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November 2015

Psalm 17, a difficult song about mourning

Psalm 17
a difficult song about mourning

Lord, how do we mourn
in a free land? How do
we allow atrocity and

still have the freedom
to choose? We do not
cry in empty space: but

our crying would be worse
in a revenge-wrought iron
land, where security

would be the only aim
and no one would have
open air to breathe

or drop tears for the
dead and for the living.
We must choose to

choose. Not to allow
evil or to destroy
democracy. Mourning

and breathing while we
arm, yes, and await
evil’s annihilate implosion.

For now we choose, in
a free place, to bear
the weight of death—in

nations wounded and in
the raw-split parts
of the human heart.

in nomination for an award from the blog “An Offbeat Blue Stocking”

1. What is your favorite quote?
2. What song are you listening to right now? If you’re not listening to anything, what is your favorite song?
3. What made you start blogging?
4. What sort of weather is your favorite? (Rainy, sunny, etc.)
5. What do you plan on achieving with your blog?
6. What is your favorite book?
7. What is your favorite meal of the day?

1. “All that is gold does not glitter,” written by Gandalf in a note in The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien.
2. I’m watching television right now (oops). My favorite song? Wow, just one? “Wishing You Were Here” by Chicago (with assistance from the Beach Boys).
3. I thought good cyber-exchange would be healthy. So far, it has been. After starting up the trappings of a blog, I wandered into a poetry class at Blogging U. That class and the community there have made all the difference.
4. I like rainy days. Rain is interesting. I prefer to be inside looking out (though I dreamed last night that I was walking in the rain).
5. Good conversation. The posting of things, even series of things.
6. The Hobbit.
7. Lunch. By then, my stomach has woken up; and I’m interested in food. And lunch, for me, has an association of gathering with friends.

Good questions. Thanks!

These questions are part of the process of nomination for the “Real Neat Blog Award.” Clarissa G of “An Offbeat Blue Stocking” blog nominating. I’m honored. This is the kind of peer and friend award that has one honored. Thank you.

Who Loves Life? (based on the shootings at Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs)

Who Loves Life?

(based on the shootings at Planned
Parenthood in Colorado Springs)

Pro-Life should not kill
People who exercise choice
Do not hate life

Planned Parenthood should make
Sure all options are given; there are
Good people who are Pro-Life

But the debate is over once
Guns are used, and
It has failed

Can we talk again? Let’s
Hope so; otherwise, what’s left
Is to kill again

Psalm 16, a song of (USA) Thanksgiving (Day)

Psalm 16
a song of (USA) Thanksgiving (Day)

The Canadians had their day already.
I wonder if that’s because they’re
more easily, readily thankful.

In the USA, there’s so much to
be thankful for. I grew up in
Pittsburgh, and I like returning
there. Pittsburghers tend to
speak their minds, and their
minds are good. (Their driving’s
better, too.)

I have family. The five of us with
spouses, children of the new
generation, and pets (old, new). We
are scattered, which is sad, though
in our ways we keep in touch.

Friends I have, a small circle. And
I have made it smaller. Not the
happier of moves. But the friends
I have I cherish. They are good
for me, so good. They circle out
in nearness, which is the sense of
those we know and how and when.

I live alone and often feel the
peace of that. (I first typed pace
for peace, and I enjoy that too.)
I sleep badly, which means I have
hours of the day to be awake
and doing such as this. Would
someone else put up with that?

Hannah, my cat of nineteen
years. She is gone now, and
eighteen years were pretty good.
Then she faded fast. Not bad,
all in all. She was the queen and
I her knave. She ruled in blessed
benevolence, scolding me for what
is apt within the catly-noble
mind (which means daily
reprimand for not mind-reading
every whim). Still good, good-humored
company. Now a loss, though better
she go first. She awaits me on the other
side, ready to scold me what else I
missed in mortal time.

Mostly. I have you. Lord, I
know you love me anyway and
always. You love me in darkness
and in light. I am perpetually
astounded. And, yes,

thankful for this, all this, the
plenty that you give.

Thank you, Lord—Love, me

20 Things I’ve Learnt in my 20 Years

It’s a fantastic list, as I say to the writer.

Psalm 15, a song of youth

Psalm 15
a song of youth

I am young
I have strength
But not enough ideas

I am not stupid
I am normal, speaking to
A median

I learn, I grow
There is much I
Need to figure out

I often don’t know how to
Ask for help, though it’s
Natural that I need it

If I ask, will
You hear me?

Can you see me
Look through my
Fears I sometimes
Mask with

Something hard or difficult?

Listen to me, please

Hear us
Even when we don’t know
How to ask

We are young, after all
We usually like the edge of it
Though sometimes we fall

Psalm 14, a song of science

Psalm 14
a song of science

We are on other worlds
Landed, roving, or curiosity
Simply in magnificently
Passing by

In machines, sending signals
We could not make if we were
Not, at least in part, ready
To learn, to hear

What signs might come
Back? Who sees our silvery
Craft, who hears our signals
In the heaven’s spheres? Who
Would touch our sky as
We touch theirs? Lord of

The universe, if we are not
Ready, we are here
Nonetheless—send us through

Grace in the vacuum of
Space the next companionship
We crave

Psalm 13, a song of experience

Psalm 13
a song of experience

Experience in the world has
Wounded and split
Any wholeness that I was

Parts of me are cared for
Parts are not

When I behave
Or when I don’t
I am fed and often
Comforted, even when
I don’t know how to ask
For this

There might be a price
But there are those who
Ask for nothing that
I know of
(Maybe later)

I have age and scars
Sometimes I don’t mind
But some wounds never
Heal, and pain can drive
Me away from everyone else

And you

not in praise of artificial

not in praise of artificial
inspired by “Good Things” by angieinspired

everything that’s natural is good
of course, that’s not true
tell it to a hurricane

a mindless celebration of water
and force that would as indifferently
snuff out the candle of your life
as it might look at you

which it won’t, because
it does not care, it can’t
it’s only being


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