Monday, July 15, 2019

Robin Hood's Favorite (or Favourite) Saint - 15 July is Saint Swithin's Day

Lawrence Hall

The Farmer to Saint Swithin

O good Saint Swithin, please, to you we pray
On this your high-summer rain-making day

Of your blest kindness send us soft, sweet showers
The kind that gently fall for hours and hours

To heal the sunburnt land of thirst and drought
And nourish the corn that sees the winter out

And if you grant the boon we humbly ask
We’ll work the harder on each rural task:

We’ll ditch and fence and plough, and milk the cow
Share with the widder-folk, and feed the sow

Count out some plantful seeds for poor men’s needs
And tell God’s Mysteries daily on our beads

Sunday, July 14, 2019

"And Did You Wash Behind Your Ears?" - poem

Lawrence Hall

“And Did You Wash Behind Your Ears?”

Why should I do that? I can hear all right
And I can’t see behind my ears anyway
I never use my ears for work or play -
I’ll just give them a washrag-wash tonight

Why is that old woman talkin’ at me
I wasn’t botherin’ that bossy old cow
Ain’t none of her busy beeswax anyhow -
I wish all them women would let me be

Old women asked if I washed behind my ears -
So long ago –
                        I kinda miss the nosy old dears

Violating the Good Comrades' Dress Code - weekly column

Lawrence Hall

Violating the Good Comrades’ Dress Code

Last week there was some sort of bother about a pair of festively-decorated shoes. A wealthy man who can afford a haircut – indeed, he could buy and staff his own dedicated barber shop – but chooses not to expressed his airy disapproval of the foo-foo shoes, and the multinational corporation with which he enjoys some sort of association withered before his mood like an orchid in the desert, and will not manufacture that particular shoe they had promoted.

Or, rather, the multinational’s – and thus the rich man’s - underpaid obedientiaries in the Far East will not make the shoe.

The rich man does not like how some people are abused, and associates the shoe design with that abuse. The poor people who work in the corporation’s factories, further enriching the rich man, are exempt from his sympathies. They work on and on, for very little pay, breathing the toxic glues that keep the parts of his approved shoes together, and suffer beyond the comforts of his members-only pity.

A further irony is that the shoe was to be ornamented with a patriotic flag symbol so that the people wearing the shoe would with each step tread upon the flag that should not be treaded upon.

And yet a further irony is that I write this on a machine built by underpaid, overworked poor people in yet another factory-camp in the Far East, which is now Communist China’s Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere (those few who have read history will understand).

The final irony is that oppressed people with few choices in life must work in terrible conditions to make the symbols and tools of freedom.

No one seems to ask about this, or about why people will pay great amounts of money to advertise for multi-nationals. If a manufacturer expects you to wear the names and images of his company, shouldn’t he pay you for that? Why would you pay him to advertise for him?

This is not merely an American thing.

In London last week there was a riot because a man who violated a certain law was sentence to prison for it. A number of his associates disapproved of that, and so appeared outside the Old Bailey (London’s central courts) to express their disapproval by yelling at people they didn’t know and beating up journalists (the man who was imprisoned claims to be a journalist) and making rude gestures to the police.

The rioters / revolutionaries / The People were not so focused on the cause of the prisoner that they did not wear advertising. It’s as if George Washington’s made-in-China blue coat sported a slogan for a brand of beer, or if David Crockett at the Alamo wore a made-in-China gimme cap with the line VOTE FOR SAM HOUSTON stitched onto it. One imagines President Lincoln’s made-in-Indonesia hat scrolling an ad for GONE WITH THE WIND, or Amelia Earhart’s made-in-Viet-Nam flying jacket reading “IF IT AIN’T BOEING I AIN’T GOING.” Winston Churchill might have said, “I HAVE NOTHING TO OFFER BUT BLOOD, TOIL, TEARS, SWEAT, AND MY PERSONAL BRAND OF CUBAN CIGARS AVAILABLE AT BETTER TOBACCONISTS EVERYWHERE.”

It does seem a foolish thing to ornament ourselves in the livery of our would-be masters.

Finally, while one never trusts the InterGossip to be reliable about anything, here are some InterGossip discussions (unreliable, remember) about the clothing you’re told to wear:


Saturday, July 13, 2019

Vespers: Four Psalms to be Sung - poem

Lawrence Hall

Four Psalms to be Sung

“Vespers each day has four psalms to be sung”

-Saint Benedict

Soft Vespers is the evening’s liturgical hour
In the natural rhythm of each life
A song of the ordered world now hymned into
The verses of that Song He sings through us

This hour is given to us when sunbeams slant
Across the floor and up onto the Cross
And there we leave the labors of our day
Our works of hand and heart and mind and soul

Eternal truths chanted by every tongue:
“Vespers each day has four psalms to be sung” 1

1 Saint Benedict’s Rule, Ampleforth Abbey

Friday, July 12, 2019

The Naked Girls in the Nazi Boat

Lawrence Hall

The Naked Girls in the Nazi Boat - Mashing Up Book Store Titles Again

The Boys in the real Harry Potter Wand
The Girls Who Made America Hermione
I Wrote This for You and Only You (sure)
Pontius Pilate recycles the end of time

The Last Pope is hiding out on Oak Island
You are my identity group breaking ground
And it’s all the better if you like trains
For you alone are my identity group

Women writers breaking the mold trailblazing
Second feminist wave decolonizing

Thursday, July 11, 2019

For Us There Is No Stray Dog Cabaret - poem

Lawrence Hall

For Us There Is No Stray Dog Cabaret

For us there is no Stray Dog Cabaret -
Our art burns at the end of a welding rod
And in the muscled turning of a wrench
In heat and sweat against a frozen bolt

Old work trucks parked in an oyster shell lot
Eaten with rust from the chemical air
And past the gates, cracking units, and tanks
A plywood paradise with ice-cold beer

Some of us work the night shift to pay our way
Through college, where we learn that we are


Wednesday, July 10, 2019

A Comprehensive Review of Netflix' THE LAST CZARS

Lawrence Hall

A Comprehensive review of Netflix’ The Last Czars

The Grand Duke says “f**k”
The Czar says “s**t”
Rasputin is a schmuck
There’s not much more to it

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

The King's Royal Wax Seal - adventures in plumbing

Lawrence Hall

The King’s Royal Wax Seal

Some seals are applied to signatures and such
Ratifying the documents of abbots and kings
Applied with dignity, a royal touch
From carven images or profiled rings

And then there are seals as toilet bowl rings
Beneath the throne, a regal crown of wax
One of the kingdom’s many needful things
Restraining with dignity certain personal acts

The throne upon which His Majesty, um, sits
Unsealed it came, and gave the plumber royal fits