Let Us Meditate the Virtue

by Donald Hall Let us meditate the virtue of slogans. Let us declare onomastic* solutions to difficulties largely unnameable, and by the mottoes of euphemism contract verbal righteousness. Let's indite bulletins to tell everyone the Jargon of Things, to name Lifestyles, to learn the Tongue of High Coy: Do you desire to purchase a beverage? We thank you for not smoking. Have a nice day. May we share these suggestions with you? Let us praise exultation, never calling a route salesman a milkman, nor an officer of the law a cop, nor a senior citizen old, nor a starving freezing bagwoman poor. When we can't alter ills that upset us, we will change their names to prevent compassion from disturbing our ungulate composure: words to deny worlds. Vocabulary voids original sin; cavalry of the lie reaches Calvary just in time--to bugle Christ down from the cross. But: no nails, no Christ. Jean Jouvenet "Descent From The Cross"

The Windhover

by Gerard Manley Hopkins To Christ our Lord I caught this morning morning's minion, king- dom of daylight's dauphin, dapple-dáwn-drawn Falcon, in his riding Of the rólling level úndernéath him steady áir, & stríding High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing, As a skate's heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl & gliding Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding Stirred for a bird, -- the achieve of, the mastery of the thing! Brute beauty & valour & act, oh, air, pride, plume, here Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion Times told lovelier, more dangerous, o my chevalier! No wónder of it: shéer plód makes plóugh down síllion Shine, & blue-bleak embers, ah my dear, Fall, gáll themsélves, & gásh góld-vermílion.

Just Now

by W.S. Merwin In the morning as the storm begins to blow away the clear sky appears for a moment and it seems to me that there has been something simpler than I could ever believe simpler than I could have begun to find words for not patient not even waiting no more hidden than the air itself that became part of me for a while with every breath and remained with me unnoticed something that was here unnamed unknown in the days and the nights not separate from them not separate from them as they came and were gone it must have been here neither early nor late then by what name can I address it now holding out my thanks


by Rafael Jesus Gonzalez Thanks & blessings be to the Sun & the Earth for this bread & this wine, this fruit, this meat, this salt, this food; thanks be & blessing to them who prepare it, who serve it; thanks & blessings to them who share it (& also the absent & the dead). Thanks & Blessing to them who bring it (may they not want), to them who plant & tend it, harvest & gather it (may they not want); thanks & blessing to them who work & blessing to them who cannot; may they not want - for their hunger sours the wine & robs the taste from the salt. Thanks be for the sustenance & strength for our dance & work of justice, of peace.

Arms Full

by Rebecca del Rio Gratitude means showing up on life’s doorstep, love’s threshold, dressed in a clown suit, rubber-nosed, gunboat shoes flapping. Gratitude shows up with arms full of wildflowers, reciting McKuen or the worst of Neruda. To talk of gratitude is to be the fool in a cynic’s world. Gratitude is pride’s nightmare, the admission of humility before something given without expectation or attachment. Gratitude tears open the shirt of self importance, scatters buttons across the polished floors of feigned indifference, ignores the obvious and laughs out loud. Even more, gratitude bears her breasts, rips open her ribs to show the naked heart, the holy heart. What if that sacred heart is not, after all, about sacrifice? Imagine it is about joy, barefoot and foolhardy, something unasked for, something unearned. What if the beat we hear, when we are finally quiet is simply this: Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you, Rebecca!

Cult of the Warrior

by Al Markowitz originally published on November 12, 2007 On Memorial Day, for all the Veterans who marched against the War in Iraq and were jeered. Keep the faith! A palpable silence of reverence where “soldier” is synonymous with hero revered. Where service in battle is holy and mysterious dark foreigners feared. We venerate our soldiers’ presence on the always far front and with heads bowed in adoration try to show off our symbols of public support – as long as they shut up and die. contact: Partisan Press P.O. 11417 Norfolk, VA 23517

Mending Wall

by Robert Frost Something there is that doesn't love a wall, That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it And spills the upper boulder in the sun, And make gaps even two can pass abreast. The work of hunters is another thing: I have come after them and made repair Where they have left not one stone on a stone, But they would have the rabbit out of hiding, To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean, No one has seen them made or heard them made, But at spring mending-time we find them there, I let my neighbor know beyond the hill; And on a day we meet to walk the line And set the wall between us once again. We keep the wall between us as we go. To each the boulders that have fallen to each. And some are loaves and some so nearly balls We have to use a spell to make them balance: "Stay where you are until our backs are turned!" We wear our fingers rough with handling them. Oh, just another kind of outdoor game, One on a side. It co