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Archive for the ‘disaster’ Category

mess

 

“mess”

We opened presents Christmas Eve, so here is a mess of media stuff and packing boxes…this is the way this corner usually looks; DH is notoriously messy and this is his stuff, mostly.  I call it “bunny piles”.

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O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny
From depths of Hell Thy people save
And give them victory o’er the grave
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

 O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, O come, Thou Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes, on Sinai’s height,
In ancient times did’st give the Law,
In cloud, and majesty and awe.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

*

Even so, Lord Jesus, quickly come.

*

Sandy Hook school shooting

School shootings in the US

School shootings in the world

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pearl harbor

for a while

i imagine

the memories were sharp with the smell of gunpowder

and blood

freighted with

screams or shouts and billowing black smoke

startled leap from paradise to hell

the anger

betrayal

rage

every year they were silent on that day

wearing black

or flags

or little yellow ribbons

anyone alive then remembers

the day that will live in infamy

.

twelve years later

after peace was struck

the planes and ships all came home

with their soldiers and sailors and pilots

all safe

my mom was born

and she doesn’t remember it

in that visceral way

sure there was a moment of silence in school

and they all learned about it in their history books

but

it was one of those facts

to remember for the

tests

no sense of horror

no infamy-provoking reactions

.

so then there was me

born in the bountiful and coddled 80’s

that crazy decade

so rich

so safe

we were king of the world

and even the Iron Curtain fell

so everything was great

till 9/11 crashed in

(seventy years after — a lifetime)

another day to live in infamy

smoke and shouts

screams and the startled leap

down into death

breaking glass and crumbling steel

the smell of fear

as we were once again

vulnerable

stunned

angry

.

but twelve years are passing

and the schoolkids were babies on that day

no visceral reaction

no memories of pain and panic

only a question on a test

something the teacher goes on about

and those politicians give for a reason to keep the war going

for years and

years

until we all forget why

and time heals all wounds

until next time

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we’ve passed the threshold now

my passport has been updated

we’ve done the ten-year anniversary

the Islamophobia’s died down

and bin Laden’s dead as well

I can listen to the second movement of Schumann’s

piano concerto and not hear

screeching metal and crumbling masonry

all the paper has been recycled

and a memorial has been built

people have had more children

or gotten remarried

and each September brings more thoughts of

apples, pumpkins, leaves, and

golden days

than flags, blood, smoke, and tears

but I will still wear black today

and my neighbor will put his flag at half-mast

I will play Barber’s Agnus Dei at quarter to nine

and my students will not understand why

but we who are old enough will pray and remember

because they are never gone

until we forget

.

.

In memory of Francisco Bourdier and the other 2,995 victims of 9-11, in conjunction with Project 2,996.

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.

when she sees sunset

flame

suddenly in the windows of skyscrapers

she still waits for the splintering shrapnel of glass

the human-sized blots of

ash

floating terribly down

the crumbling of walls like so much charred wood

smoke rising

forever

and the roar of the fire so loud you can

almost

not hear the screams

ten years is never long enough to

forget

.

.

In memory of Francisco Bourdier and the other 2,995 victims of 9-11, in conjunction with Project 2,996.

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if all

we see is

black and

white

our color

blindness

limits us

to looking at the

world

in monochrome

but God

has other

colors

in His repertoire

.

emerald spark of leaves

golden glances of birds and lions

smoky orange of maples

warm as a tiger’s

fire

against a brilliant sky

flaming blue

as a crater lake

glittering flowers

splashed on burning

spring green grass

scattered flames of songbirds

hidden in velvet green dusk

.

add humans

.

and scar the earth with

brown

as dirt is gashed and

torn

with violence

drill for inky

black

and watch it bubble viscous

into murky water

let life

wither into

yellow

bleach bones

white

in poisoned air

so

when all we see is

black

white

brown

yellow

will we notice

that our world

has become

dead and

gray

will we

miss

the colors of

God’s diversity

while

fighting

over monochrome

differences?

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Once upon a time, after the world ended, a man picking through the debris of a ruined city center pulled some wood out of the wreckage.

Not knowing it had been part of a great concert hall, he used it to make a shelter.

At night, the wood began to sing, softly at first, so it was part of his sleep, and his dreams began to change.

It sang louder every night, until one night it woke him up.

He took the wood and shaped it into a crude violin.  It hardly had to be played, but sang on its own.

He traveled around from shelter to shelter, letting his violin play.

And the people rose out of their lethargy and restored civilization.

And so music saved the world.

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