Thursday, December 14, 2017

Hobo Jungle - poem

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

Hobo Jungle

It’s a jungle out there – across the road
A hoodie-man carrying a shopping bag
A turn, a thought, a blink, a pause – he’s gone
Like the silent lynx, disappeared among the trees

The stock market is up, the woods are dark
Beyond the lights, the refuge of lost men;
The old folks spoke of hobo jungles back when
Along the tracks, not near an office block

Beyond the glass, beyond the walls, beyond:
It’s a jungle out there – across the road

Christmas in Exile - column

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

Christmas in Exile

The citizens of William’s Harbour, Labrador, will not celebrate Christmas in their old homes because now, except as a geographical expression, there is no William’s Harbour.

The 1992 moratorium on cod fishing ended the island’s chief industry, and summer tourism and subsistence fishing and harvesting were not enough to sustain the small and aging community. The government of Newfoundland and Labrador (now there is a forced marriage) set out a schedule for ending all services and offered everyone compensation in exchange for the titles to their homes.

Beginning in August the people of the island began boarding the ferry with their household goods for new lives away. And now William’s Harbour is dark, and the ferry sails no more.

While governments compute in terms of housing stock – not homes – and budgets, those subject to the probably necessary decisions in St. John’s have said farewell to their homes, their fisheries, their trap lines, St. Andrew’s Church on its little hill, and the graves of their ancestors.

Resettlement in denotation is neutral; in connotation one is reminded of the many misuses of the word as a euphemism: the many Trails of Tears of the First Nations, the Hitlerian "resettlement to the east," the Communists' resettlement of peoples in every land that ideology has ever infected, Le Grand Derangement of the Acadians, and Smallwood's forced resettlement of people from Newfoundland's outports.

There were no soldiers with bayonets dragging the people of William’s Harbour out of their homes or forcing them onto boats, but still the thoughtful man or woman can only be uncomfortable with the destruction of a culture as well as the dislocation of individuals and families by the decisions of distant rulers.

And, after all, the rulers will be in their own warm homes this Christmas.

On Christmas Eve the exiles will find other churches for the liturgies, maybe even another St. Andrew’s, but it won’t be on their island. As they light the candles and sing the ancient hymns at midnight they will know that over their old church and over Mama and Papa’s graves there is only darkness, only silence, only the cold Atlantic winds.



          For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,
          Or busy housewife ply her evening care:
          No children run to lisp their sire's return,
          Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share.

-Gray, “Elegy in a Country Churchyard”

-30-



Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Saint Garden Gnome - poem

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com


Saint Garden Gnome

An obscure barefoot friar in Italy
Long labored in the Perugian sun,
Heaped rocks upon rocks, and then other rocks,
Up to a wavery roof of broken tiles,
Repairing with his bleeding hands God’s church

Then, better known – it wasn’t his fault – this friar,
With others in love with Lady Poverty,
In hope and penance trudged to far-off Rome
To offer there his modest Rule of life,
Repairing with his mindful words God’s Church

Along the delta of the steaming Nile
He waved away the worried pickets, crossed
Into the camp of the Saracens
Preaching Christ to merciful Al-Kamil,
Offering with a martyr’s heart God’s Faith

Saint Francis is depicted in fine art
In great museums and in modest homes -
And you can find him too, down at Wal-Mart,
Between the plastic frogs and concrete gnomes.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Hello Poetry - unreliable

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

Hello Poetry, aka HelloPoetry, He Po, and other unfortunate variants, is a free and enjoyable way of sharing poetry. Many of the submissions are, as one would expect, me-me-me-I-I-I free verse self pityings, but many others are thoughtful in content and artistic in construction. Given that verse has suffered a century-long decline in quality and appreciation as a part of popular culture, that any poetry is written at all is a marvel.

However, in the months I have participated in Hello Poetry the functionality of the site has been undependable – sometimes it has been down for days, and at other times it blocks submissions. Appeals to the webmaster are never answered.

Yesterday an attempt to post was blocked with a large “FORBIDDEN” and a code. Considering the possibility that my computer was infected or was sending false signals, I examined the system, cleaned the cookies, and backed up to several hours before the metaphorical wall was raised. Submissions were still blocked, and later, notes to other writers. This morning I attempted to submit via another computer in another location, and was again “FORBIDDEN.”

The site is free, and the webmaster may choose to accept or reject submissions as he wished, and I am free not to indulge erratic service and ill manners. My poor efforts will continue to be available on reactionarydrivel.blogspot.com (which is not really reactionary, though it may well be drivel).

Cheers,

Lawrence

Monday, December 11, 2017

Vouchsafest Thou? - just for fun

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

Vouchsafest Thou?

Do you enjoy the word "vouchsafe" as much
As I? It isn't as musical as the phrase
"Thence forward," or “joylich,” “leman,” and such
Or "confusticate" - who says that these days?

“Wherefore,” “abroche,” let us now celebrate
“Antic” English words: “aforetime,” “perforce”
“Slowcoach,” “freshet”, “befall” - at this late date?
And dear “daffadowndilley” (but of course!)

“Declaim,” “forsooth,” “marchwarden,” and “descry,”
And let us not forget the sweet “day’s-eye!”

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Upon Re-Reading Doctor Zhivago - poem

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

Upon Re-Reading Doctor Zhivago

for two friends

Love lost along abandoned railway lines,
Grave-cold, grave-still, grave-dark beneath dead snow,
A thousand miles of ashes, corpses, ghosts -
Sacrarium of a martyred civilization.

A silent wolf pads west across the ice,
The rotting remnant of a young man’s arm,
Slung casually between its pale pink jaws -
A cufflink clings to a bit of ragged cloth.

Above the wolf, the ice, the arm, the link
A dead star hangs, dead in a moonless sky,
It gives no light, there is no life; a mist
Arises from the clotted, haunted earth.

For generations the seasons in darkness slept,
Since neither love nor life were free to sing
The eternal hymns of long-forbidden spring -
And yet beneath the lies the old world sighs

The old world sighed in sudden ecstasy
A whispered resurrection of the truth
As tender stems ascended, pushed the stones
Aside, away into irrelevance.

And now golden sunflowers laugh with the sun
Like merry young lads in their happy youth
Coaxing an ox-team into the fields,
Showing off their muscles to merry young girls.

The men of steel are only stains of rust,
Discoloring fragments of broken drains,
As useless as the rotted bits of brass
Turned up sometimes by Uncle Sasha’s plow.

For this is Holy Russia, eternally young;
Over her wide lands high church domes bless the sky,
While Ruslan and Ludmilla bless the earth
With the songs of lovers in God’s eternal now.



(The 1965 movie version is brilliant, and the recent mini-series is good, but these worthy endeavors are but shadows of the novel.)

Saturday, December 9, 2017

On the Vigil of the Nativity - poem (still unsure re the title)

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

On the Vigil of the Nativity

In a Capuchin friary, on a wall
In faded letters from the long ago
A simple sign asks the casual visitor

            “Why Are You Here?”

And that’s a fair question; it always is
If I am in one place, I am not in another;
Unless someone has forced me otherwise
I have made a choice to be where I am

So why do I kneel here (and half asleep)
In a Stable, among cattle and sheep?

Friday, December 8, 2017

Pilgrimage Along the A1, from Peterborough to Chesterton - poem

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

Pilgrimage Along the A1

From Peterborough drops a road
Across the Fens, into the past
(Where wary wraiths still wear the woad);
It comes to Chesterton at last.

And we will walk along that track,
Or hop a bus, perhaps; you know
How hard it is to sling a pack
When one is sixty-old, and slow.

That mapped blue line across our land
Follows along a Roman way
Where Hereward the Wake made stand
In mists where secret islands lay.

In Chesterton a Norman tower
Beside Saint Michael’s guards the fields;
Though clockless, still it counts slow hours
And centuries hidden long, and sealed.

And there before a looted tomb,
Long bare of candles, flowers, and prayers,
We will in our poor Latin resume
Aves for old de Beauville’s cares.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

A Bitcoin for Your Thoughts? - column

Mack Hall, HSG
Mhall46184@aol.com

A Bitcoin for Your Thoughts?

Does anyone in our federal government do anything except call each other rude names and investigate each other? If we tell our children and grandchildren about the good old days when there were grownups in the White House and in Congress, the little kids will think we’re palming more Santa Claus yarns off on them.

“Once upon a time there were two fine men, President Reagan and Speaker of the House O’Neill, and although they didn’t agree about everything they respected each other and loved their country very much…”

+ + +

George P. Bush is Texas’ land commissioner and a fine man. His vision for preserving the physical elements of the history of our republic and now our state is brilliant. But he needs to shave. The Don Johnson / Justin Trudeau look is soooooooooooo 1970s.

+ + +

Hey, how about visiting San Francisco this year? If you are murdered in the streets the judge and jury will show their love for the murderer. For you, nothing.

+ + +

“Merry Christmas” has always been acceptable. I have never encountered any situation in which an organization declared “Merry Christmas” inappropriate. I keep reading about that on the GossipNet, and hearing about it from the druggie draft dodger on midday radio, and maybe banning “Merry Christmas” has happened, but I’ve never encountered it. Andy Williams, of happy memory, long ago recorded a song called “Happy Holidays,” and that’s fine too.

+ + +

Jim Nabors has died. Shazam! Citizen’s arrest! Citizen’s arrest! He was a great comic actor and a singer. You can find him, as PFC Gomer Pyle, singing “The Impossible Dream” before the Marine Corps orchestra on YouTube.

+ + +

Bitcoins – just remember the stories about magic beans and golden eggs.

+ + +

Like typewriters, passenger trains, short stories, radios, fountain pens, and telephones, wristwatches had a run of about a century. You seldom see them anymore.

Once upon people wore wristwatches; now they appear to have MePhones surgically attached to their hands.

+ + +

Hey, it’s ‘way past time to throw out the last of that Thanksgiving turkey. There’ll be more for Christmas!

-30-

Happy Merry Hallothanksmas - column

Mack Hall, HSG
Mhall46184@aol.com

Happy Merry Hallothanksmas

Halloween, an occasion of insanity for which no honest pagan would ever take credit, is long over, and we are now in a season not quite as bizarre.

Having suffered weeks of debates about who offered the first thanksgiving, and where, our attention is now turned (whether or not we wish it to be turned) to the next debate, The True Meaning of Christmas.

The four weeks prior to Christmas are the Christian season of Advent. Christmas properly begins on midnight on the 24th of December and ends with the Feast of Epiphany on the 6th of January.

But perhaps we should mention Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany only in the past tense.

These Christian seasons, along with All Saints and All Souls, have long been culturally censored by the Macy’s-Amazon Continuum, and organically recycled into one long distraction, Hallothanksmas. Some call it The Christmas Season, but this is the one thing it categorically is not. Hallothanksmas begins around the first of September and concludes with the beginning of Mardi Gras on December 26.

This cobbled-together season is honored in television shows about the Proletariat camping on the concrete outside Mega-Much-Big-Box stores the size of the Colosseum in Rome. At the appointed hour the electric bells ring out and an official opens the Gates of Consumer Heaven so that The People can crash against them and each other in a blood-sacrifice combining elements of the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona and a jolly good riot between the Greens and the Blues in Constantinople.

The modern Proletariat compete not for a crown of laurel or of gold, which moths and rust consumeth, but for the everlasting honor and street cred of purchasing a made-in-China television set (in the vernacular, a “flatscreen”) much like the ones they already have, no matter how many of their fellow worshippers must be wounded and killed for it.

The old Christian seasons were predicated on the salvation story, gratitude, and good, healthy merriment; Hallothanksmas is ornamented with casualty lists.

Although Hallothanksmas is mostly about consumption, theft, and violence, it is also marked with ritual meals for the survivors during which the liturgy of the word is to share gory narratives about past and anticipated surgeries and illnesses. Turkey and dressing are just not complete without a look at everyone’s laparotomy, appendectomy, and open-heart-surgery scars and detailed accounts of the children’s latest bowel movements.

But soon all this must end with the beginning of Mardi Gras and its joyful excesses and proud public exhibitions of projectile emesis.

And let The People say “Woo! Woo!” as they bow their heads reverently before their MePhones.

-30-

The Insolent Gas Pump - column

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

The Insolent Gas Pump

In the first episode of Get Smart (in glorious black-and-white) Agent Maxwell Smart’s shoe begins ringing like a solid old Bell telephone while he is at a concert (as in music, not existential yowling). The shoe-phone gag, complete with a large rotary dial, was sustained over the life of the series, along with many other logical and illogical gadgets.

Gadgets are fun – telephones, typewriters, Italian Army knives, illuminated magnifiers, barometers, cuckoo clocks, can openers, self-changing record players, the sort of technology that knows its place and doesn’t give itself airs.

But civilization comes to a skidding Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote stop with talking gas pumps that show movies.

Once upon a time when you wanted gas for your car you stopped at the filling station and a nice man wearing a Texaco shirt and a bowtie (miss you, George) filled your car’s tank and checked under the hood, whatever checking under the hood meant. In illo tempore a gallon of gas cost about the same as a cup of coffee, and, come to think of it, still does.

But now you have to get out of the car, produce a plastic card, and negotiate with the pump according to questions and instructions legible on the screen only when the sun is at exactly the right angle, usually around dawn on the the summer solstice.

And then the gas pump puts on a moving picture show. First, there’s the weather. Snow? I don’t think so. But the next day there was snow.

The other day there was a trivia quiz, followed some gossip about Miley Kardashian or somebody like that who’s going to marry the king of Crete, I think.

There was no Roadrunner cartoon or a John Wayne, so what’s the point of a talking gas pump with movies?

But here’s where things get awkward – you find yourself talking back to the gas pump.

This is one of those, like, you know, existential moments, and, like, when you pause midway through the journey of life and find yourself in a gloomy forest of gas pumps (it’s in Dante if you want to look it up).

When you find yourself arguing with a gas pump, you’ve reached an existential whatchamacallit.

Look, on my home planet you just don’t converse with gas pumps. Toasters, maybe. Thermostats, rarely, and only on general topics, like the weather.

But never gas pumps.

Gas pumps, because they light up and show you talking pictures, are like the tenant’s wife in Barchester Towers who now has a piano in the parlour and so feels free to address an archdeacon at the squire’s garden party as if they were social equals.

We just can’t have that.

The next time the gas pump talks to me I’m going to keep my responses polite but just this side of curt.

You know Curt; we all went to school together.

Talking gas pumps. Harrumph. What next – will the coffee maker begin exchanging gossip with the microwave?

-30-

"Found a Dead Body This Mornin' Early" - poem

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

“Found a Dead Body This Mornin’ Early”

Rainy and cold. Breakfast at the café
Early. Warm inside. Windows all steamy
Still dark. That first cup of thank-God coffee
Sausages, eggs, and wheat toast on the way

An old friend walks in. Hangs up his wet coat
“Coffee, please. Pancakes.”
                                                  “Are you off to work?
How about that early project?”
                                                  “Naw, I’m done

Think I’ll go home and hit the recliner;
Found a dead body this mornin’ early”

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Talking Gas Pump Down at the Conoco - poem

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

Premium Leaded, Leaded, News, and Weather -
The Talking Gas Pump Down at the Conoco

The talking gas pump down at the Conoco
“Please enter your zip code and press the pound”
Says the temp will be thirty tomorrow
“Will this purchase be credit or debit?”

And that snow is a possibility
“Please remove nozzle and select product”
And that we must watch the road conditions
“Begin fueling now (beep beep beep beep beep)”

In a whisper:

But that’s the number 6 pump saying so,
And that one acts all weird in Bible class

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The Plane, the Mist, and the Moon - poem

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com


The Plane, The Mist, and the Moon

An evening walk: a plane, its vapour trails
All golden in the setting sun, sails west
A rising mist on darkening fields below
Creeps Grendel-ish along the forest line

And framed in branches skeletal, the moon
Observes and rules all in the chilling dusk
Without a wind dry oak leaves stir about
And then are still again, and no one knows

Disparate thoughts on a quiet evening walk
Along with the airplane, the mist, the moon

Monday, December 4, 2017

On an Inscription from Katya to Gary in a Pushkin Anthology Found in a Used-Book Sale - poem

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

On an Inscription from Katya to Gary
in a Pushkin Anthology Found in a Used-Book Sale

Whatever happened to Katya and Gary?
Their names appear in an anthology
Of Pushkin in a nifty Everyman
Astray on a table of orphaned books

One hopes they read those sweet words each to each
Over Blue Mountain in a coffee shop
Forgetting to feed the parking meter
While planning lives of meaning, deep and rich

Or is each but a memory to the other -
Whatever happened to Katya and Gary?

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Advent Remains Unoccupied - poem

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

Advent Remains Unoccupied

Advent remains at peace, unoccupied
There are no Advent trees to buy or steal
No seasonally-discounted lingerie
No Advent hymns background the lite-beer ads

At Mass: a wreath, a candle every week
And music set to God, not to the sales;
The missal now begins again, page one
And through the liturgy so too do we

Almost no one notices this season, and thus
Advent remains at peace, unoccupied

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Dreams Ride the Rails like Hoboes from the Past - poem

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

An Empty, Rusting Boxcar

This day will be just like so many others
An empty rusting boxcar creaking and grinding
Along behind other rusting boxcars
And followed by yet more rusting boxcars

Along a railway line from nowhere to nowhere
Across far plains, dry, featureless, and void
Dreams ride the rails like hoboes from the past
But they never seem to arrive anywhere

An empty rusting boxcar creaking and grinding
This night will be just like so many others

Friday, December 1, 2017

Historic Presidential Tweets

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

The President Tweeted his Outrage

The tweeter of the free world tweets:
Speak loudly and carry a big tweet
54-40 or tweet
We have nothing to tweet but tweet itself

The twitteral of democracy
Ask not what your tweetry can do for you
We must dare to be tweet
The future doesn’t belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the tweet

Government of the tweet, by the tweet, for the tweet
I know in my heart that man is tweet

But now - the tweet stops here




(In context “tweet” and “twitter” might be copyrighted terms, although just why anyone would copyright baby noises is a concept that eludes the thoughtful.)

Thursday, November 30, 2017

A Pilgrim Out of Time - poem

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

A Pilgrim Out of Time

A frail old man bent with the weight of his pack -
He seemed to be carrying a long-dead world
From around 1967 or so
Or maybe he was still looking for truth

Slowly, slowly along the diagonal
Beneath the traffic lights where eight lanes cross
But his strange trail led through another world
And of our reverence for him we paused for him

His journey was his own, his own, alone
That frail old man bent with the weight of his past

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Ye Olde All-Natural Organic Cleverly-Named Rustic Soap Purveyors, Ltd. - poem

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

Ye Olde All-Natural Organic Cleverly-Named Rustic Soap Purveyors, Ltd.

Our licensed soap-istas take dried wasp-poop
And whatever stuff the hay-baler missed
And through our hand-made, slow-cold processes
Crank out our pure, adjective-cluttered soaps

Sustainable, certified, organic
we harvest trashy ditch water legally
And extra-virgin jimpson weeds (so extra-
virgin they’ve never been out on a date)

We’re your natural neighbors; your major
credit card welcome
                                  (but, psssst, it’s just soap)

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Suburban Christianity - poem

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

Suburban Christianity

“I have no window to look into another man’s soul.”
-attributed to St. Thomas More and others

O pray in silence at the foot the Cross
In humility before the Altar of God
The ancient usages honored aright
Befitting the dignity of His Church

And place all hopes and sorrows quietly there
Along with any haloes, skipping the selfies
And the waving moments of look-at-me
He knows, you know, so let the drama go

Suburban Christianity? Well, yes:
Golgotha is a suburb of Heaven

Monday, November 27, 2017

The Cruise of the Sun - poem

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

The Cruise of the Sun

To say goodbye to good old Sol as he
Slips west beyond the trees and sails away
Is not an errant childhood sentiment,
For his appointed tasks are dutiful

Pacing the planet like a sailor on watch,
Seeing to the safety of every space.
His battle-lantern can be seen aloft
From California to those lonely isles

Where pirates’ bones lie mouldering on the beach,
And then to far Nippon and old Cathay
To watch obscure philosophers brush verse.
A course steered west above the Hindu Kush

He notes that India is still in place.
The solar voyage continues at best speed
Above the desolate plain where now-ruined Troy
Once stood defiantly against the Greeks

For the allure of glory transient.
A meander above the Meander
Soon leads to noble, marbled Italy
Where art and wine and Latium’s dark-eyed arts

Beguile the world with visions of the eternal.
The Mediterranean beneath his keel,
Sol courses the Pillars of Hercules
And singing, soars above the Atlantic

The cold, austere Atlantic, deep blue tomb
Of shadowy civilizations ancient
Before Atlantis was born, when the Nile
Flowed as a shaded brook ‘neath forests green

The sun soars west, to where he’s happiest,
And that is wherever you happen to be;
And when at dawn he sails back home again,
He brings you a present - light from a star.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Heaves of Gas - a lapse into free verse

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

Heaves of Gas

I sing the bodiless electronic
Manly working man blank verse flannel shirt
All gone now
Pajamas and video games
Cupcake competitions instead of schoolyard tug-o’-war
A gap-toothed grilled-cheese sandwich singing under the sea
Bi-polar bears alt.yawn Revolutionary Proletarian Art with Selfie Sticks
Banana Daiquiri Republic
Must be nice to be a thinker all great
Adored by all, and subsidized by the state
Made in Nicaragua by free-range artisans, I think
Re-Presentation
Rhinestone tattoo flipflopped knee-pantsies and a cartoon tee
Die, Webinar, Die
Up the Revolution you can’t make me clean my room
Machine against the rage on the cosmic app
Renewable green sanctions
Double-double boil and bubble a froth’ed mocha decaf with a tinkling of
      Cinnamon
We are the drones we have been waiting for

Saturday, November 25, 2017

High Noon at the Bird Feeder - a Dachshund and a Squirrel - poem

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

High Noon at the Bird Feeder

A little dog, a streak of dachshund red,
Across the grass speeds to a squirrel’s doom
She wants its blood, she wants its flesh, she wants it dead;
Ripped, shredded, and torn; it will need no tomb.

The fat old squirrel, a fluff of forest grey,
Is unimpressed by doggie dementia;
To Liesl’s grief he leaps and climbs away -
Never underestimate the Order Rodentia!

Liesl’s squirrel clings to a low-hanging limb
And rattles abuse at the angry pup
Who spins and barks and spins and barks at him
Laughing among the leaves, and climbing higher up.

So Liesl snorts and sneers, and marks the ground;
She accepts not defeat, nor lingers in sorrow;
For Liesl and squirrel it’s their daily round;
They’ll go it again, same time tomorrow.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Borodin: On the Steppes of Central Asia - poem

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

Borodin: On the Steppes of Central Asia

Lost in a remote province of the mind
A youth attends to the cheap gramophone
Again: On the Steppes of Central Asia,
A recording by a mill town orchestra
Of no repute. But it is magic still:

While washing his face and dressing for work
In a clean, pressed uniform of defeat,
For ten glorious minutes he is not
A function, a shop-soiled proletarian
Of no repute. Beyond the landlord’s window,

Beyond the power lines and the pot-holed street,
He searches dawn’s horizons with wary eyes
For wild and wily Tartars, horsemen out
To blood the caravans for glory and gold.
A youth greets the day as he truly is:

A cavalryman, a soldier of the Czar,
Whose uniform is glorious with victory.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Merry Hallothanksmas - column

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

Happy Merry Hallothanksmas

Halloween, an occasion of insanity for which no honest pagan would ever take credit, is long over, and we are now in a season not quite as bizarre.

Having suffered weeks of debates about who offered the first thanksgiving, and where, our attention is now turned (whether or not we wish it to be turned) to the next debate, The True Meaning of Christmas.

The four weeks prior to Christmas are the Christian season of Advent. Christmas properly begins on midnight on the 24th of December and ends with the Feast of Epiphany on the 6th of January.

But perhaps we should mention Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany only in the past tense.

These Christian seasons, along with All Saints and All Souls, have long been culturally censored by the Macy’s-Amazon Continuum, and organically recycled into one long distraction, Hallothanksmas. Some call it The Christmas Season, but this is the one thing it categorically is not. Hallothanksmas begins around the first of September and concludes with the beginning of Mardi Gras on December 26.

This cobbled-together season is honored in television shows about the Proletariat camping on the concrete outside Mega-Much-Big-Box stores the size of the Colosseum in Rome. At the appointed hour the electric bells ring out and an official opens the Gates of Consumer Heaven so that The People can crash against them and each other in a blood-sacrifice combining elements of the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona and a jolly good riot between the Greens and the Blues in Constantinople.

The modern Proletariat compete not for a crown of laurel or of gold, which moths and rust consumeth, but for the everlasting honor and street cred of purchasing a made-in-China television set (in the vernacular, a “flatscreen”) much like the ones they already have, no matter how many of their fellow worshippers must be wounded and killed for it.

The old Christian seasons were predicated on the salvation story, gratitude, and good, healthy merriment; Hallothanksmas is ornamented with casualty lists.

Although Hallothanksmas is mostly about consumption, theft, and violence, it is also marked with ritual meals for the survivors during which the liturgy of the word is to share gory narratives about past and anticipated surgeries and illnesses. Turkey and dressing are just not complete without a look at everyone’s laparotomy, appendectomy, and open-heart-surgery scars and detailed accounts of the children’s latest bowel movements.

But soon all this must end with the beginning of Mardi Gras and its joyful excesses and proud public exhibitions of projectile emesis.

And let The People say “Woo! Woo!” as they bow their heads reverently before their MePhones.

-30-

Black Friday - Human Lives at Deep Discounts - poem

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

Black Friday: Because Humanity was Created
for the Buy-One-Get-Two Sale

When the last American has exhausted
The last extension on the last credit card
The last order is dropped by the last drone:
The last electronic talking flashlight

The last Your Team’s Name Goes Here baseball cap
With the patented adjust-o-matic
Sizing strap that will be the envy of
All the ‘way cool guys in the neighborhood -

Will then the drones be ordered far away
To search for credit on other planets?

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

A Sentimental and Heartfelt Thanksgiving Poem

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com


Thanksgiving – It’s All About Family

Relatives are why
There are dead-bolts fitted to
All the inside doors

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Gone to Glory Wearing a Beer Advert - poem

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

Gone to Glory Wearing a Beer Advert

Found by a walker wandering through the woods:
Fragments of flesh, and bitten bits of bones
An ankle joint still jammed into a shoe
Sporting a checkmark, a fashionable sneak

And his tee-shirt, boasting a famous beer,
Unread in those months among the leaf-mold
As lonely winds and seasons passed over him
And the name brands abandoned to the mists

He’s gone to glory wearing a beer advert
And no one knows what any of that means

Monday, November 20, 2017

A Processional with MePhones - poem

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

A Processional with MePhones

From an idea suggested by Anthony Germain,
The Duke of Suffix after the Order of Scrabble©™

In greeting students on their way to class
One speaks only to the tops of their heads
As they process in ‘tudes of ‘umble prayer
In silence each bowing to her small god

(Or “his” as the gendered pronoun might be)
Speaking to no one, detached from the world
Navigating as does the sightless bat
By strange sensations known only to them

One ‘phone, one soul – that is the ratio
And each dull brain stilled ever in statio

Sunday, November 19, 2017

"We Use Cookies to Track Usage and Preferences" - poem

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

“We Use Cookies to Track Usage and Preferences”

About Clever Us, the Magazine of Poetry and Thinky-ness

We print free verse about revolution
And deconstructing colonialism
The power and urgency of the story
Post-masculine dystopia redeemed

Visit our online submission system
Against the occupation resistance
As activist performance artisans
Who shape our unconventions for ourselves

Fists of ink against oppressionism
And that is why we track your usage

Saturday, November 18, 2017

In a Wheelchair - His Body Mostly Broken

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

The Finest Health Care System in the World

In a wheelchair – his body mostly broken:
“I wish I could go fishing. I was a welder.
How long’s that doctor going to be? I’m tired.
I just don’t know how I can pay for this.

“I was doing okay ‘til I fell and broke my back.
Thirty-seven surgeries, would you believe it?
And my arm too. This catheter’s infected.
The last doctor just wouldn’t take it out.

“My Workman’s Comp’s all gone. I just don’t know.”
In a wheelchair – his body mostly broken




Culled from a waiting-room conversation (mostly a monologue)

Friday, November 17, 2017

A Ritual is Never Hollow - poem

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

A Ritual is Never Hollow

A ritual is never hollow; sweet words,
Happy ancient words from the dawn of time,
Sung through the air, refreshing as a waterfall
Discovered at dusk on a marching day:

A ploughman bidding his beads to Jerusalem
A child who’d rather not sit still during Mass
A holy sister hymning along the Rhine
A wise man seeking still that elusive Star

Heal chaos through their living in the Hours -
Oh, no – a ritual is never hollow

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Super-Golly-Gee-Whiz Dog Food as Advertised on the Radio - poem

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

The Super-Golly-Gee-Whiz Dog Food as Advertised on the Radio

O Alpha and Omega 3 Fish Oil
Now leach into Pup’s liver with great lust
Bring Old Blue’s lycopene to a steamy boil
Resurrect my beagle, O, yes, you must!

O fatty magnesiumed manganese
Seep into Fluffy’s geriatric joints
Pureed from a genuine Portuguese
(Lusitanian flesh never disappoints)

Heart arrhythmia, rashes, and lumbag-eeh-oh -
Trust your pet’s health to an ad on the radio!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

A Rosary from Jasna Gora - poem

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

A Rosary from Jasna Gora

For, as always, Our Lady of Czestochowa
and for Kirk Briggs

A little string of wooden gift shop beads
Each bead a hymn along the pilgrimage
From Nazareth to Bethlehem to - to us
Praying again the Angel’s greeting-song

A hymn of the universe sung and told,
And written 1 by Saint Luke upon a board
From the Table where all have come to share
Both feast and Feast, until the world shall end

O Lady of the Mountain Bright, please bless
Us through these humble wooden gift shop beads

1 In Orthodoxy an ikon is said to be written

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Moonlight Saving Time - poem

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

Moonlight Saving Time

Oh, let the moonlight
Fall upon the leaves, and through
The leaves, upon…you

Monday, November 13, 2017

After The Soviet Revolution - poem

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

More Former People

You see them, sometimes, lurking in the shadows
Slipping away furtively, trying not to be seen
They’d rather clutch a volume of Dostoyevsky
Than try to act like good, plain, honest folks

They always thought they were something special
Always thinking about stuff, reading books
Not chanting the day’s slogans when they’re told
Not joining in, still thinking the old thoughts

We don’t need them. Our Leader will provide
You see us, sometimes, dying for ration cards

Sunday, November 12, 2017

A Visitor from Canada - poem

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

A Visitor from Canada

Across the border she discreetly slipped
Not bothering the ICE with paperwork
They’ve got enough to do in their little booths:
“And is this visit for business or for pleasure?”

So here she is, on a bright five-pence piece
All elegant in profile, crowned and just,
Mistaken for a democratic dime
In a handful of republican change

What really is the reason for her visit?
To ‘mind us of our own nobility

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Remembrance Day / Veterans' Day, 2017 - The Library of Alexandria in Our Seabags

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

The Library of Alexandria in Our Seabags

…in the army…(e)very few days one seemed to meet a scholar, an original,
 a poet, a cheery buffoon, a raconteur, or at the very least a man of good will”

-C. S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy

The barracks was our university
So too the march, the camp, the line for chow
McKuen shared our ham and lima beans
John Steinbeck helped with cleaning guns and gear

(You’re not supposed to call your rifle a gun)

The Muses Nine were usually given a miss
But not Max Brand or Herman Wouk
Cowboys and hobbits and hippie poets
And a suspicious Russian or two

Tattered paperbacks jammed into our pockets:
All the world was our university

Friday, November 10, 2017

Remembrance Day / Veterans' Day - 8, If Wars were Subject to Copyright

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

If Wars were Subject to Copyright

If wars were subject to a copyright -
Then candidates would have to pay a fee
Each time they appeal to the glorious past
When standing for the election, the proceeds
To fall like bloody manna on the dead
Who can never cash the checks anyway

If wars were subject to a copyright -
Then Hollywood movies should pay their dues
Whenever a bold-scripted commando,
Body-waxed muscles glistening with makeup,
Advances up Hamburger-Helper Hill
With a patriotic song on his lipstick

If wars were subject to a copyright –
The generals’ memoirs, the admirals’, too,
Would pay to lighten the blighted young lives
Of soul-fragmented lads whose pain and blood
Gave the air-conditioned another star
And unctuous applause at the officers’ club

If wars were subject to a copyright -
The President would have to pay his bill
Each time he banged the lectern for a war,
The glorious dux bellorum dux-ing
From the rear, while a squadron of pigs fly
Above, powered by pixie-dust and dreams

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Remembrance Day / Veterans' Day - 7, Something About Life

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

Remembrance Day / Veterans' Day - 7
 
Something About Life

Strelnikov: “What will you do in Varykino?”
Yuri: “Live. Just live.”

-Doctor Zhivago

The plane lifted, and the cheering was wild
And at that happy moment the pilot said
“We are now clear of Vietnamese
Territorial waters.” There was joy,
Even wilder cheering for most, and quiet
Joy for a few. For one, Karamazov
To hand, peace, and infinite gratitude.
“I’m alive,” he said to himself and to God,
“Alive. I will live, after all.” To read, to write,
Simply to live. Not for revolution,
Whose smoke poisons the air, not for the war,
Not to withdraw into that crippling self-pity
Which is the most evil lotus of all,
But to live. To read, to write.
                                                 But death comes,
Then up the Vam Co Tay, or now in bed,
Or bleeding in a frozen February ditch;
Death comes, scorning our frail, feeble, failing flesh,
But silent then at the edge of the grave,
For all graves will be empty, not in the end,
But in the very beginning of all.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Remembrance Day / Veterans' Day - 6, Ever England

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

Ever England

Brave Hurricanes and Spits still claw and climb
Far up into the English summer sky
At the lingering end of a golden time
As wild young lads and aging empires die

The Hood and Rodney still the Channel guard
Against the strident Men of Destiny
Then shellfire falls; the helm is over hard
But the brave old ships keep the Narrow Sea

Dear Grandpa and the boys sport thin tin hats
In Sunday afternoon’s invasion drill
Gram says he’s too damned old for all of that
But she too smells the smoke of Abbeville

Faith does not pass with ephemeral time:
Brave Hurricanes and Spits still claw and climb

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Remembrance Day / Veteran's Day - 5, For the War Correspondents Who Get it Right

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

Ash Wednesday in Libya

For Anthony Germain of the CBC

The wisdom of the desert is dispersed
Among the industrial monuments
To mechanized murder, wireless chaos,
And war-porn for touch-screen degenerates

On this Ash Wednesday night while smoky flares
Obscure, with false, flickering fumes, the stars
God sent to dance above those ancient lands,
You choke and weep among the ashes of

More victims of pale Herod’s shopping trips.
So of your kindness grant that we, your friends,
May wear your ashes for you on this night,
For you, a truth-teller among the liars,

And for the weary innocents who flee
The ashes of their burnt and blasted world

Monday, November 6, 2017

Remembrance Day / Veterans' Day - 4, Beaumont-Hamel, 1916

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

Come Laughing Home at Twilight

Beaumont-Hamel, 1916

And, O! Wasn’t he just the Jack the Lad,
A’swellin’ down the Water Street as if –
As if he owned the very paving stones!
He was my beautiful boy, and, sure,
The girls they thought so too: his eyes, his walk;
A man of Newfoundland, my small big man,
Just seventeen, but strong and bold and sure.

Where is he now? Can you tell me? Can you?

Don’t tell me he was England’s finest, no –
He was my finest, him and his Da,
His Da, who breathed in sorrow, and was lost,
They say, lost in the fog, among the ice.
But no, he too was killed on the first of July
Only it took him months to cast away,
And drift away, far away, in the mist.

Where is he now? Can you tell me? Can you?

I need no kings nor no Kaisers, no,
Nor no statues with fine words writ on’em,
Nor no flags nor no Last Post today:
I only want to see my men come home,
Come laughing home at twilight, boots all mucky,
An’ me fussin’ at ‘em for being’ late,
Come laughing home at twilight...

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Remembrance Day / Veterans' Day - 3, Bad Morning,Viet-Nam - poem

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

Remembrance Day / Veterans' Day 3

Bad Morning, Viet-Nam

No music calls a teenager to war;
There is no American Bandstand of death,
No bugles sound a glorious John Wayne charge
For corpses floating down the Vam Co Tay

No rockin’ sounds for all the bodies bagged
No “Gerry Owen” to accompany
Obscene screams in the hot, rain-rotting night.
Bullets do not whiz. Mortars do not crump.

There is no rattle of musketry.
The racket and the horror are concussive.
Men – boys, really – do not choose to die,
“Willingly sacrifice their lives,” that lie;

They just writhe in blood, on a gunboat deck
Painted to Navy specifications.


(Note re news from Texas and California: How bitterly ironic that attending religious services in the USA is now as dangerous as combat.)

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Remembrance Day / Veterans' Day 2 - Would You Like a Downgrade? - poem

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

Remembrance Day / Veterans' Day 2

Would You Like a Downgrade?

I.
“Everything I own I’m carrying on my back,”
A shipmate said wonderingly that last day
In the recruit barracks. And it was so:
Two sets of dungarees, one pair of shoes,
Two sets of Undress Blue and then one set
Of Dress Blue B, one pair of sneaks, one pair
Of this, more sets of that, a ditty bag
Of Personal Hygiene Articles,
Officially and carefully approved,
All in a new seabag.
                                      It was enough.
How much does a man need in order to die?

II.
And now we carry mortgages, jobs, books,
Televisions, cars, hunting rifles, clocks,
Lawnmowers, bills, Sunday suits,
Monday shoes,
Plastic boxes that light up and make noise,
Fences that need repair, cats to the vet,
Air conditioners, chainsaws, queen-sized beds,
Closets that need sorting out, chests of drawers
Of things we never needed anyway,
Cameras, clawhammers, pens, reading lamps,
Scissors, and writing paper.
                                               It is too much.
How much does a man need in order to live?

Friday, November 3, 2017

Remembrance Day / Veterans' Day - 1

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

Remembrance Day / Veterans' Day - 1
 
Midwatch and Matins - Recruit Training, San Diego

In youth

Awakened by another sailor, one stands
A sleepy watch, leggings and dungarees,
A Springfield rifle at right-shoulder arms,
A-yawn, awash in midnight fog to guard
A clothesline of national importance

In age

Brought now to sudden weary wakefulness
By those eternal mysteries we muse,
Bereft by noisy day’s false comforts, we
Begin the nocturnal lessons of truth
Because some nights we must stand watch again.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

The Russians are Burying Secret Spy Underwear all over America - column (a weak one, I'm afraid)

Mack Hall, HSG
Mhall46184@aol.com

The Russians are Burying Secret Spy Underwear all over America

England’s Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/11/02/farmers-urged-bury-underpants-improve-quality-beef/) advises us that if you want to know how good your soil is for farming and ranching, bury your undies.

Presumably the farmer owns a spare pair.

Okay, this all sounds wholly Texas A & M-ish, but in England and Scotland farmers bury their cotton unmentionables about the place and then dig them up two months later. If the garment is bio-degraded then the soil is full of bacteria and worms and bugs and sophomores, and so healthy for crops.

If the short-shorts are intact, that bit of land is not the best place for disposing of the body.

The object for soil-testing must be cotton, and none of yer laboratory Frankenstein materials.

This agricultural news comes to you from England, Scotland, and California. The California variant is that they bury a World Series pennant and dig it up after a year.

+ + +

Canada has a new Governor General, and when you observe her mannerisms and hear her speech (http://www.macleans.ca/opinion/julie-payette-takes-on-junk-science-and-tests-the-limits-of-her-job-title/?utm_source=nl&utm_medium=em&utm_campaign=mme_daily), you will be grateful that governors general no longer enjoy any real power.

The new Governor General and our President will probably be twooter Space Invaders combatants pretty soon: “Stand by photon torpedoes, Mr. Scott!”

By the way, the new GG is an astronaut. For real. She has some super accomplishments on her resume’, but this loopy, chiding, Ms. Grundy-ish first speech is awkward.

+ + +

This week I have concluded that “fake news” means any information that makes me unhappy, “Fascist” is anyone who disagrees with me, “Communist” is anyone who disagrees with me more, anything that is wrong in this nation is the fault of the Russians and / or the Ukrainians, and that for our executive and legislative branches of government name-calling and twooting abuse at each other on the InterGossip like 12-year-olds is what passes for civic discourse.

Given this crisis of confidence in the Republic, I, like any good American, have this 501C question to ask of the world: where do I sign up to be bribed by the Russians and / or Ukrainians?

-30-

A Bourgeois Committee Admiring Itself - poem

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com


A Bourgeois Committee Admiring Itself

A Cautionary Tale for Secessionists

The way of republics is to fall apart
Because without history, Altar, and Throne
A government is but a little boy’s blocks
Kicked over and aside upon a mood

A culture is poetry, and melodies that live
And flow with the waters, stories of kings,
Farmers and workers proud upon the land
Their heads bowed nobly when the Angelus rings

These truths make a people royal, not subject to
A bourgeois committee admiring itself

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

"It Could Have Been Worse" / New York City, 31 October 2017 - poem

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

“It Could Have Been Worse”

New York City, 31 October 2017

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families
copycat we are Something Strong we are
not afraid plow into mowed down it could
have been worse the new normal lone wolf we

will not change the way we live our thoughts
and prayers are with the families copycat
we are Something Strong we are not afraid
plow into mowed down: “it could have been worse…”

Oh, newsman, how could it could have been worse
For the eight innocents murdered in the street?

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Last Sunday after Pentecost - poem

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com


Last Sunday after Pentecost

A calling-crow-cold sky ceilings the world,
Lowering the horizon to itself
All silvery and grey upon the fields
Of pale, exhausted, dry-corn-stalk summer

The earth is tired, the air is cold, the dawn
False-promises nothing but an early dusk
As calling-cold-crows crowd the world with noise,
Loud-gossiping from tree to ground to sky

Soon falling frosts and fields of ice will fold
Even those fell, foolish fowls into the depths
Of dark creek bottoms where dim ancient oaks
Hide darkling birds from wild blue northern winds

Crows squawk of Advent disapprovingly,
For Advent-autumn drifts to Christmastide
When all the good of the seasonal year
Then warms and charms the house, the hearth, the heart.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Poetry of the Occupation - poem

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

Poetry of the Occupation

“…trained in the politics of the day, believing the great new system
invented by a genius so great that they never bothered to verify its results.”

-John Steinbeck, The Moon is Down

Political poetry occupies the streets
Brakes squealing to a stop before an idyll
Squads of inclusive wordtroopers disembark
Into our souls to force submission and love

Armed with warrants and inquisitions
The bills of indictment already drawn
Needing only a tap upon a screen
To serve in the office of a signature

And sensitive to death the personal life -
Political poetry occupies the streets

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Vaches Sans Frontieres - poem

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

Vaches Sans Frontières

An American
Cow goes “Moo.” A Canadian
Cow goes “Eh.”    Merci.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

That Happy Little Dachshund Dance - poem

Lawrence Hall
mall46184@aol.com

That Happy Little Dachshund Dance

All dachshunds dance their days in happiness
And shake their bodies, tails, and ears about
And thank their humans every doggie day
With puppy kisses and yappings of joy:

     For cats to chase, for beds to muss
     For grassy lawns on which to play
     Hoovers to bark – oh, what a fuss!
     And your pillow at the end of day

For dogs still live in Eden, and that is why
All dachshunds dance their days in happiness

Friday, October 27, 2017

Dry Well - poem

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

Dry Well

A Gift from Fort Apache Energy, Inc.

“We will be drilling with a fresh water mud system
which has no environmental impact.”

- Allan P. Bloxsom III, President

As woodland creatures shy until the dark
Drift as a silent blessing through the trees
At dusk some sad folk gather ‘round the wounds
Gored geometrically into the ground
A palisade of wood and water and earth
Now guarding nothing but pale desolation:
A pond of death whose hydrocarbon sheen
In corpselike stillness entertains no life
A sewerage ditch bedecked with human turds
A dumpster skip piled high with promises
Piles of unidentified white powder
An unattended garbage fire, a shirt
Some bolts, planks, screws, sandwich wraps, cigarette butts
A cargo cult of curiosities
Liturgically in statio around The Hole
That venerable new hole, that hole of hope
That fabled argosy laden with dreams
That fell into the depths, and never returned
At dawn a tower stood, adorned with lights
By dusk it was folded, and stolen away
Like the long-storied tents of Araby
Or a Roman camp in the Teutoburg
Abandoned among the darkening woods
For the curious primitives to poke
And prod about, chattering in their tongue
About the marvels of a superior race
Who make no environmental impact.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Have You Seen my Browning? - column

Lawrence Hall
Mhall46184@aol.com

Have You Seen my Browning?

…in the army…(e)very few days one seemed to meet a scholar, an original,
 a poet, a cheery buffoon, a raconteur, or at the very least a man of good will”

-C. S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy

Field Marshal Viscount Wavell G.C.B., G.C.S.I., G.C.I.E, C.M.G, M.C. was a remarkable man. He lost an eye in the First World War…let us amend that: young Major Wavell did not carelessly misplace his eye; it was blown away by German mischief in the 2nd Battle of Ypres in 1915.

Wavell remained in the army and served as a liaison officer in Russia (he was fluent in Russian as well as Urdu, Pashtun, and Persian), and then in combat against the Turks in Palestine. During the Second World War, with inadequate forces and supplies, he led brilliant campaigns against the Italians in East Africa and against the Italians and Germans in North Africa. Posted to lead the Allied defense against the triumphant Japanese in the Far East, he was given the blame for an impossible situation, and sent to India as Governor-General.

In India, toward the end of his life, Wavell was persuaded by friends to collect and edit his favorite poems into a book.

Wavell loved poetry and could recite hundreds of poems from memory like many people raised without the curse of glowing screens (your scrivener heard Robert T. Holmes of Kirbyville, Texas, a farmer and a practical man, well into his seventies, recite John Milton’s “When I Consider How my Life is Spent” over coffee one morning).

As Wavell quotes from an obscure play, The Story of Hassan of Bagdan, and How He Came to Make the Journey to Samarkand:

      Caliph: Ah, if there shall ever arise a nation whose people have forgotten poetry or whose poets   
      have forgotten the people, though they send their ships around Taprobane and their armies across
      the hills of Hindustan, though their city be greater than Babylon of old, though they mine a league
      into earth or mount to the stars on wings–what of them?

      Hassan: They will be a dark patch upon the world.


Wavell’s anthology, with the unfortunate title Other Men’s Flowers, was published in 1944, and continues to be available. A better title might be Manly Poetry for Manly Men, for that is mostly what it is. Modern critics savage Other Men’s Flowers, which in itself is a good reason for reading it, for here one will not find the pallid, self-pitying, free verse, me-me-me, I, I, I wallowings that (for now) have supplanted poetry.

Other Men’s Flowers is divided into nine sections containing hundreds of poems, mostly English, Irish, Scots, Canadian, and Empire, with a few token Americans and a very few women, so we can’t have that, eh. But then Wavell was putting together what was important to himself and to brave men he knew, not for the ovine credential harvesters of seventy years later. Wavell gives us Belloc, Kipling, Shakespeare, Wilde, Browning, Chesterton, Masefield, Kipling, McCrae, Buchan, Emerson, Fitzgerald, Burns, Macauley, Sassoon, Byron, Shelley, Keats, Housman, Stevenson, Scott, Yeats, Milton, and dozens of others whose work proudly occupied bookshelves and kitchen tables and backpacks before the sorrows of 1968 vetoed civilization.

And about Browning. The phrase “When someone speaks to me of culture, I want to de-cock my Browning” appears in a German play of the early 1930s, but is often credited to Hermann Goering or some other Nazi oaf. In 1942, when the Japanese were expected to invade India from Burma at any moment, Wavell is said to have asked someone to help him find his Browning. The aide looked everywhere for the field marshal’s pistol, and couldn’t find it. But the field Marshal was wearing his pistol; what he wanted was his copy of the poems of Robert Browning.

Now there was a soldier. Does one consider that any member of the current British or U.S. governments would understand any of that?

Not that every man appreciates poetry. Wavell says of his boyhood:

     Horatius…was the earliest poem I got by heart. Admiring aunts used to give me threepence for
     reciting it from beginning to end; a wiser uncle gave me sixpence for a promise to do nothing of
     the kind.

-30-

The First Blast of a Metaphorical Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of the Culture of IPhonery - sort of a poem not really maybe kinda

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

The First Blast of a Metaphorical Trumpet Against
the Monstrous Regiment of the Culture of IPhonery

A Statement Solo and a Response Choral in Existential Whine Mode

Solo: Before we end for today – do begin thinking about a topic for your research paper due in December.

Chorus: I don’t understand…but you said...are you talking about the persuasive essay…what does “expository” mean…oh, this is not expository…but we’ve never written a persuasive paper…is this the persuasive research paper you’re talking about…what is the difference between “expository” and “persuasive”…but what are we going to write about…I mean like why don’t you give us a topic…I don’t understand…when is this due…but that’s the pro and con, right…it’s not…but you said…what does “bibliography” mean…so when is this due…but how many pages…so you just want the bibliography and the first page…I don’t know what you mean by a thesis that can be argued either way…I don’t understand why you don’t give us a topic…I’m confused…what do you want us to write about…but when is this due… I don’t understand…but you said...are you talking about the persuasive essay…what does “expository” mean…but we’ve never written a persuasive paper…is this the persuasive research paper you’re talking about…but what are we going to write about…I mean like why don’t you give us a topic…I don’t understand when is this due…but that’s the pro and con, right…it’s not…but you said…we’ve never written a research paper before…what does “bibliography” mean…so when is this due…but how many pages…so you just want the bibliography and the first page…I don’t know what you mean by a thesis that can be argued either way…I don’t understand why you don’t give us a topic…I’m confused…what do you want us to write about…but when is this due… I don’t understand…we’ve never written papers like this before…but you said...are you talking about the persuasive essay…what does “expository” mean…but we’ve never written a persuasive paper…is this the persuasive research paper you’re talking about…but what are we going to write about…I mean like why don’t you give us a topic…I don’t understand when is this due…but that’s the pro and con, right…it’s not…but you said…what does “bibliography” mean…so when is this due…but how many pages…so you just want the bibliography and the first page…I don’t know what you mean by a thesis that can be supported with authoritative sources and logic…I don’t understand why you don’t give us a topic…I’m confused…what do you want us to write about…but when is this due…!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!????????????

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The Dreariness of Dusk - poem

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

(This poem may be considered as a dyptich / diptych / dipstick with "The Dreariness of Dawn")

The Dreariness of Dusk

Anticipated no victories today
Expected no letters to be answered
Or packages of life to be delivered
Not given even the hope of a hope

But…

But, no, the weary hours were unrelieved
The weary, dreary hours of near-despair
Plodding like a mule harnessed to the past
And given only the ghost of a ghost

As was expected, the teapot was warm -
“Yes, but there ain’t going to be no tea” 1

1 Katherine Mansfield

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The Dreariness of Dawn - poem

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

The Dreariness of Dawn

“Carpe Diem.” Dawn, and all its cliches’
But what would one now seize? Unrequited dreams
That slouch in the corner filing their fingernails?
A cup of coffee at the kitchen door?

Dawn is the illusion that this day might
Be different from those that came before
Like advertisements promising happiness
And delivering failures postage-due

Well, you might as well get up, and get dressed
Dawn.  Because, maybe, this time, just maybe…

Monday, October 23, 2017

"Render unto Caesar..." - poem

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

“Render unto Caesar…”

29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Let us render unto the Caesars
Our sons and daughters for undeclared wars
Each death excused with a telephone call
Each death another medal for a general

Let us render unto the Caesars
Our children for the pleasures of the rich
Each death and shattered heart excused as art
Each death a tribute to some rich man’s lust

Each leader, each Somebody, takes and takes –
They then dismiss their victims as snowflakes

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Porching on a Saturday in October - poem

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

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
mhall46184@aol.com

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
mhall46184@aol.com

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
Mhall46184@aol.com

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.

-30-

The University Drama Club Presents... poem

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com


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


fin

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
mhall46184@aol.com

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
mhall46184@aol.com

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
mhall46184@aol.com

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

Sunday, October 15, 2017

You Russian Poets - poem

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

You Russian Poets

You Russian poets must write your lines in blood
For often that is all that is left to you
By invaders, revolutionaries, and
“The briefcase politician in his jeep” 1

Perhaps every Russian is a Pushkin
In frost and heat, in every deprivation
Plowing in the face of the enemy
Building civilization with frozen hands

And always shaping noble tetrameters
Into an eternal song of Russian spring



1 Yevtushenko, “Zima Junction”

Saturday, October 14, 2017

"Mild Suburban Christianity from 30,000 Feet" - poem

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

“Mild Suburban Christianity”

A famous religion writer jets about
The world, from holy site to holy site
And being holy here and there, he writes
About his being holy here and there

And in his profitable scorn dismisses
“Mild suburban Christianity,” as if
Labor and thrift are somehow unworthy
Of a holy writer seated in first class

Editor-in-chief of This, President of That

(And free to be a non-profit 501C)

He asks for gifts from those suburbans mild

Friday, October 13, 2017

Viet-Nam Service Medal - poem

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

Viet-Nam Service Medal

A dragon lurks among the bamboo trees
And if sometimes half-hidden, still, always there
Sometimes half-forgotten, but always there
Is he a glorious dragon? Sometimes, yes

But then some nights he stirs the leaves awake
His eyes – they seem to flicker through the dark
His claws – they tear into the freighted soul
His blood – like Duncan’s, will not wash away

But dragons are good – what is it that one sees
If not a dragon lurking among the trees?

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Sorting Out Russian Poetry - poem

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com


Sorting Out Russian Poetry

Avant-garde post-modernism ego
Futurism symbolism acme
Ism constructivism cosmopol
Itanism formalism neo

Formalism futurism imag
Inism proletarian real
Ism absurdism maximalism

Socialist realism, nothingism -
Poetic beauty, in spite of the Isms

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Dreaded Microsoft 10 Security Alert Popup of Doom That Won't Go Away - poem

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

The Dreaded Microsoft 10 Security Alert Popup of Doom
That Won’t Go Away
 

(In order to receive the best support, we request all users initially download and run the Genuine Diagnostics tool (MGADiag.exe) at this link http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=52012. Click "Continue", click the "Copy" button then “Paste” the report into a reply message in this thread.)

I took a miner's lantern and a pouch
Of vampire-bane and crawled into the dark,
Dark tunnels of Security Updates.
I may have slain the beast, but it was dark

(Microsoft Genuine Advantage > Closed - Office Genuine Advantage Validation Issues (Office) Read-Only)

So dark in there. I lunged with vague commands
All printed in translation from the Orc
And strange lights flickered, flickered, flick…off
Restart reboot alt control shift…huh?

(Post this question in the "Suggestions and Feedback for the Forums" Forum at the following address http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-us/suggest/threads.)

Silence. A stench of death…it’s dead, it’s gone…
But wait…no…NO! I hear a popup coming…!

(Marking as Answered. Your feedback is important. Bye.)

Penny Wise and Penny Foolish - column

Mack Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

Penny Wise and Penny Foolish

Emptying one’s pockets at the end of a busy day of bringing home that metaphorical bacon reminds us of how useless is all that pot-metal we take as change and then carry around almost to no purpose.

In Ye Olden Days a pocket full of coins was a good thing: a cup of coffee cost a nickel, as did the daily paper and a Hershey bar, a Coca-Cola was six cents, a telephone call was a dime, and a hamburger was a quarter. These things weren’t cheaper; it’s that the money was worth more.

Around 1983 some alligator-shoe boy ruled that the copper penny should no longer be made of copper, but rather copper-clad, whatever that means. A penny now appears to be made of painted floor-sweepings, and is worthless. Dimes, quarters, and half-dollars, once made of silver, are as substantial as Monopoly® money. Purchasing power now begins only with the dollar, and a bouquet of dollars at that.

Why, then, does the government still manufacture play money, and why do we carry it around?

For adults the penny is probably a matter of sentiment. Although there is no longer any such thing as a piece of penny candy, we remember those childhood days and so remain attached to pennies that really aren’t even pennies. A penny is rather like Prince Albert in a can, which no longer exists even as the wheezy telephone joke: “Have you got Prince Albert in a can? Well, you better let him out before he suffocates!”

Canada rid itself of the penny in 2013, saving $11 million a year in bothering with them. The Dominion does not seem to have suffered thereby. Since Canadian pennies are the same size as U.S. pennies they show up in circulation south of the 49th fairly often. If you save your Canadian pennies then in a few years they will be worth, well, nothing. But the Maple Leaf is pretty.

Spanish escudos and reales have not circulated hereabouts since 1821 or so, and the English pound has not purchased any tea on the east coast since the tiff beginning in 1776. However, the old saying “penny wise and pound foolish,” meaning thrift in small matters but wastage in greater ones, lingers, much like the penny.

One wonders if, two hundred years ago, moms and dads in Nacogdoches, Anahuac, and San Augustine cautioned their children about being reale wise and escudo foolish.

-30-

Monday, October 9, 2017

Ite ad Joseph - poem

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

Ite ad Joseph

For Joseph Thaddeus Petty
Sunday, 8 October 2017

Then let us go in to Joseph this day,
His day, soft-cradled in his mother’s arms;
He does not rule Egypt, but rather, our hearts
In the ordained hierarchy of love

His sisters in their turns nestle him too -
“Be sure to support his head – yes, that’s right” –
Their playmate new in the garden of life,
Their brother in the cloisters of Creation

He sleeps, so, shhhhhh – now let us slip away
For we have greeted Joseph on this happy day

Sunday, October 8, 2017

The Big Kids - poem

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com


The Big Kids

For Claude Bevil Blanchette Hall,
Of Happy Memory

1954

Sprinkled by the janitor from a coffee can
The oily smell of the green sawdust sown
Along the old school hallway’s green tile floors
And pushed along with a long-handled broom

My brother’s at the door with my lunch money
He’s one of The Big Kids, 5th grade, y’know
High up on the third floor, where we can’t go

Not yet

What’s it like to be one of The Big Kids?

2017

My brother’s on a higher floor again
And what’s it like up there, where we can’t go?

Not yet


Claude Bevil Blanchette Hall was the son of Claude Duval Blanchette and Katherine Mattie Bevil Blanchette.

Claude Duval Blanchette was an officer on the tanker SS Muskogee, which was torpedoed off the Carolinas on 28 March 1942 with the loss of all hands. His son, Claude, was born on 12 October 1942, and died on 6 October 2017.

After the war Katherine married Hebo Ogden Hall.

All happy, happy memories.

“Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and make perpetual Light to shine upon them.”


Saturday, October 7, 2017

Houston Man Accused of Decapitating Mother - poem

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

Houston Man Accused of Decapitating Mother

He was a quiet man who always kept
His lawn neat would give you the shirt off his back
Was on his way to Bible study wouldn’t
Harm a flea that’s not the (name) that I know

Seemed like a normal everyday guy to me
Never saw this coming just can’t believe it
Let us come together and stand as one
Because that’s not the kind of people we are

We just won’t let them change the way we live
He just snapped so GoFundMe tee-shirt give

Friday, October 6, 2017

Truck Stop Restroom Cologne - poem

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

Truck Stop Restroom Cologne

Denny’s / Flying J, Orange, Texas

Check out the boom-chick in the parking lot -
Love and diesel fumes are in the air.
Tattoos and cigarettes, oh, man, she’s hot!
Industrial peroxide tints her hair
Like rainbows in a toxic fuel-oil spill.
Her waist is a rockin’ forty-four,
A pavement Venus posed before the grill
Of a Peterbilt outside the truckers’ store.
How can the lovestruck swain lure her to his cab?
Persuade her to give him her innocent all?
A ripped-shirt display of a manly ab?
Wait - what’s that machine on the restroom wall?

Cool dude, you’ll never have to truck alone
If you scent yourself with restroom cologne.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Paleo-Yuppies at Work and Play - poem

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

Paleo-Yuppies at Work and Play

Fading slowly from the existential struggle,
Waving their MePhones about in protest,
They swarm to Starbuck’s for adjective coffees,
Uniformed in knee-pants and bulbous sneaks
And Chinese soccer tops with little checkmarks,
Their graduate degrees at parade rest,
And in confusion, suddenly-stalled careers
Raging against the thirty-something machine.
Not trusting anyone under forty,
They rustle their foam cups and resumes’
Instead of suspicious Democrats,
And demand promotions and Perrier.
They mourn pinstripes and leather briefcases,
And the old floppy disc of yesteryear,
And fumble their PowerPoint Presentations
Tho’ once they illuminated the world
With colored markers on glossy whiteboard.
They no longer play games on a Commodore
Or rock to neo-Carib fusion jazz;
Their Rush is Right baseball caps are now filed
In trays of antique curiosities
Beside the moldering hippie stuff shelved
In an adjunct of the Smithsonian
Where curricula vitae go to be eaten
By a computer virus named Vlad.
Now, as the sun sets on Ferris Bueller’s day,
They count and verify their MeBook friends –

They did not change the world, not at all, but
The world changed anyway, and without them,
And in the end they love neither Jesus
Nor The Force; like Eve, they bow to an Apple.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Paleo-Hippies at Work and Play - poem

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

Paleo-Hippies at Work and Play

Having withdrawn from the existential struggle,
Surrendering their arms and protest signs,
They muster in Denny’s for the Senior Special
Uniformed in knee-pants and baseball caps
And Chinese tees that read “World’s Greatest Grandpa,”
Hearing aids and trifocals at parade rest,
And quadrupedal aluminum sticks
Raging against the oxygen machine.
Not trusting anyone over ninety,
They rattle their coffee cups and dentures
Instead of suspicious Nixonians,
And demand pensions, not revolution.
They mourn classmates dead, not The Grateful Dead.
They do not burn their Medicare cards
Tho’ once they illuminated the world
With their flaming conscription notices.
They no longer read McKuen or Tolkien
Or groove to ‘way-cool Peter, Paul, and Mary;
Their beads and flowers are forever filed
In books of antique curiosities
Beside a butterfly collection shelved
In an adjunct of the Smithsonian
Where manifestos go to be eaten
By busy mice and slow-pulsing fungi.
As darkness falls they make the Wheel, not love

They did not change the world, not at all, but
The world changed anyway, and without them,
And in the end they love neither Jesus
Nor Siddhartha, but only cable t.v.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Saint Garden Gnome - poem

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

Saint Garden Gnome

An obscure barefoot friar in Italy
Long labored in the Perugian sun,
Heaped rocks upon rocks, and then other rocks,
Up to a wavery roof of broken tiles,
Repairing with his bleeding hands God’s church

Then, better known – it wasn’t his fault – this friar,
With others in love with Lady Poverty,
In hope and penance trudged to far-off Rome
To offer there his modest Rule of life,
Repairing with his mindful words God’s Church

Along the delta of the steaming Nile
He waved away the worried pickets, crossed
Into the camp of the Saracens
Preaching Christ to merciful Al-Kamil,
Offering with a martyr’s heart God’s Faith

Saint Francis is depicted in fine art
In great museums and in modest homes -
And you can find him too, down at Wal-Mart,
Between the plastic frogs and concrete gnomes.

Monday, October 2, 2017

A Lady and Her Two Knights - poem

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

A Lady and Her Two Knights

For their Nona and Papaw

Three young adults walking along to Mass
Pals from childhood, arms around each other,
Laughing, and pausing briefly for a mama-picture -
For them, even October is their spring

And in this springtime of their lives they offer
All of their happiness to Our Lord Himself,
All together Ad Altare Dei,
To God who giveth joy to their youth1

Three friends laughing, taking the morning air:
Two knights honored to escort their lady fair

1paraphrased from the Missale Romanum of 1962

Sunday, October 1, 2017

A Dachshund Among the Leaves - poem

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

A Dachshund Among the Leaves

For Liesl-the-Wonder-Dachshund, of Happy Memory

A merry dachshund yaps, and leaps for leaves
Wind-strewn across the still-green summer grass
As Autumn visits briefly, and looks around
To plan his festive moonlit frosts when soon
Diana dances across November’s skies.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Old and Unselected Poems - poem

Lawrence Hall
mhall46184@aol.com

Old and Unselected Poems

Pale, penciled scribblings, old bits, old notes
Forgotten drafts in old books shelved away
And lines painfully worked out during lectures
About Napoleon’s painful hemorrhoids

And the declensions of those Latin nouns
Which with their verbs Omnis Gallia divisit
Or something like that, forgotten long ago -
But not
             her hair
                          her voice
                                         her smile
                                                         her eyes

Others cannot write to her happy theme -
She writes herself as iambs in a dream