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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

40 Days of Blogging Day 40: Christmas in Church




Get up on Christmas morning
Barely light except the tree
It's the tree that brought salvation
The dawn of eternity
See the gifts swaddled in paper
Little angels shout with joy
Then go meet with the faithful
Worship God born as a boy

Put the Mass back in Christmas
Come celebrate Christ's birth
It is through the Church His body
Christ brings peace into the earth
Put the Mass back in Christmas
Eat the bread and drink the wine
Put the Mass back in Christmas
Come partake of gifts divine

Come downstairs in robes of shepherds
Then get dressed up like kings
Leave your gifts in their wrappings
You can wait for all those things
Come worship with the Wise Men
The Lamb of God asleep
With angels and the shepherds
A thankful vigil keep

Put the Mass back in Christmas
Come celebrate Christ's birth
It is through the Church His body
Christ brings peace into the earth
Put the Mass back in Christmas
Eat the bread and drink the wine
Put the Mass back in Christmas
Come partake of gifts divine

And once the waiting's over
And God's broken your fast
Then return with rejoicing
To your presents at last
Remember that all good gifts
Come down from God above
He hung himself on the tree
To give us life and love

Put the Mass back in Christmas
Come celebrate Christ's birth
It is through the Church His body
Christ brings peace into the earth
Put the Mass back in Christmas
Eat the bread and drink the wine
Put the Mass back in Christmas
Come partake of gifts divine

Monday, December 23, 2013

40 Days of Blogging Day 39: Comfort



I've never really known hunger
I've never really known thirst
I've never really met a pain
Too deep to translate into verse
So I dedicate this number
To the ones who have it worse

I can't speak for you
But I can try to listen
I can't help you through
But I can be here when
You reach the other side
By my side

I've never really had nothing
And no bag to keep it in
My belly's never empty
My heart is always full of sin
But I'm trying to reach Heaven
If they let me they'll let you in

I can't speak for you
But I can try to listen
I can't help you through
But I can be here when
You reach the other side
By my side

I've never really known nothing
Or been completely unknown
I've never really been damned
By God upon his throne
I've always had my dreaming
And my pillow made of stone

I can't speak for you
But I can try to listen
I can't help you through
But I can be here when
You reach the other side
By my side

And when your suffering's over
And Hell's no longer hot
I'll come and take your place there
And give you my hallowed spot

I can't speak for you
But I can try to listen
I can't help you through
But I can be here when
You reach the other side
By my side

Sunday, December 22, 2013

40 Days of Blogging Day 38: Never




Whatever you do, don’t look down
You are not high enough yet
Earth is still close enough to touch
Just one small step for a man
But it seems like it’s so much
The decision to leave the Earth
And reach Heaven if you can
Feels like a second birth
Through pain and blood and sweat
Formed from dust out of the ground

If it’s like this at the bottom
What’s it like when you get high
Where air is weak and gravity strong
Body yearning to feel the fall
When it seems you’ve climbed so long
With a lifetime still to go
And the ladder, the ladder is all
The only ground around you know
And Heaven is just a sigh
And Earth is brimstoned like Sodom

You could go back to your old ways
At your ease with your disease
And content with discontentment
Confront your demons where they thrive
Clinging only to resentment
Against a life you’ve never tried
But if you climb up you’ll arrive
Safely on the other side
You’ll fall down upon your knees
And cry grateful tears for grace


Saturday, December 21, 2013

40 Days of Blogging Day 37: The Candy Cane



Walking stick for a sweet old lame elf
Shepherd's crook for cotton-candy sheep
Peeks out of stockings hung from the shelf
Waiting for children to wake from their sleep

Red white then red, white red then white
Hypnotic spins to a tongue-piercing tip
When the last hook disappears from sight
There's nothing left but sweetness on the lip

A symbol of Christmas, the old candy cane
A treat once looked forward to with hope
The staff of a benevolent king come to reign
And an all-encompassing holiday trope

Friday, December 20, 2013

40 Days of Blogging Day 36: Hats



They say most of your body heat escapes up through your head
So when you're cold you need a way to trap it there instead
You could light your hair on fire but soon you would be dead
Try wearing some kind of hat up there like your mother said

When your feet are way too cold put that hat there on top
If you have a head cold Vicks and socks will make it stop
If you need misdirection a hat makes a top-notch prop
But smoke and mirrors are all that you'll find at a head shop

A hat can show you who's in charge or has too much to do
A hat can keep you warm enough to keep from turning blue
A rack of hats might also mean that you're a redneck too
Don't wear it backwards like that you little rotten punk you

A fez or turban is a hat that says which God is yours
It makes it much more obvious than magicical drawers
But when you come to where God is get down on all fours
Take off your hat before the King whose crown ever endures

Thursday, December 19, 2013

40 Day of Blogging Day 35: Black Peter



Face black as the smoke he breathes
While listening at the chimney
Lips red as the berries on the wreaths
Shown by Advent candles dimly
His rod and bag gape hungrily
For children being mischievous
Or hastes to tattle happily
To his master Saint Nicholas

Black Peter is a slave set free
Serving his thanksgiving
Or a demon in captivity
To St Nick of eternal living
No matter what his origins
He's now just a sort of dandy
Who travels with a fat old man
And tosses children candy

Everything good is done on an Eve
And just before a birth
Good will comes to those who believe
And bring Heaven down to Earth
May Black Peter catch you doing right
And following his saint too
All the good and sweet gifts that you might
Will be given unto you



Wednesday, December 18, 2013

40 Days of Blogging Day 34: Log Cabins




Joshua was born in the Yule Log cabin
Early on one Christmas morn
There there was started a little fire burning
In the moment he was born
Thirty-three logs were stacked to build that house
Thirty-three times a thousand
For thirty-three years it would burn
More bright than most could stand

The cabin brought a light to those benighted parts
Where the dark had ruled for so long
It was lit up by lightening from the sky
Thundering with celestial song
And drew from afar and from the fields
Animals, shepherds and kings
Everyone gathers around a fire
To escape the death dark brings

The Yule Log cabin burned for thirty-three years
And exposed the dark-done deeds
Of those who were supposed to keep the fire lit
And those who would break bent reeds
And they hauled Josh up on the last Yule log
To celebrate as he burned away
They left him there like a smoking wick
As the Yule light died away

They tossed the ashen faggot in an empty cave
Banked into the side of a hill
And there the fire budded and blossomed and bloomed
And the Yule Log cabin's burning still
Candlesticks behind, stars shine from his hands
Feet and eyes that burn you to the ground
The gifts just keep on pouring from the Yule Log's end
Around that fire all men are found

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

40 Days of Blogging Day 33: Nog, Glog & Grog




Bring back the wassail
The spirit of cheer
That is the spirit
We're in need of here
So bring on the nog,
The grog and the beer
Bring back the wassail
Ring in the new year

It seems that there's not
Much to look forward to
It looks like the old year
Was just like the new
We can't paint the town red
When we're all feeling blue
It's at times like these
There's just one thing to do

Bring back the wassail
The spirit of cheer
That is the spirit
We're in need of here
So bring on the nog,
The grog and the beer
Bring back the wassail
Ring in the new year

We only sing dirges
We sit alone in the dark
Lit only by light
That is blue and stark
It's time to get lit
By a choir from above
And sing of peace on earth
And the spirit of love

Bring back the wassail
The spirit of cheer
That is the spirit
We're in need of here
So bring on the nog,
The grog and the beer
Bring back the wassail
Ring in the new year

Be drunk with the spirit
Fill up with new wine
Partake of the essence
The liqueur divine
Sing a new song
Paint the whole town blood red
Ring in the new age
Bring back life from the dead

Bring back the wassail
The spirit of cheer
That is the spirit
We're in need of here
So bring on the nog,
The grog and the beer
Bring back the wassail
Ring in the new year



Monday, December 16, 2013

40 Days of Blogging Day 32: Blogger's Choice 3



Miscarried
It's a funny word
That makes it sound like you weren't held right
And maybe fumbled, and dropped on your head
But you are wrapped up
And protected
In a place so safe it's the archetype for a metaphor
And life is your only possession
But this world is cracked like a dropped egg
And you seem to be oozing into it all over
Out of the oven and into the fall
On the other hand
There's the chance you'll fall
Into the hand of God
And be carried correctly
Home

Sunday, December 15, 2013

40 Days of Blogging Day 31: Idolatry



I flee from fondled bondage
To a reptilian king
To worship the Creator
Instead of everything
I run into the river
That boils me in cold blood
An angel sent from Heaven
Takes me through the flood

Oh God I need an angel
I can't escape the flame
The passion burns within me
My face burns with the shame
And oh God I need an angel
To keep me from the fall
Oh God I need an angel
To God damn them all

I wander in the desert
I burn with thirst and dust
I'm lost and I am lonely
Full of hunger and of lust
If I could find my own way
I'd die here in the heat
An angel sent from Heaven
Gives me God as drink and meat

Oh God I need an angel
I can't escape the flame
The passion burns within me
My face burns with the shame
And oh God I need an angel
To keep me from the fall
Oh God I need an angel
To God damn them all

I dwell here in this city
Of forgotten deities
Betrayed by the fifth column
And beaten to my knees
Oh God I need an angel
I've no strength to hold this sword
Oh God please send an angel
The Angel of the Lord

Oh God I need an angel
I can't escape the flame
The passion burns within me
My face burns with the shame
And oh God I need an angel
To keep me from the fall
Oh God I need an angel
To God damn them all


Saturday, December 14, 2013

40 Days of Blogging Day 30: S'mores


Two to keep desire down
And sticky off the hand

One to hold together all
Add sweet instead of bland

Six smack in the middle
Ultimate in candy bars

One dessert to rule them all
And make campfires ours

Friday, December 13, 2013

40 Days of Blogging Day 29: St Herman of Alaska



St Herman showed us what a man should be:
He forgot his name
He forgot his homeland
He forgot himself
And attained memory eternal

St Herman showed us what a government should be:
Provide education
Provide for the poor
Stay out of the way
Unless one of the above are attacked

St Herman showed us what we should be
Tireless in labour
Sparing in mouth
Unsparing in love
Living alone with God and for all



Thursday, December 12, 2013

40 Days off Blogging Day 28: Monastics



~ To the tune of “The Ballad of Gilligan’s Isle”

Just sit right back and you’ll hear a hymn
A hymn that’s out of this world
Of a ship that’s headed Heavenward
As from this Earth it’s hurled
We’ve all got to find a way to sail
on the sea of eternity
Best ship off the ground as you’re Heaven-bound
Is the Monastery
The Monastery

The Monastery ships all kinds, it’s a microcosmic earth
Let’s look over the passenger list and see who’s taken berth
And see who’s taken berth
The ship set forth Heavenward on the sea of eternity
With the Atheist
And the Heretic
The Troubador, and his wife
The Christian
The Confessor and the Brotherhood
Here in the Monastery

So here is the tale of our sailing crew
And their vaporous sunburnt trip
And the lessons we learn for our own sail
On our terrestrial ship

Remember the One Who walked the sea
Walk the waves with eyes on Him
Remember death comes all too soon
Keep your mind and body trim

Stay away from port til you reach that rest
Til the ship grounds on the mount
Shake the earth from off your feet
And make every last step count

So join the Brothers as they sail
To that kingdom ‘cross the sea
Wave as you leave the world behind
In the Monastery

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

40 Days of Blogging Day 27: Deborah, Judge of Israel



It is truly meet to bless you, O Ioudaiatokos
The champion leader, standard bearer, and standard
We only go forth when we are carried in your womb
And we can only prevail when we are lost in you

+

A man can carry an army but not himself
Only a woman can carry a nation
A man can only carry what is placed upon him
A woman can carry God in her womb

+

Because of you, O Ioudaiatokos, we have courage to fight the enemy
Pray to God that the serpent's head may be crushed and we may be saved




Tuesday, December 10, 2013

40 Days of Blogging Day 26: Oil Lamps




Does your heart burn in vigil
For one coming or one gone
With your hands lifted in prayer
And your voice lifted in song
And the oil soothes your soul
And the light brings hope anew
While you come to the one
And the one is there with you

Are your lamps filled with oil
Have you cleaned and trimmed your wicks
Are you watching for the coming
Does the joy your heart transfix
And the oil soothes your soul
And the light brings hope anew
While you come to the one
And the one is there with you

Do you see the lamp swinging
As the spirit rushes by
You can't see where it came from
But you hear its prayerful sigh
And the oil soothes your soul
And the light brings hope anew
While you come to the one
And the one is there with you

Monday, December 9, 2013

40 Days of Blogging Day 25: Snowflakes



I love when it’s sweater weather
Patterned frost on window panes
Three feet of snow upon the ground
A couple narrow snow-plowed lanes

I put on my heavy sweater
And venture out into the snow
Everything seems quiet, muted
And taking every movement slow

As the sweater gathers snowflakes
And like a blanket covers me
It gives me a pleasant feeling
Of how the winter ought to be

Sunday, December 8, 2013

40 Days of Blogging Day 24: The Zygote



Almost as soon as the zygote shows up
It splits
On the day animal life was created

What God has joined together let no man
Put asunder
As we participate in the Creation

Smaller than a grain of mustard seed
Like faith
It grows into a container for God




Saturday, December 7, 2013

40 Days of Blogging Day 23: Christmas Tree



I like Christmas trees with colored lights
Especially when they're on the blink
I like them all red, or blue, or white
I'm fine with cypress, pine, or plastic

I like them hung with store-bought stuff
And ornaments made by family hands
A heavenly herald sitting on the top
And strands of silvery tinsel all around

The children do all the tree work now
On the Sunday closest to St. Nicholas day
Like we did when I was a kid myself
You can see why the pagans had Childmas

I'd stick each plastic leaf on its plastic twig
With plastic pine cones adding drabness
And put on the lights and silver tinsel
And read The Christmas Story Little Golden Book

My favorite tree, though, was in the basement
Of our little First Baptist Church building
An unornamented silver aluminum tree
With a primary-color revolving light wheel

Of course Christ was probably hung on hardwood
Bringing life in the midst of death and darkness
But we wear metal crosses around our necks
And we try to be lights in the world

Friday, December 6, 2013

40 Days of Blogging Day 22: Saint Nicholas




Saint Nicholas was a wonderful man
As you note by his moniker
He might have worn a red suit and hat
As bishop of Myra and Lycia

But he started out as a little kid
Loving the Faith so much
He fasted every fourth and sixth day
And read the Bible in Church and such

Eventually he became a priest
And gave away gold to the poor
(That's where the Santa legend is from)
He hid it in shoes that they wore

We remember him best at Christmas
Which is fitting, because you see
Nicholas punched a man in the face
For an anti-Christ heresy

Let us receive Saint Nicholas' gifts
And I do not mean chocolate or gold
I mean his gift of love for the poor
And zeal for the truth that we hold

Thursday, December 5, 2013

40 Days of Blogging Day 21: Gift Giving



I lay in bed and look around 
At all the things that I have found in gaily coloured boxes
Christmas, birthday, and surprise
All these presents Dad provides
He watches as I open them with pleasure in his eyes
And though I like the things he gave I finally realize

There's nothing in this room my father didn't buy
All the things that I hold dear were given to me in his love
There's no Thanksgiving long enough
No need for want or fear
My father's love I can't deny
For there's nothing in this room my father didn't buy

I walk around my house so full 
Of furniture and toys and tools and other things I've gotten
For some I've worked and some were gifts
Given by others to uplift
God watches me enjoy these things with pleasure in his eyes
And though I like the things God gave I finally realize

There's nothing in this room my father didn't buy
All the things that I hold dear were given to me in his love
There's no Thanksgiving long enough
No need for want or fear
My father's love I can't deny
For there's nothing in this room my father didn't buy

Though I leave for a far country
And spend all my dad's money to make it all by myself
There's nothing for me where I roam
Better to be broke and home
He watches me return to him with pleasure in his eyes
And though I like the things he gave I finally realize

There's nothing in this room my father didn't buy
All the things that I hold dear were given to me in his love
There's no Thanksgiving long enough
No need for want or fear
My father's love I can't deny
For there's nothing in this room my father didn't buy



Wednesday, December 4, 2013

40 Days of Blogging Day 20: Incense



Time to rise up out of bed 
(Getting ready for the judgment day) 
Dress my body comb my head 
(Getting ready for the judgment day) 

Take my pills and take a drive 
(Getting ready for the judgment day) 
Arrive at church and act alive 
(Getting ready for the judgment day) 

Greet the saints and pray a prayer 
(Getting ready for the judgment day) 
Take my stand - there's no pews there 
(Getting ready for the judgment day) 

Candles burn and incense smells 
(Getting ready for the judgment day) 
Sing with the choir and ring them bells 
(Getting ready for the judgment day) 

Hear the Word and homily 
(Getting ready for the judgment day) 
Cross and bow reverently 
(Getting ready for the judgment day) 

Receive my Savior wine with bread 
(Getting ready for the judgment day) 
All one body, Christ the head 
(Getting ready for the judgment day) 

Pray again, again, again 
(Getting ready for the judgment day) 
Coffee hour and we are then 
Getting ready for the judgment day 

Fasting days, confession nights
(Getting ready for the judgment day) 
Work and play we live as lights 
(Getting ready for the judgment day)

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

40 Days of Blogging Day 19: Handel's Messiah








The Messiah first came to me as sheet music
Suspended above the earth on a black metal stand 
Waiting for me to blow his coming on the trumpet 
With my 11 year old lips on my eighty year old horn 
The trumpet shall sound not so good really 
Not without a lot more practice reaching heavenward
Mrs. Malone was the music incarnated
And the choir could have been singing 
"Holy Holy Holy" and surrounding the throne 
But all I could ever really do was blow 
And the Hallelujah was always at the end

The Messiah came to me next on spools
Celluloid circles of iron oxide in ranks
First in real reel-to-reel, then cassette
Hiding the headphones under my hat
As I sung my way through the early AM
Delivering the news, good or otherwise
My fourteen year old voice cracking
With cold and advancing adolescence
I accompanied the recording on the trumpet
Still reaching for that note in the clouds
And the Hallelujah was always at the end

The Messiah came to me in the choir
An informal sing-a-long for the sheer joy
The same reason the angels in Heaven sing
As everything is made new, including us
Joining in the oratorio uttered by the Word
And the Heavenly sing-a-long made me a man
That could trumpet the high notes
And when it all went to my head too much
I'd relieve the migraine by Messiah osmosis
And the Hallelujah was at the Incarnation
And it all ended with the angelic Amen


Monday, December 2, 2013

40 Days of Blogging Day 18: Feet




Strong toes dig into the dirt tossing it heavenward
Arches that keep the sky from falling
Heels strong enough to crush a serpent's head
Callouses that keep the runner safe
And dirt to be washed away in gratitude
By the recipient of the good news

Sunday, December 1, 2013

40 Days of Blogging Day 17: Holiday Depression




Christmas will be a little sparse this year 
Not enough money with the holiday near 
But I want to give you something, my dear 
But you don't want what I can give this year 

All I have to give this Christmas is me 
It's the only thing available that's free 
But the packaging is poor 
And what inside's a little more 
Than you want for Christmas, 'cause it's me. 

I could try to make a gift from what I find 
And I'm sure it's something you won't mind 
But to whatever I give you you'll be blind 
But I know it's not the gift but me declined 

All I have to give this Christmas is me 
It's the only thing available that's free 
But the packaging is poor 
And what inside's a little more 
Than you want for Christmas, 'cause it's me. 

I want you to know that I do understand 
A gift that's only me is kind of bland 
But it's the only thing that I have on hand 
And I love you, maybe I'm something you could stand 

All I have to give this Christmas is me 
It's the only thing available that's free 
But the packaging is poor 
And what inside's a little more 
Than you want for Christmas, 'cause it's me.



All I had to give this Christmas was me 
I probably should have stayed under the tree 
But I put myself out there 
And tried to show I care 
Now there's nothing left but wrapping and debris 

I made a little gift with me inside 
I put some things in there I try to hide 
I should have let my fear become my guide 
But at least now I can say I really tried 

All I had to give this Christmas was me 
I probably should have stayed under the tree 
But I put myself out there 
And tried to show I care 
Now there's nothing left but wrapping and debris 

Disappointment was so plain upon your face 
I had hoped that there would be a little grace 
Your reaction really put me in my place 
I guess I'll go away and give you back your space 

All I had to give this Christmas was me 
I probably should have stayed under the tree 
But I put myself out there 
And tried to show I care 
Now there's nothing left but wrapping and debris 

Now I'm laying torn to shreds upon the floor 
I should have gotten something from the store 
'Cause I know that I am creepy and a bore 
If I had you I know I'd be a little more 

All I had to give this Christmas was me 
I probably should have stayed under the tree 
But I put myself out there 
And tried to show I care 
Now there's nothing left but wrapping and debris