A. Sea Herndon

The Poetry of A. Sea Herndon

Month: November, 2014

Advent 2014, A.D.

Advent 2014, A.D.

Only wise men watch the stars

for signs to be discerning

what on Earth is going on

only wise and wealthy men of great and varied learning

They tell us nightly on the news

each T.V. channel turning

end time prophets and anchormen

assure us all this rotten world is burning

But simple, stupid, stable men

have no time to watch that clock

they are lowly shepherds

and have to watch their flocks

The stars are there to wonder at

who keeps them, like their campfires, burning?

And it is they who hear the voice

that the wise men have forgot:

“Rejoice! Rejoice! Rejoice!

My little, lowly, lovely lambs I bid you to fear not!”

Lord, count me not among the wise

discredit all my learning

but find me foolish in the fields

on the day of your returning

If wise men book up all the rooms

in every five-star Inn

may my mangy manger of a heart

swaddle every newborn child, let every stranger in

 

A. Sea Herndon outside Central Park, NYC, contemplating being outside The Garden of Eden.

A. Sea Herndon outside Central Park, NYC, contemplating being outside The Garden of Eden.

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Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

I thank you, Lord, for insulin

or my son would not be here

& thanks for antibiotics

or my whole family would be dead

thanks for wine and thanks for bread

thanks for tortillas

and pencil lead

thanks for this ink

with which I write

thanks that days give rest at night

thanks for unbridled passion

thanks for pumpkin pie

thank you that we’re living

thank you that we die

thanks for Lawrence Ferlinghetti

thanks for St. John Paul

thanks for cheap spaghetti

and even shopping malls

thanks that trees grow upward

thanks their roots grow down

thanks for suits of armor

thanks for wedding gowns

thanks for seas of wilderness

thanks for cities full of life

thank you for my children

thank you for my wife

thanks for strange estrangement

thanks for what I do not understand

thanks for kidneys, lungs, & hearts

thanks for pineal glands

thanks for fresh trimmed toe-nails

thanks for western winds

thanks for junk, that cars have trunks

that novels have an end

thanks that left is not the right

that gravity persists

and for all the laws of nature

I’ve left here off my list

thanks for books & bags & bars

thanks for wombats, wolverines

thanks for all the shining stars

no human eye has ever seen

thanks for everything we all forget

for all we take for granted

thanks for paying off our debt

on this small thankful planet

I thank you, thank you, thank you, Lord

for every weird existence

for every strange creation

and thanks for your persistence

Thanks for everything!

Thanks for everything!

Meditation on The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

 

Meditation on The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

The winds rage tonight

across Osage County

this week we give thanks

for Your riches and bounty

to those whose Thanksgivings

must give thanks alone

I wish you a family

I hope you a home

I pray that these winds

will bring a warm rain

to melt all our hearts

and cleanse all our stains

May the human divide

in gender and race

politics, class, & religion

erase

May we all come together

the last to the least

and dine at one table

an immaculate feast

May the law be forgiveness

may the ruling be love

may the manners at table

be those from above

May the broken, dejected

deserted and lost

be healed and accepted

and found at all cost

May the King of the Universe

descend, with us dine

if He brings the bread

I’ll bring the wine

 

Happy Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe!  Happy Thanksgiving!  One week 'til Advent (I don't celebrate Black Friday)!

Happy Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe! Happy Thanksgiving! One week ’til Advent (I don’t celebrate Black Friday)!

The Persistence of Memory

The Persistence of Memory

Do hearts, as seasons, change?

I hope to God they do

If never had we met

I still would long for you

If blunt-force trauma to the head

From a car crash in the Prius

Wiped clear all memories of you

Knocked clean my soul of Jesus

Disintegrate all past delights

Cause Retrograde Amnesia

The center of the the thing I am

Would eternally still need you

Thank God, knock wood

My brain’s in tact

(My heart is broke

Air mattress back

But those aren’t Truths

Just simply facts)

And all the memories persist

And one thing only all insist:

That Time is melting like a clock

But I am staring past the rocks

To seasons we have never seen

Where we will make new memories

Where you will love me once again

And take me home & let me in

Do hearts, as seasons, change?

I hope to God they do

If never had we met

I still would long for you

A. Sea & Salvador in Manhattan.

A. Sea & Salvador in Manhattan.

Death In Brooklyn

Death in Brooklyn

Jesus knew

what we don’t know

what pilgrims learn

along the road:

To be reborn

one first must die

life breaks us all

yes, you and I

Sometimes these wounds

are fatal

sometimes

they’re neonatal

I welcome Death

Death to sin

Death to the failure

that I’ve been

Death to Self

Life for others

Love, welcome me,

your newborn brother

Oh Death!  A. Sea & Death at the Brooklyn Museum.

Oh Death! A. Sea & Death at the Brooklyn Museum.

Among The Lilies Browse

Among The Lilies Browse

Where has your lover gone,

   O most beautiful among women?

Where has your lover gone

   that we may seek him with you?

My lover has come down to his garden

   to the beds of spice,

To browse in the garden

   and gather lilies.

My lover belongs to me and I to him;

   he browses among the lilies.

                                 -Song of Songs 6:1-3

I browse among the lilies

I ramble ‘neath the trees

With only ever thoughts of you

Do you ever think of me?

On moonlit nights by candle lights

At sunrise or sunset

In sudden silent moments

Am I easy to forget?

My mind is often absent

But my heart, it never was

Pourquoi? Pourquoi.

The Why is the Because

The lilies have all withered here

I browse among them still

The earth is hard and frozen

But I yoke myself and till

I work all day I work all night

Harvesting at flowers

That do not seem existent

In these uncertain hours

But I have seen you planting bulbs

In the shadows of the dead

And pray that like a halo

A bulb will light above my head

I do not know the season

And I do not know the hour

Lost to species, genus

But know the family and the flower

The family is a holy one

Subsumed by class and kingdom

And if the flower be many-named

All of them, I’d sing them

But multi-named or singular

The flower’s one alone

And its beauty and its brilliance

Is none other than your own

I toil in the this soil dark

Divinity to dowse

And loving longing look for you

Among the lilies browse

A. Sea Browsing For Lilies Outside The Park Slope Food Coop, Brooklyn, New York

A. Sea Browsing For The Lily of the Valley Outside The Park Slope Food Coop, Brooklyn, New York.

Parable of the Saintly Widow

Parable of the Saintly Widow

Many, many years ago, in a faraway land lived a saintly widow woman, who had two sons. One son, the eldest, had always been a good child, and grew into a fine young man, and when he became an adult, he too was a saintly person like his mother. But the woman’s other son, the youngest, had always been a problem. As a child, he was rude and disobedient, and as he grew into a teenager he rebelled against everything his mother tried to teach him. He was constantly getting into fights with others, and was caught stealing on many occasions. He was bitter at the world, and hated the God his mother prayed to because that God had let his father die when he was so young. One day the boy left home, never to return. This broke his mother’s heart. But she loved him so, and every night she prayed that he would one day become a saint.

As the years passed, and the mother grew older, she would occasionally get a report from someone in the marketplace or overhear people gossiping outside the temple, and in this way news came to her that her wayward youngest son was living the life of a criminal. And the reports and gossip were true. Her son had taken up the life of a highwayman, robbing and beating innocent and unsuspecting travelers in the desert outside the city where the woman lived. His heart was bitter and unrepentant. Every day his crimes and brutality increased. And every night his loving old mother prayed that one day he would become a saint.

One day, many years later, early in the morning, a neighbor came to the old woman’s door. The neighbor was upset, and told the woman that the authorities had finally caught her criminal son, and that he was to be publicly executed for his crimes. And he was to be executed that very day. The woman fell to her knees, and in tears prayed that one day her son would be a saint.

The woman rushed to the execution site, but there was a great crowd of soldiers and citizens who had come to see the execution and it took her a long time to work her way through the throng of people. She had learned from others in the crowd that so many had come to watch because three men were being sentenced to death that day. She hoped to see and hug her youngest son one last time before he died, but by the time she made her way through the crowd, and arrived at the place where the men were to be put to death, she could see it was too late to ever hug him again. He was stretched out and nailed to a Roman cross. As she approached her dying son, she prayed again that he might one day be a saint, then she looked into his eyes and wept. As she got closer she could see her son was speaking to the man hanging on the cross next to him. She looked into that man’s eyes, and wept even harder, for she was close enough now to hear what the man was saying to her son: Amen I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.