear freely their souls, to appear weak. You see, men, just as women, are plagued by society's insecurities, but after this, men are expected to still maintain an appearance of emotional composure, whereas women are expected simply to maintain physical composure. Men, overcome their fear of being too strong, of standing too tall, are often, unawares, still afraid of being weak, of ever sitting down. But enough justification.

Back to Lu. She and Mary were both asking after me today, as I found upon my return home. I love them both, in ways it would seem that most would find to be a sort of strange, uncommitted bigamy. (not to mention the cuckoldery given John and Lucy's relationship. Every masculine-feminine relationship seems to imply sex. Granted, it does, but in a different way). I don't seem to understand it. But then, neither do I think the world does. Plus, I'd willingly step into polygamy as soon as more friends came along, if that be what you silly people would insist upon calling it.  If my life is not pledged to any certain person, then it is pledged to everyone, at least as far as it could be pledged to anyone at any time.  Is a priest a polygamist in marriage to the church?

Now, Mary, of course, left a long message, going on about this or that, or something she was happy about, or singing for a moment, spinning my name around her finger and throwing it through the phone as if to catch me off guard, to startle me into remembering how much I love her, and her me in turn. And Lucy, never much for long strings of words, but an introvert in every sentence, left a simpler one. Both seeking the same, both expressing the same, that we were friends, that friends are in love as any lovers, that love is joyful, happy, and gay, like every word I know they say.

And yes, you're right that, as emotions go, love is hardly a well-paved road. But, then, who would you say has paved the road for friendship, or brotherhood, or marriage? And are these even different? I would say to my wife, with Solomon,
You have ravished my heart, my sister, my bride,
You have ravished my heart with one glance of your eyes.
And I would say the same, grandly, to each Mary, or Lu, as leads emotion and as leads inspiration, and romance, and really, love. The love of a man and a wife, nowhere, is distinguished from that of a sister, and that of a sister and a friend is only distinguished as far as unity in doing the will of our father in heaven would distinguish some from others. We so often live as though Christ did not come, and though he did not change marriage, he did gave circumcision of the heart, gave a new opportunity for love, of which marriage is one part.

Now, I say this not to disparage the exclusive and monogamous love of Lucy and John, but rather, to put in perspective the role of women in my life (sounding as if to pretend that a woman's 'role' is any more restrictive than that of a man). I am to say that romance is as a part of any true friendship as it is the life of a man and a wife, that masculine and feminine find love and unity in a special way, even without that unity of male and female, that biological convergence which, necessary, is made sacrament, both sign and reality of total, physical, spiritual, human unity. They were created man and woman, male and female is simply how their bodies, forced into reality, fell into place around the grander truth. Sexuality is but potential for a sacrament, bodies are unconsecrated hosts. The Eucharist is Christ in fullness, but not one man can look on it and see the fullness of his glory.  Any protestant, however, can pray to God, can love him, but it is simply not the same.

But that, that is what I said to John today, for that is where I was when the two called upon my home. I find myself explaining myself to others quite frequently, something which, justfully, slightly worries me. In living radically, set apart, I am to expect a certain degree of explaining, of justification, but far from assuring that I am living radically and correctly, the fact simply assures me that I am living differently. I suppose this is enough for now, and that I must only do my best. And that conversation, referenced, with John--I would to share it here, but I do not wish to lengthen unnecessarily this post, and so, I will share it later, or tomorrow. It is one in which I share much of my heart; I would gladly share the same with you.

***                ***                ***                ***                ***

Greetings, all, as I am new to this space.  Michael, you will see, is my name, and I share with you poetry disguised as prose (for fear of being too self-satisfied, I might call it poetry which I am far too unpoetic to express properly).  Take what you might of my words, I have written them to be read.  This, here, might be called fiction, but, of course, nothing of any import herein is fabricated, as all characters are as real as myself, and confront things still more real than that.


The Cavitron

He let fall a grunt of acknowledgment, set in dentist's chair.
Unable to escape the foul perfume of the assistant's hair.
Unable to escape the grand sense of hygiene's guilt,
and feeling that under the lights, his enamel might just melt.

A dentist is not in business of cleaning teeth and things,
but rather giving opportunities for redemptive suffering.

I went to the dentist today, guys.  It was crazy.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Mark this!

I have a friend most rugged.
who does not like to be huggรจd.

Except by certain special girls
He also likes short poems.
So these are for him.
I hope he likes them.

If human loves are made an end,
I hang on others, their branches bend,
And I slide off, fall on my head,
When I set my eyes on human store,
I'm somehow always wanting more.
friends looking less human than before.

** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** **

If I set out to have a swing,
the trees seem tools for fastening,
But if I intend to reach the sky,
I find the sympathy their trunks imply.

Childish Love is Lover's Drama

But Momma, Momma, I can help you
I can help you stop your tears.
Momma, Momma, stop and let me
help you; we don't need him here.

**    **    **    **    **    **    **

The Masculine cannot help but see
himself in femininity,
not that what he sees is just the same,
but that her lack is his just claim.
And this is such as each man would try
to supply the defect in another's eye.

Like a widow's boy as his mother seeks
a newfound presence to take her hand.
The child sees it as a slight
against his presence as a man.

And so grow feelings of cuckoldery
Of misused trust, lost simplicity.
As mother gives her hand away
gone mother's love, gone are the days
when in child's grasp, they could sit and play.

The boy feels shamed and now replaced
in a station he had never faced.
He imagines his love now to go unmet
and boyish face, now unloved, wet.

For as one time is good, its times it ran.
In a way for which no child plans.
All good things are wanted to stay the same
Thinking bad things come when good things change.
Thinking that hands can but hold one other
and that one less love comes with one new lover.

But though all these things the child sees,
none could justify them rationally,
that does not stop the boyish tears
of pain of loss and pain of fear
and sorrow come with empty hearts
created in the lonely dark.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


For a friend, and for all the friends for whom I couldn't find the words to use.  For all the girls I've ever known, who I've ever seen break down:

It's so hard to put a hug, a touch, a glance
into poetry, something someone else could see.
It's just as hard to write a dance.
But here's saying that I wish I could.
If only for you.

Wildfires burn the bark away.
And softer trunks will see the day.
And when I see a smile, I'll say
how beautiful you are.
And when I see you, I will say
how beautiful you are.
If only to know you hear the words:
how beautiful you are.


Our knots undone by our Lady's hands,
As our foundations wash like sand,
but Christ, by him no chains are rent,
he but takes from them their consequence.

Hearken to the Morrow

Would you let me sing a song?
the sky so big, so broad, so long,
that words even in practiced mouths
are not enough to call it out.
Such vast expanse of purest snow
and rain and wind and stars that glow
these masterworks of golden suns
but light, at daylight's ending runs

in shadows flowing, longer still,
they seem to run like silhouettes
from the figures which they represent
as if to escape their cold regrets.
Your head's dark shadow carries on,
Your feet stay planted, frozen still.
But as the dark makes way for dawn,
The shadow remembers, and forgets.

Your shadow runs and runs from pain.
the whole world all appears the same.
But sleep is rest and now escape
from all the shadow's empty shame.

Now as you wake to singing morn,
The light is coming, light is come.
And though you may not feel reborn,
One day older is yet that young.
And as you step from shadow's bed,
you find your shadow crawling home,
though humbled, broken, parts lay dead,
a greater truth, it is now shown.

Disunity cannot endure,
Unhappy now, but not unsure.
Truth is ground most ready
for the growth of happy cure.

I cry with you, as others do,
I cry for trust misunderstood.
I cry for the pain of sorrow's truth
Of things unwanted, though you should.

Empty sorrow, forced before its time,
made all worse that there has been no crime.
The night is dark, but where is sun,
shadows, yes, and joy will come.

For Brightfield, Fair Host

On newer ties that bind old friends,
affections grow, or change, or end.
Aged affectations to apprehend
the weighty flow'r sweet romance sends.
Tensions grow and branches bend
But interchanged, they lift again.

That bud which, budding, obscures the roots.
The petal asking, "thorn or shoot"
As truth betrayed by its own voice
decides its verity and makes its choice.

Oh, Spring, oh Spring,
Thou, Lady, spring.
Thine eyes art fair.
This is no slight
'gainst thine flaxen hair.
But though you set your glade grown there
Time now has come to move, to pare.

Oh, Brightfield, Brightfield
find your song.
Have no questions
after thinking long,
and smile, oh, smile, find unkempt joy
and let it loose, sing life, not noise.
Thou art made a saint today
by precious hands which, precious, lay
thine absolution upon thy brow.

Oh, rugged one,
most honest, sir,
I say thee this
Do take it sure,
This is thy time
And this is her.
Do let thy rhyme
and meter flow
for fem'nine song
to sing, to go
above, above
and then below.
Thou art the rhythm, let thy drums beat
and let thine step fall with tired feet.

Oh, to both, as this is said,
remember, remember, if pairing heads.
Do melt dark rock and feel no shame
in glory of thine asphalt flame,
In cul-de-sac of snowy lane.

Oh, Spirit, Ghost, flow ever free,
let souls find rest, let eyes now see,
Let joy be full in most pow'rful name.
And set, in hearts, your perfect reign,
Now cleansed of every smallest stain.


O, most precious celebration,
greatest feast of all creation
when all workers break their station
and all men their hearts unbind.

O, most vulgar and most vigorous,
most simple and most rigorous,
and all shadows timorous
on this most blessed night.

When words break frothing on the shore
like olden ships or Kings of lore,
no human kin left wanting more;
choose the darkness or the light.

As all blackness runs in boiled fright.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Quite Unlike an Eldil

A song misheard by many
and played by precious few
is that spice which sounds of honey.
And yet tastes of crackl'ing dew.

This song unloosed by monsters
all abhorred yet unalone
is that song with no sure melody
Flung free in human tones.

That song of human suff'ring,
redemption, and the like.
For fear of sounding truthful:
'I can't see without the light.'

Monday, December 13, 2010

Lower Things

Fire and spinning, oh gravity, gravity
there are so many things below us.
Flow'ring, fracturing, gravity, gravity.
It is the hardest thing, to drop, to fall.


Two people, they say,
live in worlds, one in each,
and when, as they say,
they collide, they can reach
a point of a breaking
a fracturing.

When two people meet
When they stop trying to pretend,
that they have everything in common
except their humanity, and everything that comes along with it,

When they acknowledge
authentic reality;
the sheer majesty of two wills
in one place, at once.

Then those worlds,
fantastic planets,
collide in rhythm and melody.

Two worlds were never two.
But two perceptions of one, as different as the color of each pair of eyes.
There were never two.
We are all the same.
But that we are different, divergent, distracted.
It is but that we are different, that we are all young in our own ways,
and old in others.

It is our differences
which are the glory
of similarity

It is our separation
which is the beauty
of collaboration.

It is Love, it is Heaven, it is that in which all hope lies.
It is God.
Pure, unbroken unity in all chromatic being.

Given one melody, all harmonies are implied.
But let us glory in our irrational superfluity.


The music is more
It is more
The only thing that is more.
It is the only thing that is more.
Because--because music made from
broken trumpets
and unstrung strings
and woodwinds all left in the rain--
Music made from instruments which cannot play in tune any more than they can play themselves--
Music made with raw throats and with bleeding, callused, ragged hands--
Music made in agony--
Music made in forsaking all else--
Is such a kind of music more than music itself.
And it is more beautiful than the best of perfect intonations.
Because God did not become perfection--
He became human.
He became sin who knew no sin.
And that being is far more existent than existence itself.
All things real bow down to a paradox.
For God himself is not real.

We are real.
But we strive not to be.
That we may, in ourselves, be that which we cannot be.
That which we cannot understand.
That which is not created, cannot be perceived or explained, but

Eyes have not seen, ears have not heard, for perception cannot but attempt that grand, unfathomable experience which is to behold.  For to behold implies, in its very inception, to be beheld.

The only truth is that Truth is not rational.  The best thought we can have is that no thoughts make sense.  All rationality ends in the truth that nothing can be both rational and True, that nothing can be both existent and real, that no mystery is fact.

Friday, December 10, 2010

There's something real out there.

See the beautiful words in beautiful lines,
see beautiful places with beautiful skies,
All these beautiful things filling my mind.
Come and spend the greater times.

I see your broken face.
convinced of your place.
It's humility, they say,
not to question your fate.
Be who you are, they say
Nothing less shall we tolerate;
Here's the free-est set of laws
you will ever come across.
And I see your broken eyes
as you look on in surprise
but no, after all your tries
Greater things can't come now.

I need someone to betray this to
that what is set up here is not it all
that this education is not even a clue
of what is going to fall.
I need someone to relay this to
that you're more than you have bargained for
but that you've been promised greater things
if you but live a happy life.

Come with me, or without me, better still
And see you've been living on the windowsill.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

If a Tree

Distraction runs like uncaged rats.
Frantic minds in folded hands.
In prayer attempting to forget
That God is real none more than I am.

I must believe in myself and neighbor
if I am to care about my own behavior.
and understand that dread importance of
every slightest movement, if I am to love.

A Lowly King

It is most humbling, in the humblest way,
To see the power in every word I say.
To think not so lowly of myself,
But not to think I deserve my shelf.

It is not to live in a lowly way,
but not to assume, and not to say
That I am any less than myself.
Knowing God is always greater than want and wealth.

It is to recognize that the flower is just as pretty in dirty hands as clean. That there are no hands which deserve to hold the flower anyway.  That there is no man who deserves even the facility of hands.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

In Praying

"Do not babble like the pagans do
Thinking many words louder than few."

I, however, can merely mumble one
At the smashing gravity that I am heard in none.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Self-Medication with a Capital L

We kill our murderers, imprison thieves.
We pity the broken, suff'ring, bereaved.

And yet we cry "Redeeming Love!"
When with stolen bodies from broken trust
We forsake our lives in hope--
We take another's in tasty lust.

Sunday, December 5, 2010


There is darkness-there is light.
There are greater things than night.
And there are things I see, I say
Which still are neither and hold no sway,
But never were there shades of gray.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I Feel

Like a satellite.
Like a sleet-ragged vagrant.
Like a shepherd whose sheep have been taken.
Fed by another who has no real food.

Like a child, forced to remain.
As larger children define my domain.
Like a fish, whose dish was broken.
And they think that little fake castles and pirates will make it ok.

Like an ostrich.
They think that flying is better. Somehow.
They spend all day explaining aerodynamics and the history of winged birds.
But does it matter?
The hawks think so. Just so, the crows.
While they eat their children.

Taught to believe that I deserve not to believe.
Forced to love
As if I knew how.

Can I really live despising all who say they have life?
Can we really continue to discredit those who we're taxed to benefit?
Can you tell me that I'm wrong simply because you've never seen a reason that I'm right?

Like an elephant taught not to be grey.
Taught that long noses are unattractive.
You'd be happier with my appearance if I were not myself?
Maslow would disagree.
But then, living forever is hardly a means of survival.

How do we still punish murder
when men and women are handing each other over to death
in the dark
And calling it Love?

And for the Love of the precious Lord, our savior, an infant, why are you still killing babies?
Our Lady of Expectancy, help us.

Monday, November 22, 2010


O, Lady, will you dance with me
As I whisper sweet nothings of eternity?
Beloved, beloved, a dance so free--
No more perfect dance than ours would be.

O, Lady, I'll lead every step
If you but follow rhythmic lead.
I'll show you every move we make
before we still proceed.

O, Lady, don't say you know the way;
this is no well-played song.
I am the stone and architect,
Each piece where it belongs.

Oh, Lady, no! And how can you say that I don't long for you?
Don't turn away thinking you're not enough for me!
This is your home, your promised hope, Oh, to bear that you can't see
your eyes like doves,
your breath like wine.
Your words like honey,
Flowing in time.

O, Lady, O, Lady, let your joy still rise.
You've ravished my heart, my sister, my bride,
You've ravished my heart with one glance of your eyes.
O, Lady, O, Lady, do you hear me cry?

This moment is true, more than all others.
I stand here before you--like nowhere else.
This is me, this is me.
My self given--to you.

O, Lady, will you dance with me?
This, here, is faith, what it means to believe.
This one great song, wrought by perfect decree.
This is me, my Lady. I beg you to receive.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

On the way to the Office

A man approached me in the street with an intriguing preposition.
So I stopped--I felt obliged by his lack of inhibitions.
"Among," he said, and wandered off--Went off to beg for dimes.
I shook my head, went on my way, stepping off in double time.

The music in my headphones stayed the same though the world blurred as I sped.
I tried to hear the rhythm past the thumping in my head.
Perception seems to grasp my mind, my sight affects my ears.
I hold that there are greater things than those I see or hear.

I wonder if it means a thing, to hear a poor man's rambling,
Every choice I choose to make exemplifies my gambling.
I must confess, I do enjoy that word which he proposed.
I'm far from assuming sanity--in fact, I am opposed.
It takes faith to take advice, to accept another's comments.
Though so few men do try belief in men with so few prospects.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Holy Tears is not a Virtue

Holy tears is not a virtue.
There is no sense to feeling saved.
Desolation is unpursued;
There's nothing so flashy as thoughts depraved.

Amphibious, we dance around
the truths we feel are on the ground,
where, as tadpoles, we cannot walk,
and all we do is dream, not talk.

I pray "Dona mihi Caritatis"
and falling on my knees,
I ignore my plenty follies
answering my own pleas.

I pray to Gods that I create
who give me gifts which I dictate.
The uncreated one looks on;
whose burning love defines the dawn.

Making sentiments of my own love,
my eyes fall down, no thoughts above.

Holy tears is not a virtue,
Humility is, and faith is too.
I teach myself that I believe
proving I cannot know truth.

The little lamb feels she is lost.
She runs back and forth, no cares for cost.
She would sacrifice her all
just to return, hear shepherd call.

But it turns out she was on the path
until she left to find one she could see.
But her eyes are still pointed down;
as if shepherd lived upon the ground.

Whether on the path, or not,
there is nothing we can say
for as we are, we cannot know
which sign might point the way.

What prayer is more likely to be heard,
than this: "thy will be done." What words
are united with his will
than those which sit on windowsills?
Those which float in on the breeze
come from 'cross the crystal seas?

I am myself.
That much I know.
But as for knowing thee
My knowledge is only that which you bestow.
Grant me not to adore you as I see,
but as thou know thyself to be.
Grant me not to search for answers
but to, in challenge, make acts of faith.
Grant me not, in spiritual battles
in the center of the field to wait.

Holy tears are not a virtue,
I seem to think that love consists of its signs.
Tongues are not the way to know you
but to find you in another's eyes.
To know you in your subtle ways,
your ultimate, undying passion,
which, by the spirit's constant aid
you place in our own human actions.

I ask not, Lord, for complex gifts,
I desire not to see thy love,
but to be single-hearted, caring,
to love thee simply would be enough.
And Lord, upon what petition is your mercy cast
than that which you beg to be asked?

Holy tears is not a virtue.
What virtue can there be but to
one day be a lily ewe.
If not thine Love, what Word is true?

Monday, November 15, 2010

O, Lady

Ecce Crucem Domini!
Fugite partes adversae!
Vicit Leo de tribu Iuda,
Radix David! Alleluia!

My Lady, O, my Lady,
Grant me always to adore,
My thirst and my salvation,
Our everlasting LORD.

What glory surrounds us, surrounds you now. May the Lord pour his blessing down upon you, and may you know, in his Word, the glory of man truly alive. May you ever seek his glory, for his name is glory. What honor he has put in our hands, and what beauty he has created. Pray for me, as I for you, and let us hold fast to Christ in our daily tests, for that is the fire of true love, of purity and single-heartedness, of a single goal and simple means.

Peace be upon you,
and all blessing be like a holy balm, dispensed by the hands of our Lady.

Goodnight, friends.

No Labradors in Purgatory

I saw the creature paddling
as she was wont to do
As master sat there with his son
beside the sunny pool.

Almost seeming to forget, for moments in the water,
that he who kept her living was watching there, beside her,

but every few moments--it was a fall day, but mild,
she rolled there on the grass before her master and his child.

She would, panting, run back with a splash, so joyfully, so free,
always returning, drying her fur, I could almost see
her learn to love her master from the gift of this fine outing,
and appreciate the water as the gift.

I thought how every pup could swim, could roll in grass,
Every girl can eat, can dance, can kiss,
But this fine dog had learnt to love both;
when so many pout at water, whine at bliss.

The golden hair of each, of pretty bitch or girl,
is wet by the watery affections of the world,
But when remembering her master, her sustainer, she would run,
her golden hair would shine, not with water, but with sun.

For master is there loving, holding his child,
rejoicing in the loyalty of this creature, this wild
beast he adopted, which he paid for, he keeps,
and whom, not without reproving, he loves and feeds.
This beast he adores, To whom he laid claim,
He made her loyal, honored her neck with a chain.

Water is happy, but master is joy
Our Father is greater than the world and its toys.

She'd paddle round, chasing a ball,
then game having been played, she'd paddle, he'd call
"Lady, come, time to go."
and leaving the ball, she joyfully came
when time to come home,
why would we cling to the game?

But it turned out all that running and rolling and repeated drying--
only brief times in the water, always trying
to maintain perspective, to remember the reason
for coming to water, though it seemed out of season;

This habit of letting the water roll off,
such that her body never learned to love the water
was not merely a habit formed by love for her master,
but also a habit which the master taught her.

This gift that's been given,
we receive, we enjoy,
and we thank our God
for this gift he's employed
to show how he loves us
how he loves our smile,
but after our travels,
after a while,

we must remember that though this gift
is all good, all proper when rightly equipped,
but our master, the Lord, from whom we receive
at his call, in a moment, we must be ready to leave

all these great gifts behind, fly to where he are,
because the master can't allow water in his car.

It ruins the upholstery.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Romance hangs to beating drums
and tolerance and upright thumbs;
Romance hangs to lover's sighs
all virtue runs, then breaks, then dies.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Spin upon the ground
A top I spin, a top.
I turn away, I turn away,
And back I spin again.

I cannot see the world around,
Stillness only in my hands,
All perception outside my person blurs.
All truth comes from distant lands,
from distant voices speaking deep
and soundless, like from a sleepless dream.

Spin upon the ground
A top I spin, a top,
I turn away, I turn away,
And topple, broken, down.

And anguish descends
and hope is gold
And freedom breaks
When love is sold.

But beauty every heart recounts with laying on of hands
For gracious, gentle fingers set me spinning once again.

And now my trouble is my passion for reality,
for rationalizing reasons and unbroken sensuality
for every top deserves its fall, to never rise again
but when another gave his all, all I don't comprehend

A flowering countenance entrancing and effortless
threatens to tread on despair and despondence,
threatens to hope where fears have claimed ground
threatens to break the chains which pain found
to gird and to witness to anxious convulsions,
to bear and to bind in a soul's self-repulsion,
to clear and to claim, to make slave to compulsion,
to taunt and to tease, to remind of expulsion.

For every top's time comes now once and again,
turning and falling like leaves in their time.
Burning and calling out words no one knows,
But those thoughts which compose their own meanings in rhyme.

So Raphael, break every burning which labels my
heart as still broken, binds my soul in it's stable;
Set my heart out to pasture, to graze and to grow
and to water the seed which the sower's hands sow.

Send me a sign of one who is greater
purer and stronger and mover and shaper
of everything I see before me - and me
-a sign that Love breaks over levys and dams
which I set in its place. Not that I don't think he can,
But that I don't deserve to count in the plan.

O, heart, O, heart,
why be downcast within,
set spinning, set spinning,
We have yet to begin
Our work is still growing,
still reaping, now hoeing
now can we start rowing
through rivers unshowing
of frozen night's thawing
and creatures all crawling
round nature's great altar
of stone, broken halter
is fallen beyond me
in shreds, it no longer
can slow freedom's turning
now turning, now turning
now remembering times of great things forgotten,
glazed over by small things made large in their rotten
composures and all the foul stench of putrescence
Which I wish wasn't part of my long adolescence.

So now when tops fall, they are picked up, replaced
(if they have the courage confessing) .
And all momentum provided, all lost motion regained
the tops find their motion through the urging of pain.
If they can accept that tops don't all have to stay toppled.
If they can lay claim to that great grace, be hoppled,
and give up all need to understand love,
if they can receive without thinking of
the things they are leaving,
they, unfettered, are cleaving to new chances.
And the promise of future dances.
And that two-legged horse which now prances,
free from his four-legged woes.

Spin upon the ground,
A top, my soul, a top
I turned away, I turned away,
And back I'm spun again.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


A chalice cold with ancient wine
golden gild and marked with time.

Glint on razor's edge-
ringed round the lip.
What must we pay
for one violent sip?

A stoop to grasp the shining stem
and lift unto the lip.
Beaded blood on thread of time.
Then drop of wine, and hit -
the floor a rolling
cup - I let my hand unfold
And so it lays me slowly down
in ecstasy - and cold.

Burn the red and deeper goes
alcohol on tongue, in nose.
Deeper yet, it cuts through flesh
finding pathways razor left.

Cut and burn - the cleaner wound
makes day run into sleep.
Cut and burn - an end so crude
The price to live so steep.


I am a bottle with a broken neck
who once did shine on broken wrecks.
Now a glaze does cover grace
pretty secrets an open face.

Empty now, I have no ink;
all countless eyes around me blink
while many kings, once sober, drink
their fill of all I am.

Then cast aside, for my broken lip
did cut them - they, past final sip
did see the burn that comes with lies;
I look, I see no sober eyes.

Now, these men, in passion's cry
have cut themselves and left me dry;
Now animal where once was man
around him many bottles stand.
with empty heart and glutton eyes
he looks upon my beauty, sighs,
his fleshly fires inside him rise
and up and out the beast it cries.

an Evening Out

Love and Death
and sweet and sour
and all the other lonely words
we cram into two hours.

Life and Pain
and Eve and Cain
And all we say
is empty.

Every word from actor's mouths,
disguised, does correspond
To solemn sighs, dramatic pouts
while we watch the old die young.

Monday, November 8, 2010


I write, or, at least, I tend to scrawl inscriptions into notebooks and backs of papers when inspiration strikes me or when my thoughts begin to rhyme and fall in verse. So this is the forum for my thoughts which will, as I've said, tend to fall in verse. And yet I want to learn how to better write. So, please comment if there are any outstanding ideas you have--if you got any profound meaning--even if you want to argue.

For the next few days, posts will be dense as I'll be putting up some of my already written things.

Have faith,
Have hope.