Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Trying a "lune"

I came across a new poetic form, the "lune" - there was a short piece about it in the latest Scifaikuest.

A lune is basically a shorter haiku, though with only one rule: It consists of 13 syllables arranged in lines of 5-3-5.

Lunes can be about any subject. Since I learned about them in a science fiction poetry journal, though, I tried to write a science fiction related one.

On the asteroid
slow dancing
in fading Earthlight

Hmm. I might try more.

Pax et bonum

WHY I'M BECOMING CATHOLIC (From an Ex-Protestant)

Pax et bonum

Major Protestant YouTube Star Announces She's Converting to Catholicism | ChurchPOP

Major Protestant YouTube Star Announces She's Converting to Catholicism | ChurchPOP: "I did not want to convert, but I believe that it is true."

I wish her well. Welcome home!

Pax et bonum

Monday, February 19, 2018

Some songs (including a pro-life one)

I was cleaning out some files when I discovered a some songs I'd written - a few dating back to the late 70s!

I'd only vaguely remembered the lyrics to some, so it was nice finding copies of the songs.

"Georgia River" - one of the first songs I'd written, definitely a 70s kind of song with a Band influence.

"The Music Is A Lie" - reference to "plastic hair" (disco, or maybe Devo?) and taking "soma" (I'd recently read Brave New World).

"The Shower Song" - a tune that got me to the semifinals at the Monroe County Fair talent show, but which I feel uncomfortable performing now due to some of the lyrics.

"Lookin' Out for Number One" - social commentary, of course - with a folk/punk feel!

I remember a song I wrote called "Children of the Earth" that I wrote for an off-Broadway musical (really!) when I lived in New York City, though it didn't make the cut and I don't know if the musical was ever actually produced (I heard it was, and I helped to write part of the script, so you never know, my writing credits might include a musical!). For the life of me I can't recall any of the song  except for the title and part of the chorus.

Then there's a later song, "3 a.m." - a pro-life song I created for a 40 Days for Life rally, and then reprised a couple of years later for another rally. I have the lyrics, but I never wrote down the chords, and so I'm trying to recall how it goes. I hope to polish it and record it some day - maybe post on Youtube.

Here are the lyrics (which I may revise):

3 a.m.
Another night
She’s haunted by
A baby’s cry

In the night
No way to hide
From the emptiness
She feels inside

And all those things
she’ d believed
she now knows
she’d been deceived

With a choice
she’s now a mother
who will never
hold her child.

He turns a page
He turns away
The words get lost
In what he can’t say

He’d shown support
He’d gone along
Despite a feeling
That it was wrong

He resents the loss
And that on that day
Society said he
really had no say

Without a choice
He’s now a father
Who will never
Hold his child

We were too young
We were afraid
We were too poor
The time was wrong
It was just a choice
It wasn’t human
It was just cells
It wasn’t alive
It couldn’t feel
It was just a choice
It was just a choice
It was just a choice

Safe within
His mother’s womb
But when she chose
It spelled his doom

He tried to flee
When death came near
He tried to scream
No one could hear

Now he rests
In God’s love
He’s forgiven but
Laments from above

Because of choice
They’re now parents
Who will never
Hold their child

We were too young
We were afraid
We were too poor
The time was wrong
It was just a choice
It wasn’t human
It was just cells
It wasn’t alive
It couldn’t feel
It was just a choice
It was just a choice
It was just a choice

He’s not a choice
He’s a child
Who will never
Be held. 

Some of those early songs I actually performed publicly way back then. I might publicly perform some of them again, along with other originals like "I'm Gonna Live (Til the Day I Die)" and "Maggie," two songs from that period that I kept on singing, and the children's song "There's a Great Big Monster Under My Bed."

Maybe I'll record them all and put them on Youtube.

Pax et bonum

Gun control and abortion

During a Sunday visit to Facebook (I'm fasting from it for Lent except on Sundays) I spotted a friend's post that began as follows:

"Question: why aren't more people talking about repealing the 2nd Amendment? That's really what this country needs. ..."

My hurried response - I was about to sign off from Facebook for a week - was:
"Important topic - certainly reasonable limits on types of guns and on who can buy them make sense - but what about an objective discussion of overturning Roe V Wade and thereby saving hundreds of thousands of lives?. Thanks to advances in science when it comes to the unborn we now know far more than what they knew back in 1973, so why aren't more people talking rationally about that?"

I could have said more. For example, just to be nit-picky, there are many people calling for repealing the Second Amendment and doing so for many years now.

I don't know all the responses to my comment - I'm off Facebook today - but I can imagine many will be about mixing of issues - gun violence and abortion - and defending legal abortion.

But I see the two issues as related. They are both life issues. Both are a reflection of the violence in our culture, and of the idea that one way to deal with problems is through violence rather than seek healing or accept responsibility. Indeed, there are some who say abortion is one of the root causes of the increased violence in our society that we've seen in recent years. (Keeping in mind, of course, that our history is full of violence, sometimes even greater that what we see now in terms of crime, murder, and riots, just to name a few examples.)

St. Teresa of Calcutta observed, "The greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion, which is war against the child. The mother doesn't learn to love, but kills to solve her own problems. Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want." She also noted, "I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child - a direct killing of the innocent child - murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion?"

I think she is right on target here. Gun violence and abortion are both parts of the what Pope St. John Paul II described as the "culture of death."

(Interestingly, reporter Becky Griffin gave the link a different spin, tweeting, “Woman puts baby up for adoption, he grows up to be a violent young man who will spend the rest of his life in prison for a mass murder. Tell me more about how abortions are wrong,”  Even some pro-choicers responded to that one negatively!)

My second point was about the scale of violence. The killing of 17 in the Florida school was horrible. All homicides are horrible. According to FBI statistics, in 2015, there were just under 16,000 homicides nationwide, approximately 70 percent of which involved guns - about 11,200. Yet that same year just over 900,000 abortions took place - that's more than 50 times the number of people killed by murder that year, and 80 times the number killed by guns. Why aren't people more upset about that? And while there are some pro-lifers who would favor repealing the Second Amendment, or would support more gun control, I get the sense that many of the people speaking up for those positions are also pro-choice - a seeming inconsistency. If you are opposed to the murder of innocent human beings by one method why would you not be opposed to it by a method that claims many times more lives?

As for the Roe decision, it was terribly flawed, based on incomplete and distorted "science." We now know so much more, and we are aware of the forces that helped to push it through. Supreme Court decisions have been reversed before, so It's not a reach to say it could happen again. indeed, it's far more likely than repealing an amendment to the Constitution (though that has happened before).

What this country really needs is honestly and objectively to examine the root causes of the brokenness and violence that lead to some people thinking using guns or aborting babies are somehow appropriate responses to problems.
Pax et bonum

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Current Read: "To Light A Fire On The Earth"

Image result for To Light a Fire on the Earth

I'm currently reading To Light A Fire On The Earth by Bishop Barron (with John Allen). Very stimulating - I like his approach to evangelizing; his Catholicism series very much reflects this approach.

In addition, he is a fan of Dylan!

The ideas very much resonate with the classical education approach used at my school emphasizing Truth, Beauty, and Goodness. Indeed, I used a Bishop Barron video from Youtube about evangelizing through beauty to help prepare students to read Uncle Tom's Cabin.

I look forward to reading more of the book - and to sharing it with others.

Pax et bonum

At Planned Parenthood (Rosary)

Praying the rosary deepens our faith, and strengthens us agains evil.

woman gives finger
to group saying rosary -
who's more violent?

Pax et bonum