Ode

“Ode” by Arthur O’Shaughnessy
We are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers
And sitting by desolate streams;
World losers and world forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.

With wonderful deathless ditties
We build up the world’s great cities.
And out of a fabulous story
We fashion an empire’s glory:
One man with a dream, at pleasure,
Shall go forth and conquer a crown;
And three with a new song’s measure
Can trample an empire down.

We, in the ages lying
In the buried past of the earth,
Built Nineveh with our sighing,
And Babel itself with our mirth;
And o’erthrew them with prophesying
To the old of the new world’s worth;
For each age is a dream that is dying,
Or one that is coming to birth.

Comparisons

If I set the sun beside the moon,
And if I set the land beside the sea,
And if I set the town beside the country,
And if I set the man beside the woman,
I suppose some fool would talk about one being better.

-G.K. Chesterton

12 DEC 2016 [safe journey, little brother]

Safe journey, little brother.
Hand high, head higher
Tall with things promised
Tall with self to prove
Sworn to be selfless
To bear and defend and
Become less of one
You will yet bear more weight
Than the promises you swear
While the things forsaken
Forever weigh heavy

Safe journey, little brother.
Firm stance on yellow footprints
Firm feet on solid ground
Heart flag staked
To God and country
Or country and God
Where is your heart?
To Whom are you promised?
To us, to them, to all
That you truly love?

Safe journey, little brother.
With sun and sand
Water and wind
Overcoming with struggle
Easy, someday
Less so than words
Unrelenting and seeking
Your heart and soul
And body. All.

Safe journey, little brother.
While Christmas comes
We will make snowmen
Melting shapes, making cheer
With sticks and stones
You will be remade
By words and men,
Sticks and stones

Safe journey, little brother.
We will pray and write
Pennies and postage
Sending words, just words
Pieces of our days
Words that you will not hear
There, until home again.

Safe journey, little brother
Keep your oath
We will keep ours
Prayer for your journey—
In Whom do we hope?
That you might be kept

Safe journey, little brother.
These words and prayers
Threads between coast and heartland
Will not spare you
From the breaking of self and soul

Safe journey, little brother.
Come back as new
Remade as a man
By God first, country second

Safe journey, little brother.
In losing self and all else,
Do not lose Him

Safe journey, little brother.
Hand high, head higher

Safe journey, little brother.

A Cradle Carol

Lord Jesus, Savior, infant weak,
Why come to earth as one so meek?
A newborn babe, helpless and small;
And yet Creator of us all.

Thou hast no beauty, form, nor grace;
No fortune, rank, no fame, no place
That men should see Thee and adore
A babe so humble and so poor.

But to the soul whose eyes are healed,
To whom the Truth has been revealed,
Thy glory challenges the sun;
Thou art a thousand joys in One.

Though strangers see a babe in straw,
Thy children see the Lord of all
Who laid aside His rightful reign
To take away our sin and shame.

This sacrifice of love divine,
This condescension to mankind
With beauty robes Thy lowly frame,
And sanctifies Thy simple name.

O aid my worship, Mighty King,
That I might with the angels sing,
“Glory to God on high!”
Now crowned again beyond the sky!

Oh, help me see Thee and adore
This little child, my God and Lord.

Lyrics by Rebekah Pringle

Autumn Movement

 

picsart_1350696453597_kevin_film

I cried over beautiful things knowing no beautiful thing lasts.

The field of cornflower yellow is a scarf at the neck of the copper sunburned woman,
the mother of the year, the taker of seeds.

The northwest wind comes and the yellow is torn full of holes, new beautiful things
come in the first spit of snow on the northwest wind, and the old things go,
not one lasts.

“Autumn Movement” by Carl Sandburg

photo: mine; what once was.

The Soul

Part Four: Time and Eternity

CXXI

THE SOUL should always stand ajar.
That if the heaven inquire,
He will not be obliged to wait,
Or shy of troubling her.

Depart, before the host has slid
The bolt upon the door,
To seek for the accomplished guest—
Her visitor no more.

~Emily Dickinson

A Complaint of the Times

So much regulation and so few lives saved,
So much loud music and so little melody,
So many doctorates and none wiser made,
Such license in the name of liberty,
  So much compassion preached, so little shown,
  Since the world’s beginning there was never known.

So much production of so many shoddy goods,
So little saving and so much money spent,
So many rulings so little understood,
Such lavish shows and such poor amusement,
  So many bureaus fat and purses lean
  Since the world’s beginning there was never seen.

So much to bed, so little marrying,
So many new police and no less crime,
So many churches built, so few prayed in,
So many new dollars not worth a dime,
  So much speculation on so little ground
  Since the world’s beginning there was never found.

So much change of fashion and no beauty gained,
So much expense so little justified,
So many principles so ill explained,
So much self-praising with so little pride,
  So much prophecy of ruin and so little heed,
  Since the world’s beginning can no scholars read.

“A Complaint of the Times” by Gail White

Published in First Things, October 2007