In Media Res All Is Chaos

Maybe I disappoint, but now I prefer
That safe distance Yevtushenko condemned
Because in media res all is chaos
The immediacy of emotion and pain…

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Two Cones

And now two cones are moving up the coast
Maybe tomorrow they’ll move back down again
While we stack toilet paper and MREs
Perhaps the ice cream truck’s an ice cream float…

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A Statue of Our Favorite War Hero

Let us build a statue of Sergeant Schultz
Standing bravely at the door of Baracke 2
With a bouquet of flowers in one mighty hand
And a slice of apple strudel in the other…

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Your Job is Essential

Some say this is the age of the coronavirus. Perhaps it is, but more than that this is the age of incoherence. No one agrees on what the killer virus is, where it came from, masks or not masks, isolation or congregation, work or no work, treatments, dubious medicines (Macbeth IV:1), numbers of deaths, or the utility of borders (Richard II II:1)

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Summer of the Blue Helmets

Sergeant Schneider barked at us, his young heroes
And made us crawl the beach at Oceanside
And tho’ he made each day’s harsh training1 sting
One evening at Mass we heard sweet children sing…

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Behind the Mask

A collection of poems by Lawrence “Mack in Texas” Hall
We mourn the passing of poor Joe Draper
Crushed by falling cases of toilet paper
And though poor Joe had fever, ‘flu, and gout,
It was the toilet paper that wiped him out

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Civic Holiday (Canada)

With Jesus and some children and a sheep
The funeral home Catholic calendar says
That today is “Civic Holiday (Canada)”
I don’t know what that is, this August day…

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Putting on a Bold Texas Face Against CV-19

My latest washable mask is from the skilled fingers of a local young woman artisan who crafted it with variations on our Lone Star Flag. When I drive into town on errands I’m not only doing my small part for the safety of others, I’m also showing my loyalty to our Republic…

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Summer In the Garden II

But we consult the winds, the clouds, the stars
Whose songs and shapes and brilliant silences
Allow us to savor all mysteries
The hymns of Creation from long ago…

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In Honor of Hagia Sophia

Our eternal Constantinople is
Never to be lost, never defeated:
In every Christian flows Dragases’ blood
Every village is the Holy City
Every church is Hagia Sophia…

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On Reading Thomas Merton

To read Thomas Merton, we are scold-told
Is middlebrow spirituality*
I never knew that a brow was involved
Because I see the barber every week…

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Decolonize Your Bookshelf? No.

There is a fashion – and as fashions come, they go – of decolonizing one’s bookshelf. The idea is that the reader should self-interrogate his (the pronoun is gender-neutral) cultural influences and determine if they are not right, not approved, not liked. Or, as Pasternak’s officious, oppressive, busy-body Soviet Deputy says, noticed.

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Summer in the Garden

Summer is better in theory than in practice:
Watermelon days barefootin’ in the shade
Pole-fishing for perch in the neighbor’s pond
Oak-tree afternoons lost in a library book…

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Romance of the Barren Plinth

They’ve gone and pulled a general down
And all the birds that used to rest
Upon his visage fallen to ground
Will have to seek another nest…

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Church-Time in Virus-Time

Trinity Sunday – a cosmic leap indeed
From the second week in Lent until now
We bless ourselves with holy chemicals
And the awkward elbow-bump of peace

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The Class of 2020 Has Met Adulthood Already

Some high school graduates are in the top ten per cent of their class, and that’s good enough for them, but I was in the top eighty percent of my class, and eighty is a higher number than ten, so their. Or they’re. Or something….

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Pentecost and Drifting Smoke

A mighty wind has passed, an ashen wind
It was not the Wind we were waiting for
Nor yet again Holy Wisdom’s tongues of fire
But only Babel’s burning ziggurat…

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Shakespeare Aboard the Enterprise

While isolated in my rural estate here along Beer Can Road and County Dump Extension I have been dragging hoses, reading Robert Frost, saying bad things about the ‘possums pillaging my vegetable garden, and considering Star Trek…

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The Dancer on the Garbage Truck

He lightly leaped from the old garbage truck
Waved back at me, and sprinted to the bin
He Fred Astaired it as a pas de deux
And lifted it up with panther-like grace…

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