View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Kid Poem - bedbugs

Sleep tight, don't let them bite

I'm sleeping on the floor tonight
and keeping on my bedside light.
Because of what my mother said,
I'm sure there's bedbugs in my bed!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

haiku "purists"

The old pond -
a frog jumps in,
sound of water (Basho, translated by Robert Haas)

Basho's no master -
translated his "haiku" fails
5-7-5 test.

(Posted in response to a "purist" who said a haiku is not a haiku unless it follows the rules he was taught years ago.)

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

A picture is worth ...

Summa contra erotica

I belong to a limerick/haiku group in Yahoo. It's a fun site, full of puns and humor.

One woman at the site is, like me, a haiku poet - she has written some nice ones.

But she also likes to write a sub genre of haiku: erotic haiku.

Yes, haiku about sex. Some are of the Song of Songs variety. Some are a little more graphic.

She wrote a bunch last summer, and I joking posted in response:

punning haiku poet
reads romance novels again -
ah, erotic dreams

Apparently that stuck in her mind.

She recently posted that someone had been uncomfortable about her most recent batch of erotica, someone else had teased her, and then she resurfaced my joking accusation.

I responded in part:

"… On the other hand, I'm not a big fan of erotic haiku. Sex is great,
but I think it's something special between two people and I'd really
rather not read about it or hear about it from others. I certainly
don't go around talking about my sex life, and I get annoyed and
offended when others share such information with me or in my hearing.
I consider it indelicate, insensitive, and inappropriate.

And as a haiku poet, I don't like seeing haiku used for such purposes.

Generally, when you post erotic haiku, I don't read them. So I
haven't been offended by your poems. – Lee"

But she has been spewing a batch of erotic haiku, which she frankly admits have been inspired by a new sex partner.


She always labels them with something like "haiku (erotic)" so you can try to avoid them. But of course, haiku being so short, the description line in Yahoo basically prints the whole haiku anyway without you having to open it.

Anyway, being the kind of guy I am (I'll leave that to you to decide exactly what that means!) after erotic haiku number 537, I created my own labeled posting category: "haiku - summa contra erotica."

My first few were religiously-oriented haiku that I’d written and posted before –

St. Rose of Lima's
recipe for vanity –
add some pepper

St. Patrick Father
preaching about the missions
seeks gold for his pot

April morning –
cardinals in conclave
at the bird feeder

Then I decided to respond more directly to the fornication being celebrated –

saving ourselves
until the honeymoon –
wedding gifts

it happened one night -
they brought down Jericho's walls
off screen

Plus, I tossed in a bit of humor –

well-thumbed Bibles
of prudes seldom open to
Solomon's Song

My more recent contributions add a few twists (some perversely echoing the kinds of things she posts) -

longing for release
fingers tearing at garments -
ah, morning's first whizz

awakened I watch
my flesh rise where your mouth touched -
Why did you bite me?

as you approach me
my flesh begins to tingle -
you have a new whip

I don’t know how long this will continue.

The woman is insatiable!

Or maybe she’s been reading some more novels….

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Clintonian clerihews

William Jefferson Clinton
was by weakness nearly undone.
His lesson learned on the fly
is don't get caught in a lie.

Hillary Clinton
when asked if she'll run
for President just demurs -
and so speculation she spurs.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Choir time, with guitar

The summer hiatus is nearly over.

The choir had its first practice Wednesday.

I was there, with voice - and guitar.

Yes, all you guitar bashers, our choir does include guitars.

The main instruments are organ, piano and voice, but we also have a flute, a bass and for years, one guitar. I am now the second guitar.

We won't play on all pieces, and on most that we do play on we are there for rhythm. But there are some hymns that lend themselves to guitar. With two of us, we can now add some color and some finger picking.

Choir music returns to Mass next Sunday.

I can't wait.

You are what you read?

Back when I was in college, Ayn Rand was all the rage among those who wanted to seem intellectual.

I had been raised as a good Catholic boy (although I was trying desperately to deny it), so unlike some of my fellow intellectual-wannabes, I actually took her books off my shelf and read them.

I made it through The Fountainhead. It left me feeling empty.

I remember hitchhiking (this was a few years back, mind you), squatting by the side of the road just after reading it, feeling as if the hot wind blowing on me by the side of that road was whirling hot and dry inside me.

I did not care as as the cars passed me.

I did not care that I was hot and thirsty.

I did not care about anything except what I was feeling.

And I realized what I was feeling - and not feeling - was an aftertaste of the book.

Not long after, I began Atlas Shrugged. I had to do some laundry and tossed it in the bag with my dirty clothes, figuring I'd read it while my clothes washed. But I was forgot it was there, and being a typical young man, I dumped the entire bag into the washer.

When I later unloaded the washer, I found the paperback book scattered throughout my clothes.

I kept finding bits of Atlas shrugging in socks, pockets and underwear for weeks after.

I took that as a sign. (That Catholic boy upbringing.)

I did not read any more Ayn Rand. I knew I needed to be washed of her influence - even as I kept discovering snippets of her philosophy in my mind for long after.

I began reading Lewis, Merton and Chesterton - and rediscovered my faith.

I don't advocate indiscriminate censorship, but I think we need to be aware of what we - and our children - read.

Will it make us grow, or will it leave us hollow men and women?

Friday, September 01, 2006

Empty nesters

We are officially empty nesters for a while.

We took youngest daughter to Wellesley College over the weekend. She is now part of the Class of 2010.

Emily and the lovely wife.

The wife and I will be alone until Columbus Day. (Well, except for the dog and the cat.)

I’m proud of Emily for getting into Wellesley.

We posed outside the dorm room that Clare first had at Wellesley five years ago (Emily is in the same dorm, but a different room.)

Emily and the Dad.

Perchance to dream…

Labels: ,