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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Where I'm From, a poem

I am from cornbread, fried shrimp,
Hushpuppies and grits…
From iced tea, straight up,
Tea bag re-used three times.
I am from the Southern Pine,
Deeply rooted in red clay,
Bending in hurricane winds,
Surrounded by azaleas and dogwoods.

I am from Pecan orchards,
Row upon row of Silver Queen Corn;
Sirmon’s “Big Ol’” Strawberries:
Pick your own.
I am from the afternoon thunderstorm,
Tornado shelters, trailer parks.
From water moccasins in the streets,
Courtesy of Hurricane Frederick.

I am from plaid school uniforms,
Multiplication tables, perfect penmanship
Taught with an Irish brogue
And a ruler.
From respect for our Flag
Folded with military precision,
With dreams of West Point
And horses.

I am from the Lady of Chalot,
Twelfth Night, Psalm 27,
To comfort and soothe my soul.
From the rich melody of
Old family names: 
Guarisco, Lazzari, Bertagnolli…
Surrounding my new one;
Green eyes hiding among dark brown.

I am from fear, anger, violence
And the black leather belt
Hanging on a nail.
I am from the smell of cheap beer,
whiskey watered down;
From Strength in silence,
Hiding for safety,
Quiet, listening.

I am from a childhood misplaced,
Pictures lost, traditions forgotten,
Family scattered
By our own choosing.
Nothing to tie me to home
Except lessons from the past
Learned with my ear
To the floor.

(Inspired by: "Where I'm From" by George Ella Lyon)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Monday, January 14, 2013


We had a visiting priest for the past two Sundays.  He is a Benedictine, not even 2 years ordained, and from a town probably about 2.5 hours from the ferry landing (so, he had a really long day getting here and getting back - I'm thinking he spent Saturday night).  Well, we had maybe 50 people in attendance yesterday - you see, there was this football game (Seattle Seahawks) which apparently was around the same time as the Mass.  Father thanked us for coming, and continued on by saying (and this is probably a bad paraphrase) that the lack of attendance was a sign that the Church is a hospital for sinners, not a <museum> of saints and people often miss the mark...and some must not realize the importance of attending Sunday Mass.  After he said this, you could feel the surprise in the room, the choir decided to launch right into the Kyrie', and I tried very hard not to laugh in gleeful surprise at a priest who wasn't afraid to say something which might make him unpopular - granted, he won't be here next week, but I was still gladdened at his statement.  Woo hoo! 

Amen, Fr. PT.  Amen!