Saturday, December 24, 2016

December 24: Christmas Wrapping, Church Musicians, "Bigfoot Noel"

Question:  What do English majors call Santa's elves?

Answer:  Subordinate clauses.

Okay, I couldn't resist that one.  My son is reading me Christmas jokes from an iPhone.  That one tickled my fancy, for obvious reasons. 

Last night, my wife and I wrapped Christmas presents.  And we wrapped and wrapped and wrapped.  We wrapped long enough for us to watch Miracle on 34th Street twice (I was too lazy to get up and pick out a different movie).  We finally crawled into bed about 2 a.m.  It was a long night.

I have already received one panicked phone call from one of the members of my band, desperate to find a piece of music that she's misplaced.  The life of church musicians at the holidays is not easy.  While everybody else is getting dressed up and ready for Christmas Eve services, we musicians are practicing and arranging and practicing some more.  Until about noon on Christmas, my work will not be done.

And then, it's all gravy.  Well, actually, it's all baked ham and turkey and hot chocolate (doctored with a little mint Bailey's Irish Cream).

I wish all of my faithful disciples a blessed Christmas Eve, full of light and hope and music.  And, if you like a song you hear tonight at a church service, thank the musician.

Bigfoot Noel

by:  Martin Achatz

He slouches through this night,
an eclipse of hair and muscle and foot,
guided by some wild nova
in the chambers of his Neanderthal
chest.  It’s an ancient story,
Precambrian even, about ice,
juniper berry in the deadest of winter.
Digging through dermal frost
to root and worm.  Mushroom
caps in frozen moss, strips
of pine gnawed into sweet paste.
And moon held in knuckles of sumac.

Yes, it’s about need and hunger,
a bottomless lake carved by glacier.
It’s wilderness, the blind
sound of nebulae exploding seventy
million miles a day.  Ice Age.  Meteor
rain.  Seraphim screaming hosannas
over panicked rams.  Starlight and manure.
The coming of Something
ferocious, untamable.

He knows all this somehow,
the way he knows where salmon leap, spawn.
He stands at the edge of a clearing,
stares up, into the hills, toward
an empty cave.  He tilts back
his head, opens his throat, sings a song
for the evolution of love.

Please vote for Saint Marty:

Vote for next Poet Laureate of the U. P.

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