I was called to substitute for your regular pastor at an inopportune moment and had no sermon prepared. However, I found this Antijeremiadic McWhirtle on which to improvise.
all humans, I contain several tablespoons of salt --a ratio I
share with my weight in seawater because both are made
on earth. Earth, in turn, was assembled by electric and gravitational
attractions various compounds in outer space exerted upon one
another. Throughout these compilations there remain attachments to
forces among shifting stars. Like sound aimed at a
microphone element they stir the oceans and make them speak. We hear it
on the shore when currents collide in waves. We hear it when wind
scrapes treetops. We hear it in our brains when we are very sleepy. Here is a little poem about that:
The ocean is always
In you and in me,
Where gravity dreams,
Fictitious forces swirl,
Marmoreal seams pitch
What is too far
And ancient to see
Can at least be
Let's see what rolls out of the waves, shall we?
technology-heavy genres have their distances and drawbacks. Heavy Metal
and Rap always sounded like rhythmic tantrums to me --a parent shouting
its wit's short end, a child stomping off, the heart beating over one's
foetal head. When the beat stops I expect to hear: NOW GO TO YOUR
ROOM!!, glass breaking or a door slamming. But
that too is part of the poetry of our time, the rhythm of waves. We
ignore it at our peril. I've never been an avid e.e. cummings fan
either, but discovering "i sing of Olaf" at a crucial time impelled me
to leave no authority unexamined and saved my life.
wave: In 1968, I drove a hop truck in the late summer harvest. When
possible, I'd stop for lunch at Flora's place. She had a poster there of
a Robert Frost quote, "Forgive, O Lord, my little jokes on Thee, and
I'll forgive Thy great big one on me." Flora was a retired school
teacher who knew poetry and I was a hick who needed to know more.
Reciprocity, especially in forgiveness, opens poetry --and working hops
without it was just hot and hard. I kept learning and prospered.
could go on anecdotally about how poetry
redirected me in positive ways, but these two successive waves suffice. Thought is very random enterprise,
like the vast universe that sets it up and sends sunlight to fuel it. It
generates safeguards of common sense that make us find beaches not with little whiney trumpet exhaust or subwoofing cars but in ancient hop trucks. It also furnishes an
ocean in our heads, portable oceans, which cuts metaphorical driving
considerably. I am reminded of the old Masefield poem, which I learned
over a half-century ago but can still recite inaccurately from memory:
"I must go down to the sea again, to the Coney Island sand,
And all I ask is a traffic jam backed up to Disneyland..."
John Masefield, as you know, was a writer for Mad Magazine who became the British Poet-Laureate.
I am still a hick. Help! Amen.