Friday, March 27, 2015

March 27: The Cloisters, God's Love Numbers Thirty-Seven and Thirty-Eight, Poetic Fairy Tale

"Well," [Annie Ives'] son said cheerfully, "I'm going up to the Cloisters in a little bit to check out the choir.  They've got something going on with All Souls' Day, would you like to come with me?"

Robert, Ives' son, loves music.  He sings in the church choir, plays in a jazz band with friends, and buys his parents Thelonius Monk and Gregorian chant records for Christmas.  Annie, Ives' wife, accompanies Robert on a trip to hear choristers "singing in Latin about the transformations of the soul and other such autumnal subjects..."  Robert looks over at Annie, and Annie remembers his gaze after he is killed.  To her, the look said, "I will always be with you, Mama, from this day onward."

Yesterday afternoon, I attended my daughter's chorus concert with my wife.  It was all Broadway tunes, a lot from musicals in which I've actually performed.  AnnieSweet CharityThe Music Man.  It was a really good concert, even if some of the solos made me die a little inside.  There was my daughter, on the top riser, looking at me every once in a while, smiling at my pained expressions.  That's God's love number thirty-seven.

Today, the sun came out.  After a couple days of snow and wind, it was a relief to see blue sky.  Plus, even though the temperature didn't get above 15 degrees, the snow melted.  I didn't have to shovel my driveway when I got home.  I was able to eat a leisurely dinner, watch a rerun of The Big Bang Theory, and relax.  That's God's love number thirty-eight.

This weekend, I have to work on a poem for Easter Sunday.  I've been kicking around a few ideas.  It's difficult to write poems with religious subject matter.  I'm not a big fan of Helen Steiner Rice, and I certainly don't want to write like her.  That's the challenge I face.

Once upon a time, a humble bard named Sheldon lived in a distant kingdom.  One day, he was ordered by King Leonard to write a poem for the Royal Golden Jubilee.  Leonard warned Sheldon, "Make it good or lose your head."

Sheldon worked day and night, week after week, to produce a poem that would save him from the executioner's axe.  As the Golden Jubilee approached, he still didn't have anything to show the king.  One night, before he fell asleep, Sheldon looked out his window and saw a shooting star.  Sheldon made a wish:  "Please give me a poem for King Leonard."

The next morning, when Sheldon woke up, he immediately went to his desk.  He picked up a quill and parchment.  Without hesitation, he sat and wrote the poem.

On the day of the Golden Jubilee, Sheldon stood before the royal court, unrolled his parchment, recited his poem:

Leonard is golden and great.
He looks good in a crown that's ornate.
Although covered in warts,
he's hung like a horse.
That's why he croaks and neighs when he mates.

Sheldon waited expectantly for King Leonard's response.

King Leonard sat on his throne, staring at Sheldon for several moments.  Then, he turned to his guards and said, "Take him outside and cut off his head."

Moral of the story:  Don't use slant rhyme in a limerick.

And Saint Marty lived happily ever after.

Helen can pull that hat off.  I can't.

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