Sunday, March 16, 2014

March 16: Gratitude Number Twelve, Classic Saint Marty, New Cartoon

I am grateful for chocolate cake today.

After the worship service this morning, there was a potluck at church.  I'm a pretty picky person when it comes to food.  Generally, I don't care for the smorgasbord of noodle salads and meatballs soaked in various sauces of questionable origin at these affairs.  Proteins are suspect in the Upper Peninsula, as well.  A meatball may be beef, turkey, bison, moose, bear, venison, or whatever is left in the freezer from last year's hunting seasons.  I steer away from these offerings, sticking to identifiable things like fruit plates.  Maybe the occasional baby carrot.

The dessert table is another subject, altogether.  Methodists know how to do dessert right.  Cookies.  Bars with chocolate and caramel.  Lemon delicacies.  I do avoid anything topped or stuffed with coconut, which simply ruins any food to which it is added.  It's not my favorite in alcoholic beverages, either, thanks to an unfortunate New Year's Eve of pina coladas.

On the dessert table this afternoon was a chocolate cake that was close to perfection.  Almost the consistency of a brownie.  Frosting thick and dense, as well.  Cream cheese, I think, but I could be wrong.  The combination of cake and topping made my eyes roll back in my head.  I had two pieces at church, and I brought the leftovers home.

That cake was, simply, paradise.

The classic Saint Marty for today first aired exactly three years ago.

March 16, 2011:  Squeaky Cheese, Saint Urho, and Psalm 8
Well, this is going to be a short post.  It is Saint Urho's Day.  You see, the Finns got a little jealous of Saint Patrick's Day, where everyone wears green clothes, drinks green beer, pukes green puke, and, in general, celebrates being Irish.  Saint Patrick, according to legend, drove the snakes out of Ireland.  Finnish Americans wanted their own special holiday to eat, drink, and be sick on, so they invented Saint Urho, who supposedly drove the grasshoppers out of Finland, saving the grape crop.  Now, Saint Urho didn't really exist.  The legend of Saint Urho originated in Minnesota in the 1950s, as far as I can tell.  In the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, however, Saint Urho's Day is celebrated by wearing purple (a hold-over from the grape thing, I suppose) and eating squeaky cheese (don't ask--it's disgusting).

I forgot to wear purple this morning, so I am a huge loser.  I did write a praise psalm, however, that mentions my friend, who is Finnish and lived in Finland as a baby.  I don't think that makes a difference, but I thought it was worth a shot.  Anyway, here is my poem for today.  Hope you enjoy it.

Psalm 8:  Word Made Flesh

Lord, make my poem stretch, yawn.
Descend like the Blue Fairy, take
My words, mutter a blessing
Over them, give them muscle, tendon,
Make them pirouette, arabesque
Into a body on the brink of puberty.
Let my words sprout hair in secret
Places, girl chest bloom into orchids
Or boy sapling swell with resin
To fill buckets at Spring’s first blush.
I want my poem to kiss my lips,
Head out into the world, tote books,
Lunch pail, ready to redeem humankind
Stanza by stanza, line by line,
Syllable by syllable, my word made flesh.
Lord, did You sit at Your desk,
Scribble Jesus on a scrap of paper,
Then fold it, crease it, origami it
Into legs, arms, head, beard,
Let it walk away from Your pen
Into a world of critics, just waiting
To judge Your line breaks, imagery,
Your turn of phrase, your metaphor?
How much did it hurt when the reviews
Came in, when they took Your poem,
Tore it up, used it to wipe their asses?
Did You think of writing something else?
A sonnet that could bound like an elk,
A villanelle that sang like a loon,
A sestina that wallowed like a bison?
My friend, Lydia, makes paper cranes.
Perhaps You could write some haiku,
Give them to her.  She would take them,
Make neck and beak, body and tail.
She could give them wings, let them fly,
Hear them brush the air like jazz:
Praise, praise, praise, praise.

Lydia's Cranes

Saint Marty is going home, putting on a purple thong, and eating some squeaky cheese.  We imaginary saints have to stick together.

Confessions of Saint Marty


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