The Arts section of Orient Lodge

At The Clark

Standing in the presence of great beauty
as portrayed by an artist in great pain
amidst a crowd of visitors,
driven up from the city.

What was his illness
and who were the people
he painted in the public gardens
of Arles?

How curious they are to me,
like the crowds of men and women
that caught Whitman’s attention
on the Brooklyn Ferry

Did any of them suspect
their place in history?
My great grandfather
was in the park in Arles
with Van Gogh.
My great aunt
rode the ferry
with Whitman
from Brooklyn.

Now, we stand in museums
looking at Van Gogh’s paintings
We go to special poetry events
where Whitman is read and discussed.
And somewhere,
young men are sitting in libraries
learning a quote
from Emerson
Cicero, Locke, and Bacon,
forgetting that Emerson also
was once a young man
sitting in the library
years before Van Gogh painted
or Whitman wrote.

#FringeNYC PreGame @TUMJ1701 @lousinesh @jonathanldent @IHoratioPlay

I have started making my list of shows that I hope to see at #FringeNYC. I was hoping to fit four or five plays in next Monday. The first on my list is The Universe Of Matt Jennings; the coming out of a black gay Christian in a Star Trek context. It sounds, as I imagine Spock would say, “Fascinating”.

Next on my list was Shake The Earth, another one person show at the same venue. The play asks, “Can this meek gay Armenian stand up for herself and recount her great-grandfather Georgi's remarkable story of survival during the Armenian Genocide?” Unfortunately, this performance has already sold out.

An alternative might be ‘The Princeton Seventh’. It starts at 3 PM at a venue not far from TUMJ, but I suspect TUMJ won’t be over in time to rush to The Princeton Seventh.

This show is followed, at the same venue, by ‘The Broken Record’ at 5:15. “The Broken Record examines the violence between black youth and police officers in the United States,”

For the final show on Monday, tickets permitting, I’m hoping to stay at the same venue for “I, Horatio”, a Shakespeare derivative.

Are you going to #FringeNYC? What plays are you excited to see?

(Categories: )

The Goose

The loud thump
from a heavy dead weight
hitting the floor in the kitchen
shook me from a deep sleep
in my bedroom
in the basement
beneath the kitchen.

We lived far from town
so an intruder was unlikely
but so was timely help
if I could even get
to the phone
in the kitchen.

I was on edge since my father left
and I often came home
to find
my mother in tears
at the kitchen table.
Had she done something rash?

In late November
the previous year
I had gone canoeing with my father.
Snow had already fallen
but the lake had not frozen yet.
A cold wind
had raised the waves.

On the lake
a solitary goose
with a broken wing
swam searching for food.
“He can’t fly south,”
my father said.
“He’ll freeze and starve to death, here”.

And so, the wild goose chase began
as we paddled after him.
When we got close
he’d dive under the water.
A scared goose with a broken wing
is still a strong swimmer.

Eventually, my father caught him
killed him
dressed him
and put him in the freezer.

As I was lying in bed,
my heart still thumping
listening closely
for other sounds
I heard more thumps
like something
being knocked across the floor.

My curiosity grew larger than my fear
and gathering up all my courage
I headed upstairs.
There, I found our dog,
a large white Samoyed,
who had knocked the frozen goose
off the bread table
where it had been left to thaw
for tomorrow’s dinner.
To him, it was a giant
hockey puck.

I put the goose
in a safer place
out of the reach
of the dog
and went
to bed.

(Categories: )

What Is It Like...?

What is it like,
O Seraphim and Cherubim
to be seated around the source
of all beauty, joy, and love
and receive news
of great sadness;
the loss of hoped for
beauty, joy, and love?

I received the news
sitting on the hills
of Falcon Ridge
a place of beauty, joy, and love,
where angles rub shoulders
with sinners
and the Creator’s creatures

The third time’s the charm
she thought to herself
as her egg,
fertilized in a petri dish
began to grow
in her womb.

As her hope grew
they painted the nursery
planned the baby shower
and prepared the schedule
of visiting relatives
coming to celebrate and help.

In her twenty-sixth week
after achieving viability,
she felt, what seemed at the time
unbearable pain.

Then the water broke.

Hope and fear
ebbed and flowed
that first week in the hospital
as friends prayed
and shared words of encouragement.
Then came the greatest grief and pain.


I lift up my eyes to the hills
as a full moon rises
over the verdant beauty
as a songwriter sings
of sharing
beauty, joy, and love
simply, with neighbors.

What is it like,
O Seraphim and Cherubim
to be seated around the source
of all beauty, joy, and love
and receive news
of great sadness?

It is more than mere mortal minds
can comprehend.

(Categories: )

An Ode to Falcon Ridge

You cannot go to the same folk festival twice
The lineup of performers will have changed.
A longtime favorite performer isn’t there
a new favorite performer is emerging.
The performers themselves will have changed
with new experiences
new attitudes
new songs.
Their instruments will have changed as well
the strings will be more worn
or replaced
Their voices will have sung
that many more songs.

You cannot go to the same folk festival twice.
The weather will be different.
No matter how hot
or how much rain there is.
It is always a little different.
The moon will be in a different phase.
The stars and planets will be aligned a little differently.
The shooting stars, rainbows and other little bits
of festival magic
will come at different times.
Even the animals will be different
as the hawk circles above
the workshop stage
and the chipmunks
scurry for cover.

You cannot go to the same folk festival twice.
The crowds will be different.
Broken tents will have been replaced
and new tents pitched in different locations.
The car that broke down last year
won’t make the trip this year
The kids will be a year older.
“How much they’ve grown”
everyone will observe
at the campsites.

You cannot go to the same folk festival twice.
The kids that were at the family tent
will now be at the dance stage
and those that made that change
years ago
will be at the workshop stage
picking up tips
to help them achieve
their dream of being
an emerging artist
on the main stage.

You cannot go to the same folk festival twice.
Each one of us have changed.
We’ve heard new artists, new songs,
that we love.
We’ve experienced successes,
grief, and sadness.
We’ve grown, we’ve changed,
our hopes and expectations are different.

But underneath it all
the folk festival remains constant.
The food and friends
The peace and joy and mud.
and the volunteer at the gate
Welcome Home.

Syndicate content