Pollen Makes You Laugh

It is such a simple thing, a daisy
plucked from the fields we lay in
you say these flowers are humble
but points of hope, just like me,
you tuck it behind my ear after
pressing it to your nose to inhale
pollen leaves its mark on your
Cupid’s Bow, you smile like sunlight,
laughter, flowers were always your
favorite things, from the rose to
your brother’s orchids, I wonder
if the reason the Devil weeps over
purple flowers is because they remind
him of a twin long lost, I wonder
if like the daisy I too am poison
hidden under a shining simple white,
and that it hurts you to be with me.
But you silence my musings with just
a single luminescent grin, if I am
the daisy, you are my radiance, the
light which I feast upon, you shine
down on my weary soul, and I grow
stronger, petals turned to your star.

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Calcareous Jewels

The Brood came to us clad in starlight:
carapaces jeweled with Ionian silver
slick with the gold of Andromeda’s outposts
shuddering decapod legs hung diamond-heavy.

We thought them vain, laborious movement
weighed down with treasures from pillage and
plunder, without their spoils they are razor fast.
Without their finery they conquered us like rain
falling ceaselessly down, acidic breath, we lost.

We lost to overlords between beetle and crab
with UV-fluorescent eyes like blue tanzanite
there is no more tanzanite anymore, no more
rings to propose to your loved ones, we wear
sack cloth and dust, always in the pitch mines.

Blood diamond, lust diamond, the Brood eat
jewels, grow fat off emerald feasts, soon they
will run out of gems and metals, soon they will
turn their serrated mandibles on things calcareous
already their Hive Mother wears our leaders’ ribs
hung from her gullet like the finest of necklaces.

Soon the Brood will feast on our skeletons, the
hollow bones of birds, the gley and rust of dirt,
the rocks, the cliffs, mountains to bare rubble.

The Brood are swallowing Earth.

Eating humans whole,
regurgitate flesh,
minerals we
become.

The Lion and the Wolf

The Lion is noble, all gold mane, bright sun.
The Wolf? Deadly, bitter, poison pearl teeth.
The Lion roars of coming wars not yet won.
The Wolf weeps always, bright fangs sheathed.

Neither wants this fight, to tear apart
brotherhood at the cost of clashing hearts
yet still canines and claws draw crimson
and dawn breaks over the beasts’ dominion.

I watch from the cliff side, Wolf and Lion
growling and howling like old fevered rivals
one with Apollo’s quiver, one belted Orion,
I weep maudlin tears at their suicide trial.

When angels become monsters, beasts of adamant
with berserk battle prowess and fury blood-lust
then the time draws near for the Devil’s ascent
and ruin blooms violet with the fall of the just.

A Movement Needs A Song by Esther Nelson

I sing, sing of ceaseless dancing!

esther-nelsonI’m back in Las Cruces, New Mexico, spending the break between semesters in the spot where I plan to eventually retire.  When I was here last summer (2016), I visited the Unitarian Universalist Church so decided to join the people gathered there on Christmas Day.  Not many showed up—about twenty or so.  The service was abbreviated. The emphasis was on singing Christmas carols from the hymnal.  Unitarian Universalists, it appears, love to sing.

Inside the bulletin on a separate sheet of paper, Catherine Massey, the Director of Music, wrote an essay titled “Sunday Music Notes.”  She asks, “How can music help us respond to the needs around us?” She listed several ways we can benefit from singing and chanting. One way is calming the self, enabling us to better cope with life’s struggles. Singing can also bring comfort to the sick and/or dying as well as to their families. She…

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The Soldier’s Psalm

 

You who dwell in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,

Say to the LORD, “My refuge and fortress, my God in whom I trust.”

God will rescue you from the fowler’s snare, from the destroying plague,

Will shelter you with pinions, spread wings that you may take refuge; God’s faithfulness is a protecting shield.

You shall not fear the terror of the night nor the arrow that flies by day,

Nor the pestilence that roams in darkness, nor the plague that ravages at noon.

Though a thousand fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, near you it shall not come.

You need simply watch; the punishment of the wicked you will see.

You have the LORD for your refuge; you have made the Most High your stronghold.

No evil shall befall you, no affliction come near your tent.

For God commands the angels to guard you in all your ways.

With their hands they shall support you, lest you strike your foot against a stone.

You shall tread upon the asp and the viper, trample the lion and the dragon.

Whoever clings to me I will deliver; whoever knows my name I will set on high.

All who call upon me I will answer; I will be with them in distress; I will deliver them and give them honor.

With length of days I will satisfy them and show them my saving power.

– Psalm 91

Psalm of Archangel Michael

Incline Thy ear, O Lord, and hear me: for I am needy and poor. Preserve my soul, for I am holy:
save Thy servant, O my God, that trusteth in Thee.
Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I have cried to Thee all the day. Give joy to the soul of Thy servant, for to Thee, O Lord, I have lifted up my soul.
For Thou, O Lord, art sweet and mild:
and plenteous in mercy to all that call upon Thee.
Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer:
and attend to the voice of my petition.
I have called upon Thee in the day of my trouble:
because Thou hast heard me.
There is none among the gods like unto Thee, O Lord:
and there is none according to Thy works.
All the nations Thou hast made shall come and adore before Thee, O Lord:
and they shall glorify Thy name.
For Thou art great and dost wonderful things:
Thou art God alone.
Conduct me, O Lord, in Thy way, and I will walk in Thy truth:
let my heart rejoice that it may fear Thy name.
I will praise Thee, O Lord my God:
with my whole heart,
and I will glorify Thy name for ever:
For Thy mercy is great towards me:
and Thou hast delivered my soul out of the lower hell.
O God, the wicked are risen up against me, and the assembly of the mighty have sought my soul:
and they have not set Thee before their eyes.
And Thou, O Lord, art a God of compassion, and merciful, patient, and of much mercy, and true.
O look upon me, and have mercy on me:
give Thy command to Thy servant, and save the son of Thy handmaid.
Show me a token for good:
that they who hate me may see, and be confounded, because Thou, O Lord, hast helped me and hast comforted me.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end.
Amen.

– Psalm 85

Radical Folk Punk Wandering Christians: The Psalters

The Psalters are my favorite Christian band, eclectic as folk punk can be and living like the wandering minstrels of old.  They are, in a word, crazy.  The group is semi-nomadic with a rotating cast of characters and operates as an intentional Christian community.  Names like Captain Napkins and Musical Fruit Flakes populate the band, and their rugged voices and eclectic instruments haunt America as they travel long roads.

Their musical style is based around the consistent use of acoustic instruments. Their compositions are heavily influenced by traditional near-eastern music,[4] as well as by other folk traditions such as bluegrass and klezmer.[5] While they make frequent use of instruments uncommon in American music, such as the bouzouki and kemenche, other, more common instruments, such as the banjo or accordion, are used as well.[1]

Their lyrical themes are generally centered on either the worship of God, or the implications of living out the gospel today. These themes reflect singer Scott Krueger’s view that “our Christian walk is supposed to affect every aspect of our lives. So as artists, we want to have that shape our art.”[1] Songs about living out the gospel are often political, anti-patriotic,[4] anti-violence,[2] and pro-justice.[1] Their lyrics frequently reference verses from the Bible. – Wikipedia

Listening to the Psalters is like a divine, discordant acid trip and I love every moment of it.

They run on donations, do much needed work, and their patches and EPs can be purchased on Bandcamp or even downloaded for free, where you name the price.

Go give them a listen!

Avila – Wailin Jennys

Oh sweet peace, never have you fallen
Never have you fallen upon this town
Oh sweet peace, never have you fallen
Never have you fallen upon this town

The black crows are loaded
With the call of things discarded
The ribboned shard of battle
And everything burned
Have they forgotten we live here
Do they think that we gave up
Lay down and grew over
Weeds at every turn

Oh sweet peace, never have you fallen
Never have you fallen upon this town
Oh sweet peace, never have you fallen
Never have you fallen upon this town

I will not rest
Until this place is full of sunlight
Or at least until the darkness
Is quiet for a while
And we will not wait
For that murder to come calling
The night will simply fall
And the morning will rise

Olympus Falls

The hallowed hall of Apollo and Artemis
of Zeus and Athena, Poseidon and Persephone
is sacked, milky statues broken, frescoes
picked clean by hungry heretics, ravaged
by swords of the faithful and righteous,
righteous in nothing but bloodlust, pilgrims
flee in droves, devotees of the old ones hide,
their temple is sacrileged by Christ and angels,
crosses and crucifixes heavy with new veneration,
the old gods stutter as they forget their names
the new God and Son grow bolder still, the spring
that runs clear as snow melt baptizes new followers
the angelic general shatters pillars of old fortune
clears the rubble, makes way for the new, old faith
shudders, gasps, grows strong in hiding, the old gods
take new devotees like plucking pomegranates,
Artemis fletches arrows, Zeus tempers his lightning,
they pierce the hearts of the young, awaken godlust,
we yearn for days of old when the spirits wandered,
we build new altars, we tend new flames, laurel-crowned
the weary angels grow tired of fighting, God abandons
His stardust throne, the new heretics come out of hiding
Old meets New, New meets Old, strangers mix with ranconteurs
our brains work in myths and superstition, stories flourish
we remember the old gods in fiction, poetry, and hearth flame
we remember the ancient glories of philosophy and Olympians
new devotees are yet born, new fires burn in a young temple
the old gods are still alive, they will never die, live on.

Starlight – The Wailin Jennys

I have come back to you broken
take me home
And my body bears this trouble
take me home
Take me back to my beginning
Before the hell of night set in
And I came to this border
take me home

I have toured the endless starlight
take me home
I have shattered under midnight
take me home
There are no vultures in this clearing
Except the ones who brought me here
And I’ll no longer feed them
take me home

Kingdom come, their will was done
And now the earth is far away
from any kind of heaven
Hallowed be these frozen fields
And every single one of us
still left in want of mercy
Take us home

Now the bells stand still and hollow
take me home
And no one has come to mourn me
take me home
Find me where I close my eyes
Beneath this sky of powerlines
And let me see us clearly
take me home

Kingdom come, their will was done
And now the earth is far away
from any kind of heaven
Hallowed be these frozen fields
And every single one of us
Still left in want of mercy
Take us home…