Drop-down cloud-drapes shining,
Wind-shaped dawn driven, riding
A-glow moon rides over weather-worn mount,
To deep valley less darkly grey-grim cold,
Where sun shines sharp in fickle sickle shape
And moon-lost sky burns brazen sun-god gold.

Plucked, parted, little lights of dark,
Peer out curious, caution-crowded sparks,
Fire of the sun and lesser light than moon,
Candle-flame flicker, death’s drum beat
Call life lifted, angel heart-heat
Bent – rent – recklessly rifted, diamond-stud sand
Through sky-peaks sifted, burned in black-charred sky
Hurling heights where they forever – dead – dance, die.

To Be Happy

I was seated by a window in a local bar, writing what could be called, if definitions were stretched, an academic essay and drinking a rather tall glass of ale. It bears a distinct and vivid honey colour and from the bottom rise, at regular intervals of time, minuscule bubbles which fly upwards like raindrops through a golden sunrise.
Still seated by the selfsame window am I, no longer actively writing said essay – which should be clear as this is an entirely different piece of writing – for a break was needed from the musings of my mind on the question ‘What is Happiness?’

Some drinks seem to have been designed (or are simply regularly abused by a majority) to be drunk quickly, to exist merely for the kick of alcohol. An example of such is a rather vile-tasting, suspiciously-coloured whiskey I sampled earlier in the month. There was no good way to drink it except to slam it back and swallow. Its existence itself, while it must be said to be good, was unnatural in the state of ‘drink’. The nature of the liquid would have been better fulfilled as a rust remover.

This ale however would fail if turned to any use but the betterment of man as drink, a thing to be appreciated while it is within and without; to be contemplated and consumed by mind and body. It is perfected by man, and man by it; it becomes part of a being made to the Divine image, and the man receives an aid for leisure and clarity of mind – unless an excess is consumed. It seems that a virtuous man is needed to produce a good and beautiful drink, and virtue for the good and beautiful drink to not be abused by and destructive to the same.

Back to the essay I return soon; this may be expanded and revised someday when I decide to explain and expound more on the thoughts, as this is quite incomplete. Some of my reflections on the essay have passed into this brief work – Happiness lies somehow in Virtue, and Virtue is a communal thing. A mean between two extremes for one’s own good and the good of things related to him. Drinking because within reason it is good, a good received, and good for the things made for man to be used by him.
Such was the Divine decree to Adam.


Six days, six suns, the seventh comes
God rested; Man does as He
To make as Maker, then to rest,
Bring Time closer to Eternity,
And artfully we spin the threads,
Of our priceless, now worthless work.


Walking the wandering woods,
A minstrel strode, humming,
Whistling a tune to the moon.
Nothing could harm him,
Careless he, from fear free,
Boldly thumping boots
O’er trees’ soil and roots.

Just humming a tune
To a new-strung verse
In the dark, when hark!
There! He heard a hiss
Through the mist – an arrow?
A bolt? A Faery?

Clutching hard his wooden mace,
He peered to the stars, the sky,
The tree-topped trunks and –
A falling star struck him in the face.

My Kingdom is Not of This World (II)

With great creaks and a groan, a giant stone,
By the very Sling of God was thrown –
Towards the Holy City hurled.
With it rose a riotous cheer,
That struck and frightened the Saracen ear.

There the Father looked down on his little boys,
For His honour fighting with their metal toys.
Smiling, He whispered through their clamour and fight,
While stars burst forward in the evening light,
And steel edge hissed and javelins twirled,
“My Kingdom, sons, is not of this world.”

Audio Version:

A Father’s Advice: On Vulgar Readings and Social Expectations

A group of men together might have reason to face, and discuss shameful things, but to force it in speech upon women is to assault them, and anyone who says otherwise, doesn’t have any respect for the feminine soul – plain and simple.

There was a time in our culture that just speaking that way in front of a lady would require a physical defense of her – a good punch in the face – why? Because any man who is so clueless needs that kind of response before he begins to understand the seriousness of it. (Obviously that means is not open to us anymore.)

Also, just because some or a particular woman are not offended does not justify it. As the popes have said – and I’m paraphrasing – “isn’t that proof that something good has already been destroyed…”

Anyway, while Aristophanes is bad, Chaucer is worse, for he surrounds his sexual crudity in Christian context.

The best argument from the perspective of Christian social virtue, which only is of benefit to those who are sincere in their desire for developing Christian social virtue, is St. Paul, when he tells the Christians to stop engaging in vulgar speech, and that they should not so much as mention shameful things among themselves. Maybe Catholic colleges should spend more time reading the epistles.

There are those who are desensitized because of our culture who will not understand, but will respect your position. There are those who are corrupted by our culture, who will attack you for it because you are essentially calling them barbarians. But it doesn’t matter. Manhood does not require one to overpower one’s opponents, but to stand firm, like a rock, in peace and conviction, so that all those who wish to be protected and secured to that rock can depend on it. Men come to the defense of others so that others may be free. It is not a matter of forcing anything upon anyone, but protecting those who wish to be free to pursue truth and goodness.

  . . . the peace I mention is not the peace of inaction, or silence, but the peace of confident action, steadfast commitment to virtue, and silencing our own interests (and sometimes our tongue) for the good of others. It is a lifelong practice . . .

Don’t be alarmed, your instincts are very good, and correct. It’s comforting for a father to read such thoughts from his son because my instinct toward our modern society is to wince as we let you face it and hope you don’t be too bruised by it.
But I trust God will  look after you, and give you a humble and patient heart so that you learn things in the right way.
The only danger to you is the threat of the absence of peace in your heart as you try to live in accordance with these instincts.

Always remember that the best practices in gentlemanly behavior are founded in true charity for others, are conducted in the peaceful mannerisms of a quiet strength that never forces itself on others, (but stands in force in defense of others) and can stand up to the disturbances that are tossed at it.

Be peaceful, my son!

The World Fell Silent

Did everyone simultaneously become deaf or did everything in the universe fall silent? 

On a certain level the two are the same despite the first being a defect in hearers and the latter a simple absence of noise-making. But whether it was deafness striking all creatures that can hear or every noise being utterly quieted, there was made Silence.

Imagine if you will, a world forced for a day to bear no noises.

People put their hands to their ears, a strange fear creeping up their arms.
Man-made noise, pretended art, dies leaving only the cold hole that it formerly clouded. Images serve as no shield. There is nothing to drown the heavy soundlessness. Now consciences long strangled begin to whisper, questioning, probing, revealing in reflection.
All attempted speech makes only a little tingling in the throat. Curses and angry words move only in hearts, poison only the hearts who made them.
Many turn about and go numbly, quickly, to the safety of their homes, little man-made worlds. Shelters offer no refuge – further must many fly.
God is too proximate when the mind is unfettered, the self is too well known and some unbind their souls.

The Word of God remains unheard still by these, His commands and pleas abandoned.
But there are still a few who remember Him as always.

In the clarity of quietude angels continue their missions unmoved.
The old priest in the chapel never notices the difference, for all the noises of earth are nothing.
Religious women bring forth prayer in silence still and listen with their hearts.
The mother holding her sleeping child looks in silence – nearly adoration – on the miracle she made with God.
Men follow St. Joseph, continue the work of their hands and never feel the absence of idle talk.
Butterflies swoop skyward and the little ants continue on with their duties, unfazed as ever by the oddities of humanity.

The Ressurection

As the first pulse of the world beat out in throbbing tones,
Fanning heat from the depths of the darkest regions,
In a blast more fearful than Lucifer’s fall
At which our globe still grievously groans,
Or Zeus’s rods of war now molten,
In a thunderous whiplash striking the earth
Opening a wound as a lance to a heart,
So casting himself from Heaven came the angel to God,
Calling for stones to yield and give birth,
Rending the barrier of men apart,
And the soldiers’ spirits retreated before the awful sight,
Falling as smitten with the spirit’s rod.
The messenger tore the iron chains and rock apart,
In a righteous fury and holy might,
Summoning Creation to salute its King,
Bowing to the One Who Lives.

Christus Surrexit!

Weep Not for Me

Weep not for me, children of God, but for yourselves,
Sinners, and for the sins yet to be by your children.
Rejoice that you see my suffering, for it is fitting that I –
So that all may know what sins have caused – should die.
Sorrow not for my wounds nor for the burdening beam,
Which heavy now, pushes further into my brow the thorns
Of pride that so numbly ride and rule the Head of God,
But for the transgressions that make My Blood stream.

Shed no tear for this Blood shed,
Let lamentations cease. Give peace instead,
And follow Me distantly to the death of your sins,
Mourn the lives lost, dear daughters – not Mine;
Rather each everlasting life spent spurning My Love.
Cry for the crimes convicting Me, Who now,
Obeying and willingly reach out to gather in all from the world.

When the earth is shadowed in darkness,
And the Light of the World seems unlit,
The unworthy dust, more worthy than man,
Will drink, and writhe at the cost of this Blood.
Weep then for your loss, and for your Mother’s grief
Who bore to you Me in no pain,
But now in receiving all as her new children,
Conceives this Conception, gives birth by My death.

Regret the cause of her sorrow,
And look on He Who you killed –
Not for My pain, My wounds, My death,
But hers, and theirs and yours,
And in this you will honour Me,
Remembering why –
I must die.

Illium’s Rebirth

Traveler, you seem to me blind. Permit me to be all of your senses for you while you rest here. If you would, lift the eyes of your mind, be willing to see and I will be a light to you. Listen now to words and let them wash over you; stand like a rock in the breakers, for distant, deep blue and ancient, as a thing older than the sky, lies the sea.

Serene, unshaken by war, it murmurs melodically, playing with dead men, toying with broken armour; washing clean the shining spearheads strewn by the hundreds on the shore which look like teeth of some sea monster. All have been borne and gifted to her by the river. The waves adorn the shore with an array of glittering bronze like a goddess flirting with vanities. After claiming these things of man unchallenged it stretches, reaching out beyond the sight of man to comprehend the world.

Look closer about you, take a breath. Here is a field once green and thriving but now a hoof-torn muddied field, littered with corpses of horses and men. The earth is steaming still from heated battle and blood and the angry glare of the sun.
The heavy tang of rusted iron rises with the fog where the swords of deity contended; black mire oozes in great pools and dark red streams mingle with them. Even the blood of gods has fallen here in this contest of fate and the earth greedily draws it in.

Listen . . . listen. No sound of the ocean reaches here.
Following the clouds rising, dark with the scent of blood, crows call to their brothers, screeching as bone broken by bronze or steel shivering on stone, summoning one another to the dark feast of the dead.
The slain lie as wheat newly cut and the harvesters gather. 
The dogs are coming.

Look up now. Look up.
As the daylight recedes in a sanguine glow, the sky is unevenly divided – the east still is light. Nature is defied.
A burning city shudders and groans in a great ruddy smoke, flares and flames as though it were another sun contending with Apollo’s chariot. Ghosts of the dead prophecy there, petition their cruel gods for rest and the ancient altars are broken.

And born again in bloodshed, the world grows silent in the sunrise of Rome as the sun falls on fallen Troy.