Sunday, June 25, 2017

At first I didn't notice

After Isaiah 24

At first I didn’t notice
the differences, the changes
slight, a lightening of color,
a mall cooling, but as
I watched the stage
the scenery began to melt,
sliding and flowing around
the actors’ feet and cascading
downward at the edge of the stage.
The actors began to forget
their lines and soon made no sense,
desperate words bleeding into
one another like stones soon dulled.
The music faltered then stopped,
collapsing into a cacophony
of jarring sounds, like musicians
and instruments sliding as the Titanic tilted
and prepared to break apart. People
are shouting at the actors who turn
to the audience and say nothing.
The theater trembles and breaks apart.
The lights fail, only darkness and explosions
of noise remain, the only constants.

Photograph by Kondo Yukihiro via Public Domain Pictures. Used with permission.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Saturday Good Reads

There were so many good things to read and see this week that I almost don’t know where to start, or where to end.

Spitalfields Life is continuing its series on East End London painters, and included more than the three this week that I’ve noted here. All of these painters will be featured in a book to be published in October. 

Some really fine poetry this week, including some paired with photographs. And Maureen Doallas found another videopoem.

I didn’t know the story of American Billy Fiske, an American who gave his life in the Battle of Britain in 1940. St. Paul’s Cathedral has the story.

I’ve been a bit more than critical of what’s happened ot the American news media. For a different viewpoint, I’ve included Jay Rosen, a journalism professor at New York University, and his article on the abyss of observation. 

Canada is lurching farther toward killing off free speech than the US is, but I’m sure we have groups ready to play catch up. Bruce Pardy at the National Post has a story on what may well become law -- using the wrong pronouns to describe people (as in “he” or “she”) may be deemed a human rights violation. The Washington Post has a more encouraging story – Americans still have something rather surprising in common – most of us still say grace before meals. 

Finally – a video from the 1940s – about Raleigh bicycles.


Human Flora – Tim Good at Musings of a Naked Alien.

This far – Lise at All the Words.

“New Collected Poems of Marianne Moore” – reviewed by Mary Harwell Sayler at The Poetry Editor.

Picking Rock – Barbara Mackenzie at Signed…BKM.

The Way – photo by Susan Etole, poem by Thomas Merton.

‘The Last Days’ (Videopoem by Lucy English) – Maureen Doallas at Writing Without Paper.

Art and Photography

Goat’s Beard – Tim Good at Photography and Poetry of Tiwago.

Elwin Hawthorne, Anthony Eyton, and Pearl Binder – Painters – Spitalfields Life.


The Sacred Music of Igor Stravinsky – Michael De Sapio at The Imaginative Conservative.

British Stuff

Billy Fiske and the Battle of Britain 1940 – St. Paul’s Cathedral.


My Dark Pilgrimage into Light: Part 1 and Conclusion – Tom Darin Liskey at Literary Life.

Every Christian Ought to be a Good Historian – Michael Haykin at The Gospel Coalition Canada.

Israel and the Role of Place in Christian Faith – Thomas Kidd at Evangelical History.

Life and Culture

The Abyss of Observation Alone – Jay Rosen at PressThink.

Fake News, Truth, and the Digital Age – Cristian Ispir at The Imaginative Conservative.

The Need for More Sadness, Less Anger – Jon Mertz at Thin Difference.

When it comes to saying grace, Americans are still united – Sarah Pulliam Baily, Julie Zauzmer, and Emily Guskin at The Washington Post.

Reviving Plutarch’s “Lives” – Steve Donoghue at The Imaginative Conservative.


Writers and AudioBooks – Terry Whalin.

Raleigh Bicycles – Design and Manufacture – 1940s

Painting: Reading Young Man, oil on canvas by Ignat Bednarik (1882-1963; Romanian).

Friday, June 23, 2017

I walk a hallway

After Isaiah 24

I walk a hallway of many doors
I walk a forest of many trails
a land of many highways and roads
until, overwhelmed by choice,
I choose: not knowing
where it leads, only knowing
that the choice is irrevocable,
return not a possibility
except in memory and regret

a door opens
a path is chosen
a road is traveled
only the going forward

Photograph by Maliz Ong via Public Domain Pictures. Used with permission.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Grandfather Stories: Goldilocks and the Three Brothers

Once upon a time, three brothers lived happily in a snug little house in the forest. There was a big brother, a medium-sized brother, and a baby brother, who had lots of curly hair.

One morning, as they tasted their daily porridge and doughnuts, they discovered that their breakfast was a little too hot. So they decided to go for a walk in the woods and let their porridge and doughnuts cool a bit. And off they went, singing as they went along. They even left their iPads at home so they could fully enjoy their walk and not trip as they checked the latest available games.

A few minutes after they left, a little girl named Goldilocks came along. As she was checking her text messages on her iPhone, she didn’t notice the cottage door until she had walked smack into it.

“Oh!” she said, rubbing her head. “My goodness, what is this? And do I smell porridge and doughnuts? Perhaps it is a Starbucks!” She knocked on the door, and hearing no response, she turned the handle and opened it.

To continue reading, please see my post today at Tweetspeak Poetry.

Illustration: a page from the 1933 edition of Stories Children Love, which my mother read to as a very young child.