Saturday, August 19, 2017

Graveyard Shift at (Famous) Clinic - poem

Lawrence Hall

Graveyard Shift at (Famous) Clinic


The proto-beepers that sometimes worked
Tidy white uniforms on minimum wage
Silver plate for the * * Pavilion
Stainless steel flatware for the merely rich

Fluorescents flickering from high ceilings
Where actors and directors went to dry
Sober up, every year or so until
They went once more, discreetly, there to die

“Surrounded by loving friends and family”
Arguing in the hallways over the will

Friday, August 18, 2017

Michaelmas Term - poem

Lawrence Hall

Michaelmas Term

We might as well call it Augustinemas term
Beginning as it does on Augustine’s feast;
And though there are Vandals outside the gates
And Pelagians within, we must read

Tolle lege: take up and read. We read
We read because the scholar at his book,
Its whispered pages strewn with Paters and Aves,
Rebukes the insolence of each transient age -

The drums, the guns, the men of destiny
Are but processionals of shadows and mist

(C. S. Lewis’ essay “Education in War-Time,” available from many sources, is so much better on this topic. Beware of edited / altered versions on the InterGossip.)

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Three Pews of Mourners - poem

Lawrence Hall

Three Pews of Mourners

The widower and kin in the front pew
And in the next cousins and beloved friends
And in the third, poor disconcerted souls
Grandchildren grown, and come from far away

From far away through metaphysical gaps
And not entirely sure where they might be
Here where their parents brought them for baptism
Long since adrift upon some obscure sea

Clutches of keys and mobile ‘phones held dear
Eyes darting about in suspicion and fear

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

On Reading Yet Another Essay on the Death of Reading - poem

Lawrence Hall

On Reading Yet Another Essay on the Death of Reading

Yet another essay beginning with “I”
Sophomore thesis: no one reads anymore
The power of books, the great ideas
The shared experience, the care of souls

The temptations of social media
(Really? No one ever said that before)
Escape, new points of view, humanity
Foundations of faith (but never the roofs)

If reading is dead -

If reading is dead, then who reads those essays,
Those many essays on the death of reading?

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

A Letter from Ekaterinburg - poem

Lawrence Hall

A Letter from Ekaterinburg

Dormition of the Theotokos

Dear Alexei,

We are enjoying a beautiful summer –
The days have been perfect ever since spring
Cooler mornings now, and that’s about it -
Nothing exciting ever happens here

How is the new government working out?
Some of the banknotes are overprinted
With vague slogans covering the Czar, but
Nothing exciting ever happens here

Petrograd must be exciting for you, but
Nothing exciting ever happens here.

Write soon,


Monday, August 14, 2017

So You're Still Wearing Your Old Boonie Hat? - poem

Lawrence Hall

So You’re Still Wearing Your Old Boonie Hat?

The old man asked. Old man. Maybe my age
“The original is carefully put away;
This one I ordered off the amazon”
His wooden stick was leaned against the pew

His grown children glanced disapprovingly
At two old dudes whispering during Mass
After the Eucharist, before the hymn
And the “Go in peace to love and serve the Lord”

He said he burned his Marine Corps sea bag
when he got home, but somehow you could tell
           it hadn’t helped

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Winds, Earthquakes, Fires, and a Whisper - poem

Lawrence Hall

19th Sunday in Ordinary Time

He is not contained in the mighty winds
Nor in fell earthquakes from the earth’s dark core
Nor in red fires which devour what is left
But there is a whisper –

He is not contained in the missiles’ roar
Nor in the fall of civilizations
Nor in the flames of man’s self-destruction
But there is a whisper –

And where the Truth is lifted by priestly hands
There – there is the soft whispering of hope