The Arts section of Orient Lodge

The Daily Examen – May 17, 2017

The frogs did not seem to notice
the absence
of little white balls
into their little pond
beside the little patch
of smooth even grass.

The robins did not seem to mind
that the once carefully mown
long narrow fields
had grown tall
many more bugs
to eat.

At the divinity school
poets, prophets, priests,
and a few other
random seekers
applied the balm
of St Teresa of Avila’s words
to their troubled souls
as they continued to ask
“what do you want of me?”

We practiced reading
and writing
and thought about
nature poetry
and hymnody.

A friend told me
a true calling does not go away
and that I will not be happy
until I more fully
follow mine.

In the evening
the poets, prophets, priests,
and random others seekers,
gathered to share
vine and verse;
I had missed the chance to sign up
so I only listened,
awed and humbled
by the talent surrounding me
to set up three tents,
and find my place.

The Daily Examen – May 16, 2017

The sunlight falls
on the wooden chairs
arranged in a circle
at Marquand Chapel.

it illumines
the tops of trees
seen through
the tall clear windows.

One friend gave me a hug
and said we should talk soon.
Another avoided me
as I continue to wait
for …


We sit in a circle
of struggling writers
listening to another
her craft.
She mentions a wise man
who once asked her,
“What would you write
if you weren’t afraid?”

We all pause
to think of the great works we’d write
and fail to consider
the president.

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“And on the seventh day…”
but actually,
it was more like the thirty-fifth
we creators rested.

the Prime Creator
rested on the seventh day,
but those days
were more like eons.

In a week,
the Prime Creator
even us creators.

But we were not satisfied
with our creation;
we rebelled,
sought the powers
of Our Creator,
and were cursed.

In a weakened state
we cannot keep up
with everything
that needs to be kept up.

We read the news
each day
of wars and rumors of wars,
of floods and famines,
and of the Oppressor
always signing
one more executive order
to make things great
for his legions
and the expense of others
created in the Creators image.

We read the struggles
of our friends and neighbors
each day online;
of anxiety and depression,
of illness and of death.

We organize events,
for our jobs,
for our communities,
for our families;
too often,
too many.

on the thirty-fifth day,
it happens.
We have nothing scheduled.
We lie in bed
listening to the rain,
the birds chirping,
the pets seeking attention.

It seems,
out of habit,
we must arise
and do something
but we don’t.

We lie in bed,
resisting the temptation
and breathe in
the peaceful Sabbath air.

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The Airport

For ages,
I have been a luggage handler
at the airport of
the emotionally damaged.

I have seen all kinds of baggage;
big and bulky,
sturdy suffering that lasts forever,
and the carefully crafted carry-on,
made to look intentional, beautiful,
though perhaps not as functional.

These days,
the carry-on baggage
is carefully scanned
to make sure
the lotions we bear
to mask the scent
of human suffering
won’t be used

I, too, wander these corridors
looking for companions,
fellow travelers,
who can share the burdens
or at least help me
pass the time.

Listless travelers peruse
the latest self-help titles,
titillating romances,
or perhaps even
some recent nonfiction,
although current fake news
makes it harder to differentiate.

stop at gift shops
seeking a trinket
for the loved ones
who miss us
the stuffed armadillo
will make the absence
a little more forgivable.

It is busier than normal
in a lonely tea shop
on a Silent Saturday morn
as the passengers,
delayed by Good Friday’s storms,
seek new ways
of getting home.

The wake will await their arrival;
the joys of reunion,
even though we wish it were in happier times

We check our tickets,
the departure board,
and seek our boarding gate.
Then we hasten our gait
to hurry and wait
in yet another line.

Soon, we will be home
and then travel again
in the never ending journey.

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