The Danse Macabre (2020)

All hallows eve enchanted dark
A stroll I took in chill
To see the children on their lark
And thus a pipe to kill

The sunset orange watching pass
And night on coming strong
When deep from Mission hill and grass
I heard a haunted song

Then followed I this tunèd curse
Until i found the source
And deep beneath Dolores firs
I saw a morbid course

And dancing came the doomèd mob
In pairs of flesh and bone
A line was paced to plaintive sob
And cold as chiseled stone

Now though I thought in fright to flee
Before my feet would fly
Their rhythm’d steps came round me
That each might pass me by

And silent were the corpses all
But skeletons well said
Without the breath or fleshy pall
Upon their bony head

They spoke addressing me by name
Well done to find us here
And will you make our chorus fame
In gruesome verse appear?

I nodded silent as I typed
In thumbs upon my screen
unbidden verse my phone had striped
In pixeled eerie sheen

The first pair came in courtly swirl
And round me then to go
The bone man led a regal girl
Whose years made dancing slow

An empress grand she ruled the globe
A century bears her mark
Now unamused in weeds her robe
Death has a Victory stark

The second pair now came aside
In black and white a boy
The bones and he hob’d horses stride
With a candle as a toy

At altar knelt he near the south
And well he served the priest
But now for prayers he has no mouth
We take both great and least

The third pair came a man in suit
With marching hails the chief
and wearing chains of free world’s loot
The leader of their grief

We get them all said clacking jaw
In top hat or in none
No leader yet the world has saw
Who has this dance not done

And next there came in sleeves ore long
A song book in her hand
The lead soprano with her song
And shin bones for her band

Her voice ere piped on eagles wings
Her hands on guitar strummed
But deeply buried graved things
Like songs have her made dumb

Antifa dancèd by my side
With Patriot Prayers in tow
Their axes choppèd each their hide
An eternity of woe

One skeleton prancèd by their side
The two had but one soul
Eternally now they are mates
And in one space they troll

Up came an athlete with a bat
A beard and muscles slack
The dodger blue upon his hat
Was fading now to black

In leaving Brooklyn bone man said
The team betray’d their home
And round the world the cursèd dead
as traitors made to roam

A priest came next his back to me
His robes array’d for Mass
In Dance his face I n’er did see
Tho him did thrice me pass

His liturgy was drama trim
The showman ever play’d
And so in death his penance grim
His face away is staid

A cardinal with Capitol
Was turning on the ground
The skeletons would take their tole
As each his body found

A tech bro came: lyft, scooter, vape
And options like the dew
the ghosts of startups round him drape
and dreams are all askew

A data science preacher stood
behind his keyboard dark
with graphs and charts both mighty good
Predicting earnings dark

But prophets cannot profits tell
An ivory dancer said
And Mammon leaves one strait to, well…
It’s just enough he’s dead

An Abbot tall with croizer’d hand
was further down the queue
A skeleton did by him stand
as with all the others too

A Jesuit came down the pike
Accompanying his charge
No heresy he didn’t like
His tent was mighty large

A politician found her mark
and made a Arabesque
So firm her planks her promise, hark!
To voters now address’d

A crowd came next in mournful band
Full maskèd in the park
Unwilling now they hold death’s hand
Weeping in the dark

And then a greater crowd there came
Not was mask’d or led
but of their own will they came
to fall among the dead

Then Death herself the reaper grim
astride the path did stand
and all around her rais’d a hymn
this morbid bony band

We get them all We slay them all
And none can say us nay
We wake them all we take them all
as night ore-takes the day

And last alone some lonely bone
said to a novice sent
Tis I, I said and dropped this phone
and dancing off we went

The Shortest Day

by Susan Cooper

So the shortest day came, and the year died,
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.

They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive,

And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, revelling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us – Listen!!

All the long echoes sing the same delight,
This shortest day,

As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, fest, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.

And so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.

Welcome Yule!!

Do You Even Colitas, Bro?

This is way better than Eagle’s Wings…

On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair
Warm smell of ascesis, rising up with the prayer
Up ahead in the distance, I saw a shimmering light
My heart grew lighter and my sight grew clear
I had to join in the fight.

There she stood in the doorway;
I heard the mission bell
And I was thinking to myself
‘This could be heaven if we but could do well’
Mary lit up a candle and she showed me the way
There were angels up the central nave,
I thought I heard them say

Welcome to Ecclesia Catholica
Such a lovely place
Such heaven’ly grace
Plenty of room in Ecclesia Catholica
Any time of year you can find it here

Her mind is differently-ordered, she got the crusader bands
She got a lot of pretty, pretty cups and golden patens
How they dance in the boxes, filoque
Some dance in contrition, some dance liturjay

So I called up the pastor,
‘Please bring me my wine’
He said, ‘we’ve got spirit here: Vatican two? Fine.’
And still those voices are calling from far away,
Adoration in the middle of the night
You can hear them say:

Welcome to Ecclesia catholica
Such a lovely place
Such a heaven’ly grace
We’re livin it up in Ecclesia Catholica
There’s more life here it’s abundant here

Frescos on the ceiling,
The pink vestments are nice
And she said, ‘we are all still prisoners with addictions to vice’
Yet in the master’s wisdom,
we gather for the feast
Michael stabs hard with his sword,
Look he just now killed the beast!

Last thing I remember, I was
searchin all the floor
I had to find the water’y font just beside the door
‘Relax’ said the deacon,
‘We are ready to receive.
We’ll confirm you any time you like,
To Christ you’ll always cleave!’

Welcome to Ecclesia Catholica
Such a lofty place
Filled with heaven’ly grace
Plenty of room in Ecclesia Catholica
Any time of year you can find it here

A Daily Process. A Life.

+JMJ+

I have a sin I’ve oft confess’d
That drop’d I claim again
and in that sin I’ve lost the best
of life’s abundant store
Can yet this I re-repent
You so often re-forgive
tho like the waves I can’t relent
this gouging on the shore
This sin I cast into the flame
but cannot say I’ve done
For I arise but the same
I’ll struggle on some more

I have a sin which calls to me
and seems divinely sent
What it seems it cannot be
If I to love would grow
And many arrows fail the grade
When Cupid stalks his prey
As many broken hearts are play’d
yet fail one whole to show
This sin I cast into the flame
but cannot say I’ve done
For I arise but the same
How it ends I cannot know

I have a sin I darn’t name
it feigns my very self
e’en still I know I am but lame
my heart’s not this it’s true
Yet this sin I’ve waved on high
Drumming others to my cause
When in the dark go slinking I
seeking others pitching woo
This sin I cast into the flame
but cannot say I’ve done
For I arise but the same
God pierce my heart right through

Still, say dear Lord you hear me here
see your child in pain
so I will proffer you in fear
a wayward cup to fill
Even though I cannot play
in light just here and now
You are the light the truth the way
that can this darkness kill
This last I cast into the flame
And then will say you’ve done
For you arise my life to claim
And save me in thy will.

See: John Donne’s  Hymn to God the Father

Stopping By Sonic After Church in the Evening

WHAT town this is I do not know
It’s exit one eleven though
So just one short of one oh three
where driving I would homeward go

My little car, this GMC
won’t need the gas: this stop’s for me
between the stores and parking lot
this summer evening breezy, free

The lights turned down I pick a slot
in park the gear the motor hot
My order placed my card I sweep
The car hop serves it hits the spot

This Sonic blast is thick and deep
the flavor funnel it will keep
and I will drink it for I sleep
and I will drink it for I sleep.

(With fondest apologies to Robert Frost from DHR.)

The Danse Macabre



All hallows eve enchanted dark
A stroll I took in chill
To see the children on their lark
And thus a pipe to kill

The sunset orange watching pass
And night on coming strong
When deep from Mission hill and grass
I heard a haunted song

Then followed I this tunèd curse
Until i found the source
And deep beneath Dolores firs
I saw a morbid course

And dancing came the doomèd mob
In pairs of flesh and bone
A line was paced to plaintive sob
And cold as chiseled stone

Now though i thought in fright to flee
Before my feet would fly
Their rhythmed steps came round me
That each might pass me by

And silent were the corpses all
But skeletons well said
Without the breath or fleshy pall
Upon their bony head

They spoke addressing me by name
Well done to find us here
And will you make our chorus fame
In gruesome verse appear?

I nodded silent as I typed
In thumbs upon my screen
unbidden verse my phone had striped
In pixeled eerie sheen

The first pair came in courtly swirl
And round me then to go
The bone man led a regal girl
Whose years made dancing slow

An empress grand she ruled the globe
A century bears her mark
Now unamused in weeds her robe
Death has a Victory stark

The second pair now came aside
In black and white a boy
The bones and he hob’d horses stride
With a candle as a toy

At altar knelt he near the south
And well he served the priest
But now for prayers he has no mouth
We take both great and least

The third pair came a man in suit
With marching hails the chief
and wearing chains of free world’s loot
The leader of their grief

We get them all said clacking jaw
In top hat or in none
No leader yet the world has saw
Who has this dance not done

And next there came in sleeves ore long
A song book in her hand
The lead soprano with her song
And shin bones for her band

Her voice ere piped on eagles wings
Her hands on guitar strummed
But deeply buried graved things
Like songs have her made dumb

Up came an athlete with a bat
A beard and muscles slack
The dodger blue upon his hat
Was fading now to black

In leaving Brooklyn bone man said
The team betrayed their home
And round the world the cursed dead
as traitors made to roam

A priest came next his back to me
His robes arrayed for Mass
In Dance his face I n’er did see
Tho him did thrice me pass

His liturgy was drama trim
The showman ever played
And so in death his penance grim
His face away is staid

A tech bro came: lyft, scooter, vape
And options like the dew
the ghosts of start ups round him drape
and dreams are all askew

A Jesuit next came down the pike
Accompanying his charge
No heresy he didn’t like
His tent was mighty large

A politician found her mark
and made a Arabesque
So firm her planks her promise, hark!
To voters now addressed

An Abbot tall with croizered hand
was further down the queue
A skeleton did by him stand
as with all the others too

Then Death herself the reaper grim
astride the path did stand
and all around her they raised a hymn
this morbid bony band

We get them all We slay them all
And none can say us nay
We wake them all we take them all
as night ore-takes the day

And last alone some lonely bone said to a novice he was sent Tis I I said and dropped this phone and dancing off we went

Sonnet XV Good Friday. 3PM.

The darken’d Sun turns sharply to the West
The crying women now a muffl’d sound
The crowds still gaping silent stand around
The Roman circus ceases to molest

The body nearly now by life unbound
Unseen the Angels horror gathering now
Penultimate redemption’s dying bow
In spittle blood and urine stains the ground

Divinely plan’d this death he will endow
With life enclos’d in Jesus holy grasp
And univers’ly shared in dying gasp
Tho questing Faith sees not nor questions how

As Satan opens Hell For Heaven’s guest
The victor’s crying Consumatus Est!

++++

This is my last sonnet for 2018… but more will come. There’s 16 more, I think, in the list for Holy Week.

Sonnet XIV Via Dolorosa

He’s walking, Jesus walking. Bloody stain
upon the ground. He’s falling, Jesus falls.
& up. He’s walking, falling. Soldier calls
St Simon out of Crowds to help attain

Golgotha’s lofty height. Once more he stalls
But rising rushes on the Masses’ need
To fill and bakers dough to bend and knead
fo serve beneath the cross that crushes all.

We’re walking people walking, souls to lead
Golgotha-ward to Jesus bleeding feet
it’s upwards still and onwards angels beat
their wings in glory as our souls we feed.

If Jesus cross our pathways do maintain
Like him for God our Ego’s greed is slain

Sonnet XIII Barabbas

Barabbas, Father’s Son, your story’s end
unknown your Genesis unsaid. You mark
at Jesus side the choice twixt life and stark
and nameless death. Are even you a friend?

You saw how Life Himself for you the Dark
Descending brav’d, the raving mob endur’d
the pillory the cross the spear assur’d
that you could freely fly from Pilate’s clark

and yet aren’t you by sacrifice allur’d
a bit? this quiet man who deathward goes
ne’er fending for himself nor pain nor woes
addressing. ‘Til at last your death is cur’d

and does a saintly name your story close
your name unwrit by holy waters’ flows?

Sonnet XII Lashing and Mocking

Crack Forty times & more the lashes sting
The flesh of God which breaded now we eat
is turned at pillory to bloody meat
as Roman biceps leaded whips make sing

Cut loose exhausted falle he at their feet
awaiting his awakening a game
the Romans play, arranging him the same
as Caesar Mock’d upon a bloody seat

In purple robes & thornèd crown his name
the very name of Love they jeer as hate
& truth Himself is by their lies made wait
his going to the last salvific game

but what for all the world seems cruel fate
is but divinely plotted switch & bait.