Shifting the Clockfoolery Forward

And other current chaos from Lawrence “Mack in Texas” Hall


Shifting the Clockfoolery Forward

“Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in.” -Thoreau

This is the day we search out all the clocks:

Two in the den (in which no animals live)
One in the kitchen above the dishy sink
One in the dining room (it chimes the hours)
(the clock, I mean; dining rooms do not chime)
One in the living room next to the piano
Five in the bedroom (I have no idea why)
(Unless I should count clocks instead of sheep)
One in the guest bathroom (its battery is dead)
One in the guest room for guests to see
Three in my office (Mr. Spock tells time)
One on the patio for wasps to buzz
And all the old watches which are not smart

And pointlessly push them forward an hour

We often seem to be searching for time
But perhaps it is time who is searching for us


The Ashes of Lent Fall upon Ukraine

“Remember, man…”

In Ukraine this season, grey ashes fall
Grey ashes of Lent that fall on everyone
Whether they will have them or not –
The still-warm ashes of our fellow man

“That thou art dust…”

In Ukraine this season, grey ashes fall
There is no line; the ashes wait instead
Among the swirling smoke to present themselves –
This tiny speck of ash was someone’s child

“And unto dust thou shalt return”

In Ukraine this season, grey ashes fall
And cover civilization as its funeral pall


A Non-Religious Jew

“Well, he may be a good man but he’s certainly not Christian. Zelensky
is the first Jewish president of Ukraine, even if he is non-religious…”
-The Remnant, 2 March 2022

He stands in rubbled streets during bomb attacks
And takes a selfie to show us he’s alive
Our tee-shirted leader of the free world
He stands among the wreckage and reassures us

He stands in rubbled streets; he needs a shave
He needs some sleep; he does not need a ride
But The Remnant – O infallible Remnant! –
Dismisses him as just a Jew

If only we were all that Jewish
If only we were all that non-religious


Are We Looking Through Sauron’s Eye?

Through our glowing palantiri we watch
Dark images, shadowy and flickering
Ghostly men gathered around machines –
Are we looking through Sauron’s eye?

A silent flash, and structure disappears
Enveloped in blackness and liquid flame
Arcing bits of metal and bits of men –
Are we looking through Sauron’s eye?

Are we looking through Sauron’s eye?
And is that eye now turned on us?


We Few, We Abandoned Few
“…the dead uncharitably enclosed in nuclear dust…”
-not Henry V

Let us not go to war this week or the next
Poking our explosives into other folks’ business
Military contractors shedding the blood of families
(Hell hath no fury like the balance sheets)

Let us not go to war this week or the next
Flinging the children of the poor to their deaths
While the rich party through graduate school
(They say the fighting is rough in Harvard Yard)

Let us not go to war this week or the next
But instead offer up all issues to God


If This Gets into the Hands of the Russians…

Prince Caspian: “Have you pen and ink, Master Doctor?”
Doctor Cornelius: “A scholar is never without them, your majesty.”
-C. S. Lewis, Prince Caspian

My notebook – my little pocket notebook
A worthy habit from my long-ago youth
If this gets into the hands of the Russians –

They’ll know all about my dental appointments


Preparing my Wordle for the Third World War

I would have said that the Cold War was the Third
Viet-Nam was hot enough for me
But the old men rattling their dentures in anger
Assure us that this new war is the one

Today I withdrew some cash from the bank
Topped off the gas tanks and the lawnmower cans
Bought water, toilet paper, and batteries
And propped my walking stick beside my bed

My daughter says that tomorrow we start WORDLE
With “PEACE” – her warfare is the best of all

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