Arts

The Arts section of Orient Lodge

Poetry Collection

I am starting to organize the poems that are on this website.

I normally post my poems simply as blog posts, usually after spending some time editting them.

However, so are posted as fairly raw drafts.

Eventually, I go back, revise some of the poems, and place them into a structure related to other poems. It helps me think about how my poems interrelate. Hopefully, it will be helpful to you as well.

Some poems end up in a section at the bottom of uncategorized poems. These are often poems I haven't gone back to work on or to think about how they relate to other poems.

In particular, poems that I write during periods where I post a poem a day end up in this section.

There are links below to navigate through the different sections, subsections, and the poems within each subsection.

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Orient Lodge Music Review and Sonicbids

Orient Lodge has entered into an agreement with Sonicbids to use Sonicbids’ platform for handling electronic press kits for review. Musicians wishing to present their music to Orient Lodge are urged to use the Orient Lodge Music Review Page on Sonicbids.

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Elections, Poetry, and Prayer

For the past few months, I’ve been advocating filling social media with poetry as an antidote to much of the vitriol in the U.S. political discourse. Some friends have been sharing poetry. I especially enjoy it when they share their own poems and when the poems are focused on the beauty of the world around us.

A couple weeks ago, the American Psychological Association came out with a survey about election related stress: APA Survey Reveals 2016 Presidential Election Source of Significant Stress for More Than Half of Americans. The press release makes some suggestions about dealing with the stress.

“If the 24-hour news cycle of claims and counterclaims from the candidates is causing you stress, limit your media consumption”. I get most of my news online and I try to read enough to be informed, but not enough to stress out. I try to fill my time with poetry and prayer instead.

“Avoid getting into discussions about the election if you think they have the potential to escalate to conflict.” There are two thoughts I have on this. First, if joining the discussion is unlikely to have an impact, which seems to be the case in most political discussions, just avoid it. However, three are times that you need to speak up, just because the voice needs to be heard.

A quote from Thomas Merton comes to mind:

"Do not depend on the hope of results. When you are doing the sort of work you have taken on, essentially an apostolic work, you may have to face the fact that your work will be apparently worthless and even achieve no result at all, if not perhaps results opposite to what you expect. As you get used to this idea, you start more and more to concentrate not on the results but on the value, the rightness, the truth of the work itself."

Indeed, concentrating on “on the value, the rightness, the truth of the work itself” seems key. Yet it also seems lacking in many of the discussions about the election.

“Stress and anxiety about what might happen is not productive. Channel your concerns to make a positive difference on issues you care about.” I’ve seen people post, things like, “If you check FiveThirtyEight constantly, but aren’t phone banking or door knocking, you’re doing it wrong”. Many of my friends have travelled this weekend to battleground states to get the vote out. Pundits have said that at this point, it is all down to the ground game. The candidate that can get the most people out knocking doors will most likely win. This gives me some reassurance, but that doesn’t always work out to be the case. Door knocking gets people to the polls that might not otherwise make it. It rarely, at least in my experience, especially this late in the game, changes people’s opinions.

“Vote. In a democracy, a citizen’s voice does matter.” If you don’t go out and vote out of your hopes for our country, at least go out and vote as a means of relieving stress.

With this in mind, let me share a poem. My choice has probably been affected by the current political climate. Here’s an annotated version of T.S. Eliot’s The Wasteland.

Here are links to various chances to pray with others for our nation and the election
Moral Revival Watch Party - A Call to Action and to Vote at New Haven Peoples Center 37 Howe St. New Haven CT, Sunday, November 6 at 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM EST

Healing the Rift: An Election Eve Vigil for the Well-Being of the Nation” at Charter Oak Cultural Center, 21 Charter Oak Ave, Hartford, Connecticut 06106on Monday, November 7 at 7 p.m

Election Eve Prayer Service at Church of the Redeemer New Haven Monday, November 7 at 7 PM - 8 PM EST

Prayer Vigil for the Election at Zion Episcopal North Branford Nov 6 at 12 PM to Nov 8 at 7 PM EST

Collect For an Election (Book of Common Prayer, pg. 822)
Almighty God, to whom we must account for all our powers and privileges: Guide the people of the United States in the election of officials and representatives; that, by faithful administration and wise laws, the rights of all may be protected and our nation be enabled to fulfill your purposes; through Jesus Christ ...

And, a final link, Taize - Stay with me

Nineveh

Sometimes, I feel like I’m supposed to go to Nineveh
but when I get to the ticket office
all they have
are trips to Tarshish.

I stand
confused
in the lonely ticket office
and look at the posters
of exotic destinations.

I don’t want to be thrown overboard
by frightened fishermen
and Nineveh is too far to walk
alone.
I don’t think I even know the way.

So I wait,
looking around for a friendly face
that might help me find my way
or even walk a little while
with me.

Questions

There are questions you need to ask
because the question needs to be asked
even though you know
the answer is no.
You ask
because it will change
the people asked,
and you.

There are questions you need to ask
because it’s part of the process
even though you’re sure
the answer is yes
and when the answer is no
you are devastated
confused
and it changes you
more than you can imagine
and you hope
the people you asked.

There are questions you need to ask
even though there’s no answer
that you can see
and still your soul cries out
“why?”
as you wait for
the promised change.

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