Thursday, June 29, 2006

Inviting literary criticism

The Beautiful Lie

He was about four, I think... it was so long ago.
In a garden; he'd done some damage
behind a bright screen of sweet-peas
- snapped a stalk, a stake, I don't recall,
but the grandmother came and saw, and asked him:
"Did you do that?"

Now, if she'd said why did you do that,
he'd never have denied it. She showed him
he had a choice. I could see, in his face,
the new sense, the possible. That word and deed
need not match, that you could say the world
different, to suit you.

When he said "No", I swear it was as moving
as the first time a baby's fist clenches
on a finger, as momentous as the first
taste of fruit. I could feel his eyes looking
through a new window, at a world whose form
and colour weren't fixed

but fluid, that poured like a snake, trembled
around the edges like northern lights, shape-shifted
at the spell of a voice. I could sense him filling
like a glass, hear the unreal sea in his ears.
This is how to make songs, create men, paint pictures,
tell a story.

I think I made up the screen of sweet peas.
Maybe they were beans; maybe there was no screen,
it just felt as if there should be, somehow.
And he was my - no, I don't need to tell that.
I know I made up the screen. And I recall very well
what he had done.

-- Sheenagh Pugh

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Any Vet groups reading this?

I apologize to all my loyal reader (love to ya, Monica) who apparently missed me. I've been busy Fighting For All That Is Good And Right (otherwise known as fighting to remember what all the pretty little buttons in Westlaw mean) as a law clerk (*ahem* intern) at Christian Law Association this week. I'd tell you how we are planning on Saving the World this summer, but then I'd have to kill you (or at least face some sort of confidentiality talking-to that might stay on my record), so instead I'll share an interesting circumstance a caller brought to our attention in the course of an unrelated call. Picture share (can be found at UMass-Dartmouth website):

In case you can't see exactly what this is, I'll explain: This is the front entrance to University of Massachusetts--Dartmouth campus. The flagpole in the center flies the Massachusetts state flag. On the right (yes, the right, not the center) is the United States flag. On the left is the rainbow flag, commonly known as the gay pride flag, and yes, it is being flown at the same height as the United States flag. Anyone want to play that game we learned from children's TV shows called "How Many Things Can You Find Wrong With This Picture"?

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Rocks, hold your peace just yet

Coming to you live from an internet cafe in Phoenix...

The last few days I've been sitting in some very interesting lectures on some very interesting topics given by some very credentialed people, and I figured I should post something about a point they raised or a controversy they inspired, but in retrospect the strongest impression that stands out to me has nothing to do with those lectures.

It happened this morning. A small group of us decided to go for a dawn hike up a nearby mountain since sessions started a little later. The timing worked out pretty well, and we reached the peak right about as the sun broke away from the horizon, and as all of us sat on the peak resting and basking in the beauty of Creation we started singing and reading aloud Psalms. It seemed like such a natural response none of us really thought twice about it. On the way back down, another hiker passed us. As he walked beside me for several paces he asked if we were a church group. I replied that no, we were law students, but we were Christians gathered from all over. He seemed absolutely baffled. "But you were singing up there," he said in puzzlement. "You're not a church?" But it's so logical: Christians gather, the Spirit is present; in the presence of so much natural beauty what could be more natural than that we be compelled to praise the Creator? I can't say for sure, but I don't think lost people really get that. Boy, do they miss out.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Sermon in Verse

Down With Fanatics!

If I had my way with violent men
I'd simmer them in oil,
I'd fill a pot with bitumen
And bring them to the boil.
I execrate the terrorist
And those who harbour him,
And if I weren't a moralist
I'd tear them limb from limb.

Fanatics are an evil breed
Whom decent men should shun;
I'd like to flog them till they bleed,
Yes, every mother's son,
I'd like to tie them to a board
And let them taste the cat,
While giving praise, oh thank the Lord,
That I am not like that.

For we should love the human kind,
As Jesus taught us to,
And those who don't should be struck blind
And beaten black and blue;
I'd like to roast them in a grill
And listen to them shriek,
Then break them on the wheel until
They turned the other cheek.

-- Roger Woddis