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Lawrence Hall, HSG

                             Two Verses in the Eternal Hymn

                                          For Cate and Jack
                                            Christmas 2023

From the foot of the Throne

A river flows out into all that is
And with it your music across the universe
To sing the happy beginnings of all things
To celebrate the holiness of being


Dragons and dreams, the Mysteries of Joy
Galaxies of stars, the Mysteries of Light
An abyss of pain, the Mysteries of Sorrow
Eternal dawn, the Mysteries of Glory

Your music spirals and spins among the spheres
Among the orbits and spheres and great mysteries
Great mysteries of beings and things never seen
Your voices join with the songs of Creation

Your music slips into our atmosphere
To sing and ring among the rocks and rills
Voices of love singing joy and truth
Your gifts of beauty to humanity

You and your sweet voices, rare gifts of love
From the Throne of God to us on earth
And back again, music as light as dreams
And deeper than thunder from Olympus

Old Vainamoinen sings at dawn with you
Euterpe, Terpsichore, and Erato are your kin
Apollo tunes his lyre to you, and Pan his pipes
And Cecelia blesses all your works:

Hymns, descants, and carols, merry marches for the road
Bubble-gum tunes for the car radio
Sea shanties for work, and nonsense rhymes for fun
You pray them, play them, craft them all into place

Your music is a sacred offering to God
You sing it out into the universe
Where every note is an ornament forever
And you are two verses in the eternal Hymn
Two Young Musicians
Lawrence Hall, HSG

               How to Review a War Movie Without Saying Anything

First, copy out the same old filler words
You’ve read in almost every film review:

Glued to your seat edge of your seat action-packed
All-star cast powerful and moving iconic
Must-see intense cult classic gripping scenes
Gritty realism classic cinema

Haunting intense unforgettable thrilling
Sweeping raw emotion (as opposed to
Cooked emotion) unflinching essential
Stark visuals overwhelming odds intense

Stunning cinematography powerful
Unflinching acclaimed devastating action-adventure
Action-thriller infiltrate timeless story
Treacherous powerful performances

Then stir the words into a metaphorical soup
And let them crawl weakly across the screen
And die
Lawrence Hall, HSG

                            Something That Will Stick to Your Ribs

When I was a boy I was told to eat balanced meals
“Something that’ll stick to your ribs,” they said
But I didn’t want anything sticking to my ribs
I still don’t
Lawrence Hall, HSG

                                    An Envelope is its Own Story

An envelope in the post office parking lot
A woman parks next to it, looks down, and sneers
And puffs and heaves her ponderousness inside
To dock at the counter and make demands

I rescue the envelope and note the name and address
Oh, yes. I remember. That was all so sad
At least the daughter’s in the Army and safe enough
It’s a Christmas card. The man must have dropped it

I leave it at the counter, explaining the circs
The postal clerk accepts it back, and sneers
Lawrence Hall, HSG

                                 A Burning Bush That Wasn’t

                    “Vadam, et videbo visionem hanc magnum, quare
                     non comburatur rubus”

                                                   -Exodus III

I was not herding Jethro’s flocks on Horeb
But merely walking for pleasure along the road
And like Moses I saw a burning light
And turned aside to see what it might be

There with my stick I pushed aside a bush
And beheld, sparkling in the morning sun
Flung into place by some man’s mighty arm
And not decayed or dimmed by weather or time

A beer can
Lawrence Hall, HSG

                          In Violation of Community Standards

                                For Writing a Positive Review


 ­            -Patrick McGoohan’s The Prisoner, “A Change of Mind”

Amazon.god judged me, and found me wanting
For violating Community Standards
I don’t know what amazon.sin I committed
In praising my new Sperry Topsiders

Let us make such violations worthy of praise
We will not be communed against our will
Or judged by amazon.inquisition
Or any other corporate dotheads

I will never take an amazon.loyaltyoath
But new shoes are nice
I like amazon in spite of their parasitical alligator-shoe boys who despise customers.
Lawrence Hall, HSG

                 Puppies Share Christmas in Their Own Special Way

Nothing says Christmas like sparkly glitter
Frosting the ornaments and, oh! So much more
Tiny stars shared from an incontinent critter -
In diarrheal doggy **** on the bedroom floor!
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