Tuesday, February 20, 2018

heavenly gates


pointed finger
nails
spears
pierce

the Penetrated

come
in,

He said I'll
give you shelter

in my side
splayed wide

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

of making many books

just another Philly mummer
daily getting dumber


King Thamus, to Theuth, on literacy:

"This discovery of yours will create forgetfulness in the learners' souls, because they will not use their memories; they will trust to the external written characters and not remember of themselves. The specific which you have discovered is an aid not to memory, but to reminiscence, and you give your disciples not truth, but only the semblance of truth; they will be hearers of many things and will have learned nothing; they will appear to be omniscient and will generally know nothing; they will be tiresome company, having the show of wisdom without the reality."

// Socrates, Phaedrus

Thursday, February 8, 2018

languid days, so dull

but hey, look on the night side
the flask is half full

Friday, November 10, 2017

gargoyles

Recently my writing was described by a pastor as "...something like gothic architecture—intricate, strong, thematic and it keeps the gargoyles hidden unless you know where to look for them."

I have always found comfort (and mirth) in the shelter of flying butt-resses.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

this split second of sweet sovereign Catalonia

Dolça Catalunya,
pàtria del meu cor,
quan de tu s’allunya
d’enyorança es mor.
...
Adéu, germans;
adéu-siau, mon pare,
no us veuré més!
Oh, si al fossar
on jau ma dolça mare
jo el llit tingués!
el vent que me’n desterra,
que em fa sofrir!
Estic malalt, més ai!,
torneu-me a terra,
que hi vull morir!

Stanzas 1 and 3 of ‘L’emigrant’ by Mossèn Jacint Verdgauer, 1888
Translation by David Block below:

Sweet Catalonia.
Homeland of my heart,
to be far from you
is to die of longing.
...
Good-bye, brothers and sisters;
farewell, my father,
I shan’t see you again!
Oh, if in the graveyard
where my sweet mother lies
I had my bed!
Oh mariners,
the wind that banishes me,
that makes me suffer!
I am sick, and more!,
return me to land,
for I want to die there!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

God our Mother

to be a mother is to suffer
to travail in the dark, stretched and torn
exposed in half-naked humiliation
subjected to indignities
for the sake of new life

to be a mother is to say,
this is my body, broken for you
and in the next instant
in response to the created's primal hunger
"this is my body, take, and eat"

to be a mother is to self-empty
to neither slumber or sleep
so attuned you are to cries in the night
offering the comfort of yourself
and assurances of "i'm here"

to be a mother is to weep
over the fighting and exclusions
and wounds your children inflict on one another
to long for reconciliation and brotherly love
and when all is said and done
to gather all parties– the offender and offended
into the folds of your embrace
and to whisper in their ears that they are beloved

to be a mother is to be vulnerable
to be misunderstood, railed against, blamed
for the heartaches of the bewildered children
who don't know where else to cast
the angst they feel over their own existence
in this perplexing universe

to be a mother is to hoist onto your hips
those on whom your image is imprinted
bearing the burden of their weight
rejoicing in their returned affection
delighting in their wonder
bleeding in the presence of their pain

to be a mother is to be accused of sentimentality
one moment and injustice the next
to be the receiver of endless demands
absorber of perpetual complaints
reckoner of bottomless needs.

o be a mother is to to be an artist
a keeper of memories past
weaver of stories untold
visionary of lives looming ahead.

 to be a mother is to be the first voice listened to
and the first disregarded
a mender of broken creations
and comforter of the distraught children
whose hands wrought them

to be a mother is to be a touchstone and the source
bestower of names, influencer of identities
life-giver, life-shaper, empath, healer
and original love.

//  from Alison Woodward's poem read aloud on The LiturgistsOctober 17, 2017 episode "God our Mother"

Monday, September 25, 2017

language as μεταξύ

That is what I investigate. Words both enable and limit human communication.
Divine communication.


When I hear:
Linguistics? Cool! How many languages do you speak?


It's like asking an optometrist how many eyes she has or a marine biologist how many orcas he owns.

Language acts upon the world, it does not merely passively describe/reflect it. Words create worlds.
God speaks to us as he makes us.



What is the world that we are creating, with our political discourse and rhetoric? In what worlds do our pattern of language index our membership? How can changing speech change society?