Monday, September 25, 2017

Fragments in a Fragmented Season - weak and stupid not-really-a-poem

Lawrence Hall

Fragments in a Fragmented Season

Neither a cyber-warrior nor a cyber-worrier be

But is this flower a patriotic flower?

The nation that never had much use for me
Except to send me to an undeclared war
Is suddenly broken

Was I playing with the puppies when the revolution began
        And so didn’t notice?

“Take It Down!” someone scrawled on a statue in New Orleans
        Dear New Orleans: Saint Joan of Arc was never a Confederate

Dear Canada: Do you really want to be a republic?

The vice-president takes shelter within his armored hair, and is silent

The Real Knees of Irving, Texas

Think about a Wal-Mart employee taking a knee during the morning Wal-Mart chant

It’s the Russians, no doubt

Chess ratings are up

Everything’s an Orwellian Two-Minutes’ Hate now. Even the hours and seconds are outraged

“Your attitude’s been noticed, comrade.” - House Warden to Yuri in Doctor Zhivago

Maybe the Republic will be in better shape next season.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Waiting for our Masters to Grow Up - poem

Lawrence Hall

Waiting for our Masters to Grow Up

The barbarians who lord it over us
Thunder denunciations at each other
On whether they should kneel or stand to flags or balls
And with whom they should be photographed

Some swagger in government, in suits and ties
Some swagger with buckles binding their foreheads;
Like schoolboys they compare the size of their…purchases
And bubble themselves with fawning courtiers

As ever, we workers, savers, writers, readers
Must be the grownups - unlike our leaders

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Our Lady of Walsingham - poem

Lawrence Hall

Our Lady of Walsingham

O how beautiful is Our Lady Queen!
Queen of our hearts and hopes, to her we pray,
Sweet Empress over forest, down, and dene ,
And happy Sunrise over the pilgrim’s way

O let us crown Our Queen with leaf and flower
Gathered this morning in the dawnlit dew
For we in this island are Her true dower
Pledging our faith with thorn and rose and yew

She gives us Her feast day, cool and quiet and green -
O how beautiful is Our Lady Queen!

There is No Such Thing as an Unloaded Gun - column

Mack Hall, HSG

There is No Such Thing as an Unloaded Gun

Recently the news spoke of a little child searching through her grandmother’s purse for candy. Ordinary this would be an “awwwwwwww…” moment, reminding of us how our grandmothers spoiled us over the protests of our parents.

Instead of candy, the child found her mee-maw’s pistol. It discharged. The child is dead.

Many questions follow: since the grandmother carried a firearm, why did she violate every teaching on gun safety? And further, why did she feel the need to carry a firearm at all? Was she afraid of other women?

No, almost surely she was afraid of males (one cannot call them men) who violate every teaching of scripture and civilization in menacing women.

We can all do better.

My old daddy (he visited France, Belgium, and Germany 1944-1945) taught that the first rule of gun safety is that there is no such thing as an unloaded gun. And then a series of Navy and Marine Corps instructors taught me the same.

Now of course a gun sometimes is loaded; otherwise, there would be no Bambi for supper. But when there is no Bambi about, unload the gun. Then fear that it is loaded.

In Viet-Nam one of the most common causes of GSW (gun shot wounds) was the mishandling of weapons. Although every Marine and sailor was taught / coached / urged / re-taught firearms safety, after a few months of carrying and cleaning firearms daily, many of the lads became careless.

We didn’t need the VC; Yankee-Doodle carelessness killed a lot of the lads.

The teaching that there is no such thing as an unloaded gun is a psychological truth necessary for our survival. Even the sharpest of us misplace our car keys, forget hair appointments, and fail to notice that the date on the inspection sticker has expired. No one is perfect.

When transporting a gun, unload it, and then fear that it is loaded.

When crossing a fence, unload the gun, and then fear that it is loaded.

When storing a gun, unload it, and then fear that it is loaded.

When climbing the Bambi-stand, unload the gun, and then fear that it is loaded.

Fit a lock to the trigger of a gun, and then fear that it might fire anyway – because it can.

A six-shooter is a five-shooter, no matter how much the manufacturer brags about the safety features. Never, never, never, never, never leave the hammer resting on all those clever safety gates, because beneath all that gim-crackery is a bullet that can kill.

Never, never, never, never, never leave a round up the spout of a semi-auto, no matter how often John Wayne did it. You ain’t John Wayne. Heck, not even John Wayne was John Wayne. Marion Michael Morrison was a cinema actor, okay? He never made the first day of military or police training.

Respect the firearm, because the firearm doesn’t give a rat’s rear end about you.

There is no such thing as an unloaded gun.

There is no such thing as an unloaded gun.

There is no such thing as an unloaded gun.


Friday, September 22, 2017

A Rocket from the Colonial Office - poem

Lawrence Hall

A Rocket from the Colonial Office


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Which we must be in compliance. If you have
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Thursday, September 21, 2017

And Just How Did the Cow Eat the Cabbage? - poem

Lawrence Hall

And Just How Did the Cow Eat the Cabbage?

The question was answered in a cafe at noon:
The cow ate the cabbage with an ordinary spoon

Thank you for your kind attention.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

20 September 1870 - poem

Lawrence Hall

20 September 1870

Like vultures hovering over the faithful dead
The rank red rags of base repression hung
Upon the blast-breeched walls of captive Rome;
The smoke of conquest fouled the ancient streets
While mocking conquerors marched their betters
At the point of enlightened bayonets
To the scientific future, murdering those
Who bore themselves with quiet dignity.

False, sinister Savoy sneered in disdain
At ancient truths, this costumed reprobate
Who played at soldier once the firing ceased,
And claimed Saint Peter’s patrimony on
The corpses of the merely useful who
With today’s slogans fresh upon their lips
At dawn advanced upon the remnant walls
So thinly held by the last legionaries

And thus befeathered fat Vittorio
Was given his victory by better men
On both sides there, their corpses looted by
The pallid inheritors of Progress.
The son of a Sardinian spurred his horse
Along the streets to take enforced salutes,
And to the Quirinal by a passage broad,
And finally to the Ardeatine Caves.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

"Maccabees, and all that Mess" - poem (from a disputation overheard in a cafe)

Lawrence Hall

Maccabees, and all that Mess”

Antiochus declared himself to be
Epiphanes – a god unto himself
And persecuted suffering Israel
With pagan images and fire and death

The blood of martyrs Mattathias moved
And all his sons, hammers chosen by God
To cleanse the Temple of all perfidy
And through eight days rededicate the world

But now

Dismissed by the café theologian
As merely “Maccabees, and all that mess”