Sunday, October 22, 2017

Porching on a Saturday in October - poem

Lawrence Hall

Porching on a Saturday in October

But where are the little children? Well, here,
But they are tall, lanky teenagers now
With car keys and cutoffs and muscle shirts
Whispering, giggling, heavy-lifting

(Stop tormenting your sister!)

Dad wants the outdoor grill moved? Sure – watch this!
Pans and food from the kitchen to the grill
And back again? We’re well on top of it
Something from town? We’re on our way right now

(Stop hitting your brother!)

Children, like spring, must grow into summer
And their springs and summers are forever our joys

(And never stop loving each other.)

Saturday, October 21, 2017

The Death Penalty and a New Computer Printer - poem

Lawrence Hall

The Death Penalty and a New Computer Printer

If we consider our culture to be
An ongoing affirmation of life
Consistently in favor of redemption
We cannot then presume to kill a man

A death penalty for any one of us
Is a death penalty for all of us
A submission to the darkness of evil
A yielding again to original sin

From execution, then, may God preserve us –
(Except for
That 1-800 wretch in customer service)

Friday, October 20, 2017

Autism - A Boy and His Dinosaur -poem

Lawrence Hall

A Boy and His Dinosaur

In another world, a silent world within,
The dominant species are dinosaurs.
Never having fallen, no evil obtains,
And beneficent reptiles live there as -

As innocently as butterflies.
In his quiet world of gentle reptilians
A little boy is never without a friend,
A Saurian with an unpronounceable name,

To share a cave, a thought, a book, a toy,
And so that world with a best-friend dinosaur
Is the child’s real world, the only one
Where he knows love.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Pedal-Pushers of the Undead - column

Lawrence Hall

Pedal-Pushers of the Undead

These crisp autumn days mean that soon college administrators will be telling students what they must not wear for Halloween lest they hurt the feelings of other young grownups.

No one ever asks why college students are thinking about Halloween, that non-holiday, at all. They’re beyond trick-or-treating, don’cha think? College students should be doing college-student-thinky-things, like solving for x or writing about the influence of Fannie Brawne on John Keats’ existential vision of something-or-other.

And, besides, if folks on college campuses (or is that campi?) were to wear costumes, how would anyone know? To visit a college campus now is to wonder why so many people dress as if they looted their garments from hurricane debris – tee-shirts with pictures of that bearded mass murderer, knee-pants (yes, those 1950s pedal-pushers have risen from the sartorial dead), clown shoes, and desperately goofy hats.

That’s the faculty, of course; students usually manage to dress more appropriately.

As for the hurt feelings, well, I know of at least one college that last year greeted its incoming students with coloring-book sessions. If anyone suffers the Aunt Pittypat vapours from seeing someone costumed as capitalist oppressor Thurston Howell III the faculty can hand him a coloring book and a box of crayons in approved colors: “Look, honeykins. Here’s Mickey Mouse. See? Let’s color his house environmentalist green, okay? Then you’ll feel allllllllllll better.”

Oh, yeah, coloring books for college students will advance the arts and sciences of this great nation.

In Texas, college students who meet the legal requirements are permitted to carry firearms on campus, but are forbidden to dress up as Christopher Columbus, Pocahontas, or Zorro. A distressed 21-year-old princeling whose emotions have been triggered – yes - by being asked to, oh, read a book or solve some engineering problems may lawfully carry a pistol while on his way to his coloring-book sensitivity therapy to express his existential outrage.

And citizens are arguing about Halloween.


The University Drama Club Presents... poem

Lawrence Hall

Look Back in Petulance

A Kitchen Microwave Drama
Featuring Angry Young Persons

Dramatis Personae:

Rainblossom – an existential performance artist

Skydream – a self-authenticating air-vegan

The stage is set as the world of our dreams, peopled with only the good who dream dreams and vision visions and, like, you know, and don’t eat our forest friends, and stuff. The actors are dressed in hand-dyed Colombian ruanas to represent The True.

Rainblossom –

I demand that you validate our soul!

Skydream –

As a cosmic sunbeam of otherness

I must not.

Rainblossom –
                             O where are my comic books?

Skydream –

They have been cleansed, just as my soul has sung
Unto the Cosmic Dissonance of love

Rainblossom –

Oh, Oh, Oh

Skydream –

                      Look, Look, Look

In unison –

                                                       A vision of…Truth

Rainblossom –

But our truth, not some other bogus truth

Skydream –

                                                                       Woke, Woke


The writers, cast, and crew of The Green Street Meadows Collective of Artists and Workers with Fists and Dreams and Words United Against the Occupation (Your Major Credit Card Welcome) neither need nor desire your cheap, shallow, bourgeois, sexist, racist applause to validate our existential worth. Be in awe, and then slink away in your individualist privileged guilt.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Mirror Heal'd from Side to Side poem

Lawrence Hall

The Mirror Heal'd from Side to Side

When a mirror looks
Into you, deep inside you
Does it see itself?

(An allusion to Tennyson’s “The Lady of Shalott”)

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

This is NOT the Age of Weinstein - poem

Lawrence Hall

Blah-Blah-ing in the Age of Blah-Blah-Blah

No, this is not The Age of: Hefner, Clinton,
Obama, Trump, Harvey, Putin, Kim, Xi
Trolls, polls, super bowls, or cinnamon rolls
Kurz, Kaepernick, Ginger, or Mary Ann

Nor yet again an Age of: Gold or lead
Bronze, pewter, silver, nickel, aluminum
Chrome, nichrome, copper, brass, titanium
Thallium, thorium, thulium, tin 1

This is the age of You, unless you insist
On claiming this the age of something else

1 Yes, I had to look all that up

Monday, October 16, 2017

Mother of Exiles - poem

Lawrence Hall

Mother of Exiles

Saint Mary’s Church of Frydek, San Felipe, and Sealy

The grasses of the coastal plain are still;
Across the road a summer field plowed under
Waits through October’s lingering heat for frosts
While the distant Interstate chants to itself

Our Lady of Frydek, Mother of Exiles!

First Nations, Spaniards, Mexicans, Czechs, Poles
Italians, Germans, English, Vietnamese

Have ended their pilgrimages here, with You
Where God has led them for His purposes

And here, dear brother, God has led you too
To wait with them, with Her, for history’s end

Which will be
The Beginning