Post 63

Don't You Be Worryin' About Us

We’s fine
Just fine

We’s in our cocoon
All afternoon
And da night


We’s just fine, baby


Hit it boys.

We ain’t feeling blue
Just in our cocoon —

“Hey Pa, does that count as a rhyme?”
“Sure, son, just go easy on the ‘n,’ son”
“So: blue – cocoon? I can use it?”
“You bet.”
“Thanks, Pa”
“Anytime son,

We’s got cookies galore
We’s got chips we got pop
We’s havin’ a party
We party a lot

The dog she’s a barkin’
But she likes that too
She barks at the strangers
She warns us from danger
At the door
Good girl
You keep on barkin’
Howl at the moon
All you like


We’s is hibernatin’
Just us folks now

Til the moment is right

Send that singin’ teacher away
Piano no more – ‘cept a bit
(Alla’s a hit)
CCM she’s a goner
What else can we quit?
Hmm, nuthin’
Nuthin’ else yet.

Get off “Yahoo!”
Unplug the phone
CHAT, well, we’re done
(We’s prayin’ enuf.
And don’t need more stuff

(We ditched the kazoo
Believe me, it’s true.)

Hey, it’s gettin’ quiet
Yeah, it’s gettin’ real quiet-like,
Home on the range.


Look at the stars boy.
Real nice stars, them
Look at the moon, son.
Real nice.

Real nice.
Pass the dip, hey?

Let the phone ring.
Don’t get the door, son.
Take it easy, now.

Put your feet up.
While you can, son.

Won’t be long, son.
Til you’re gone, son.
You’re my lone son.
Wish you could stay.

See, “Hibernation”
Or what’d you call it?

Is good for the soul

Fancy word, but we’ll use it —
Them bears,
Throughout this great
(Any applause?)
This Land of ours,
They’s got it right.
‘specially in winter
‘specially at night.

It ain’t so bad
No it ain’t.

‘smatter of fact,
if that’s the term.

Here’s some chip dip
How ’bout a sandwich?
(Ice cream kind)

Let’s enjoy it, eh?
can’t afford
to lose the weight
we’ve put on
these last days

It ain’t our time yet
Not our time yet
To go out.
We’re stayin’ in.
We’re stayin’ put.

At least for today.
And prob’ly tonight.

Isolation, see
Can be real good, see

Read about it, son
Check it out, son
Wisdom magazine

Didn’t read it
myself no,
Probably won’t, no
(Got no time now)
But it’s what it says,

I’m pretty sure.

You’re my boy, son
You’re my precious boy

Don’t you hurry, now
Don’t rush and up and leave now,
you hear?

Needn’t rush, eh?
No need to hurry, hey
Yer ma-dear
She’d shed a tear, eh?
And I might too,

Stay home on the range
Home on the range,

You can always stay

Another night

One more night

Dem stars —

Bright tonight,

Post 62

It's Sometimes Called Direct Examination:
Portions from the Transcript

ME: I was direct,

THEM: You’re direct.

ME: I guess so.

THEM: Really direct.

ME: Well,
I suppose so.

THEM: Trust us,
we know.

THEM: You’re direct! It’s part of why we like you
as much as we do. Let us embrace.

ME: Well,
I mean what I say,

THEM: You see!
That’s it right there!
You do that!
We’ve proven our case.

ME: Well, not quite.
You’ve not proven the whole.
What I do say, I mean,

THEM: See. That’s what we mean!
Now you’ve proven our case. See!

ME: Do you?

ME: Do you see?
Do you hear?
Do you hear
the question I didn’t ask?
Did you hear
the words left unspoken?

ME: Do you hear what I’m thinking?
Do you?

ME: Do you know how I wonder
About that little blunder
You just made?

ME: Do you know how I wonder
About that story
You just told?

ME: It doesn’t add up,

ME: But I won’t ask,

ME: Because perhaps you’ll do badly,

ME: Under cross examination, see.

YOU: I’d do just fine.

ME: I hope so.

YOU: Try me.

ME: Really?

YOU: Yes. Try me.

ME: Really?

YOU: Sure.

ME: Alright. Let us begin.

COURT REPORTER: Please state your name for the record.

ME: Why did you say this?
YOU: What?
ME: What you said.
YOU: Well, I don’t know.
ME: You don’t know?
YOU: No.
ME: Why not?
YOU: Why not what?
ME: Why don’t you know why you said what you said?
YOU: I just don’t. And why are you hammering me in the first place?
ME: Let’s begin again. I ask the questions; just answer them please.
YOU: Fine!
ME: Why did you do that, on such and such day?
YOU: Well, I sometimes do things like that.
ME: Why?
YOU: Well, I just do. Maybe it’s because I’m hormonal, maybe it’s because my brain doesn’t work well, maybe it’s because I’m moving, maybe it’s because I am stressed, maybe it’s because I have 1001 reasons for you to feel sorry for me and maybe it’s because I’m so compassionate (when you’re obviously not) and maybe it’s because my motherly heart bleeds, unlike yours (whatever-your-name-is) or maybe I have a medical condition or just nearly did and maybe my work day was stressful and what do you know about working, all the stress at a desk – fourteen years? – I don’t believe it and why are you being so obviously mean?
ME: I’m asking the questions, remember? You agreed to this. You initiated the challenge.
YOU: (sniffle.) You’re not vewy nice. Big meanie, you. :( Unfair meanie, you. :P
ME: Alright, so why did you say what you said on such-and-such date?
YOU: I don’t know and are you done yet?
ME: The party’s just gettin’ started.
YOU: Is this being recorded? And why is this in writing?
ME: It’s simple, it’s clean. It’s all on the record. Do you have something to hide?
YOU: No, but the tone! You can’t tell the tone! Can’t we do this by phone?
ME: Let’s resume.
YOU: I’m going home.

There once was a lawyer, see.
But she didna work in a tower, see.
So they thought she was nuthin’.

She showed up at their office, see.
She pulled out her questions, see.
Along with a fridge magnet.
Was it the letter F?

No, I think it was the letter K.
That one time.
Yes, as a matter of fact it was.
A bright red letter K.
Let’s see, for what?
How about for ‘Kick’?
As in, kick you in the

One time, I remember,
the questions began
and kept going.
And going.

Signs of stopping,
she wasn’t showing.

The opposing lawyer,
being Jewish, was poetic
without trying
(he knew the verses).

During the exam,
Right on the transcript,
He said,
“Watch out! She’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing!”

A strange interruption.
A warning to a client
Running quick to the cliff
“Sure we make changes to documents after people sign ’em.”
Right over the cliff.

Later she remembered.
She liked that.

She did.
A vanity plate?

Oh dear, don’t have it made

Someone cautioned

It wouldn’t go over well
It wouldn’t sell well
With those you call friend.
With those you call family.

Think of your readership!
What readership?
Is there a readership?
How would one know?
Nobody sells tickets to this kind of show.

I see no ship of any kind,
(but I do see a raft.)

Oh well.

Still –
Though not a wolf,
She was glad
That someone could actually see
the teeth.

Because as it turns out,
even a lamb,
can chew grass.
Keep going, and going

What’s on the line?
Hmm, let’s see.
Maybe your

Mind you,
With friends you don’t do that
You let the lines dangle
You let the story tangle
You leave them alone

You don’t pursue the very last colon
You don’t try to solve the confusion

You back away
You back sweetly away
From that crevice, that cliff
The last thing you want
Is to end the friendship

All those friendships

THEM: We like you.

ME: Ah.

YOU: We really, really
like you. Let us embrace.
A smile on our face.
And in our emails too!
So cute!

ME: Ah.

YOU: Let us embrace.
Sorry, we don’t come to your parties.
Sorry, we don’t even reply.
Sorry, we don’t write you often.
Sorry, we don’t even reply.
Sorry, we don’t usually invite you.
Sorry, we don’t mean to neglect you.
Let us embrace.

ME: Ah.

All those friendships.

YOU: Yes, see how we care.

ME: Where are those who care?

YOU: Over there.

ME: Where?

YOU: And there.

ME: Where?

YOU: Well, nowhere, just now, but I’m sure.
I’m sure that some care.
Surely, somewhere
There are some that do care.

ME: Yes, somewhere, it’s true.
But what do you know?
What do you know about those who do? And
What do you know about the little boy who did?

Ah, the questions not asked!
The words left unspoken!

Yes, there was someone who said my name with great care
Not breaking it over any rocks in the way
(And speaking of ships, and speaking of rocks . . . the timing amazing, the timing precise)
What it cost me to banish him
The cost I won’t share, that I don’t dare

It wouldna been right, so
“You cannot stay.”
“Go away!”
He went.
(Good boy.)

THEM: See, the problem is simple

ME: I see.

THEM: You’re too direct, see.

ME: I see.

THEM: You’ll lose your readership, see.

ME: I see.

THEM: Your very precious readership, see.

ME: Ah.

THEM: They liked you better, see.

ME: When?

THEM: When you were direct like before, see.

ME: Direct?

THEM: Yes, like before, stopping just so.
Just at the fringes.
Just at the borders,
where it didn’t count.

ME: As in,
“You aska no questions, I tell ya no lies”?

THEM: Precisely! Now you’ve got it! We knew you could get it! Good lambie you are!

ME: Ah, the borders. That’s where you want me.

THEM: You understand. We’ll invite you for tea, some coffee. Perhaps photography.

ME: The edges. That’s where you want me.

THEM: Yes, it’s all clear.

ME: Ah, yes, it is.

THEM: We’re good?

ME: Nah, you ain’t.

THEM: What?

ME: Court reporter, could you please read back my answer?

COURT REPORTER: “Nah, you ain’t.”

ME: Thank you, court reporter.


YOU: What’s going on?

ME: They say that the pen,

YOU: The pen?

ME: The pen. They say that the pen is mightier than —

YOU: Oh, don’t be silly!

ME: Mightier than —

YOU: Now you speak nonsense.

ME: Nonsense?

YOU: Yes, nonsense, myths, poetry. I don’t even want to hear the word ‘sword.’ It’s so scawy. You make no sense. You just say anything.

ME: I say anything?

YOU: Yes, you direct person you, you mean what you say, and you say what you mean and you say random things. At least I make sense.

ME: No, you don’t.

YOU: Well, whatever. I mean well; what does it matter what words I use?

ME: Christ was called “The Word.” Perhaps words matter.

YOU: Oh whatever! Now you’re bringing religion into it!

ME: Was religion ever not part of it?

YOU: You’re impossible.

ME: What did you mean when you said ‘you’re impossible’?

YOU: There you go again!

ME: (Daydreaming.) Hmm. A dart. The tip of a dart. A dart belonging to an old forgotten game. Bull’s Eye. A bull. A Taurus. A birthday in April? Taurus in a china shop. Hmm. The expression ‘bull in a china shop.’ Hmm. Combine something Latin (Taurus) with something from Asia (china), just like the expression. What do you get? Something Eurasian? Would that be the word?

YOU: What’s your point? Do you have a point?

ME: Indeed. The point, the very point. Like a dart. (Oh Chesterton! You spoke often of the tip, the tip of a sword. I have no sword, like you wore at your side — but I might have a dart – but look, even so, I see them step aside. Perhaps nowadays a dart is already too much!)

YOU: Anyway, let us embrace, just like before. We forgive you, you silly old bull in a china shop. We know you mean no harm. Now let’s all apologize to one another. Hold hands and say, “I’m sorry.” Let’s kiss; let’s make up.

ME: Touch me not.

YOU: What? Are you alright? Do you need our help? Let us console you, let us comfort you. You’re distressed! You’re depressed! You’re very upset!

ME: Pity me not. Console me not.

YOU: And what is that – that dart?

ME: Greetings, stranger!
Let me aim at your heart.

Post 61

What's Wrong with the World:
A Defence (and Counterclaim) on behalf of G.K. Chesterton

Yesterday I was fine
Other than that little detail
Of being angry with the whole world
Today I’m just annoyed.

Someone asked me,
But knowing what you do,
Don’t you feel badly?
Don’t you feel, “Oh, the poor dears!”

Humanity, its weakness,
Its sad fallen state!
They couldn’t do better.
They just couldn’t cope!

Hmm, let me see.

Oh here it is:


They had a choice.
Everyone, a choice.
They chose, badly,

Given the choice,
They choose.
Badly, wrongly, deliberately,
again, again and again.

It made me quite angry.
I was really annoyed.

Personal responsibility
that you can choose

What you do
What you say
What you don’t do
What you don’t say.

Please do it.
Please say it.
Don’t blame anyone else.

Don’t say it’s the weather, because it isn’t.
Don’t say it’s your neighbour, because it isn’t.
Don’t say it’s your schedule, because it isn’t.
Don’t say it’s the devil, because it isn’t.
Don’t say you couldn’t, because you could have.

God knows it.
You know it.
And I know it too.

But don’t worry about me.
(Not that you would.)
I’m fine.
Just a small case
Of being angry with the world.

A prophet named Chesterton
once wrote a book
called “What’s Wrong with the World”

Some say that
One time
In some letter
to some newspaper
of unknown name
and unknown date

Chesterton identified
As the problem

Oh, I protest this rumour, I do.

No proof, but they say it.
No proof, so I deny it.

Volumes upon volumes he wrote
Understand what you can find,
you “scholar.”
As for things you can imagine,

Oh I’m angry with the world.

So busy inventing what others have said
But never thinking twice about words of their own

Some kind of mess
Words all spewing out
Any old kind, any old time
No reason, no rhyme

Figure their meaning, it’s all up to you
Figure their meaning, they just can’t be bothered
“Laughing out loud” when they’re raging
Apologizing when they’re so far from sorry
Smiley faces everywhere
Guess which are real and which are just there

They’re too busy for you
They don’t mean what they say
Or maybe they do
Don’t take exception
It’s the most modern fashion

To talk without thinking
To speak without meaning

Too busy to mean what they say
Too busy to say what they mean
What does it matter

They’re too busy for you
Otherwise occupied

Finding people to blame
For the things that they say,
The things they don’t say
The things that they do
The things that they don’t


I’m annoyed with the world.

“Sent from my iphone”

Uh, nope.

Post 60

By the Way

There once was a judge
A very good judge
(Let’s call him J.A. Côté —
it can mean ‘by the way.’)

He was as clear as a bell
I liked what he said.

“People always say,”
He said,

“People always say

The most important things
‘By the way.’”

This means
That if I were to tell you

That yesterday
Hell was emptied completely
Entirely stormed
Human souls freed
From the beginning of time
By angels from heaven
Guardians they

That’s how I’d do it
That’s just what I’d say
I’d say
“By the way”

The weather is nice
Spring’s certainly come early

By the way
Have you heard
What was done
What was done
Done by
the Word?

“By the way” —
That’s what I’d say.

It’s how I would tell you.
And I’d add “Hurray!”

(liking the rhyme.)
(and here’s one final time.)

Post 59

Something I Saw

I saw something
I couldn’t understand it

In this sudden spring,
I saw

that the sun
had an accident

the sun
had a spill

I stared because
I couldn’t understand it

The sun was

Like an egg
The sun broke

The yolk
It was pouring

It was spilling all out
Bright yellow and glowing
It was pouring without stopping
Spilling down and about

Forgetting its borders
The sun lost its shape

I couldn’t understand it
but now
I do

Like an egg
His heart broke

His love
Always pouring

He let it leak out
Bright yellow and glowing
Mercy was flowing
Down and about

Forgetting its borders
The sun lost its shape

A spill like no other
The Son went

All the way down
where nobody thought

All the way down
where nobody

A spill like no other
A spill

All the way
Like nobody

He ever

May His Holy Name be praised

Post 58
To John S. and Tobias

One by One, an Ode

Who are these young princes?
I have heard of their deeds.

Who are these young men
who stood their ground
when suddenly challenged?

I have heard it told.

“Prove yourself.
Throw yourself onto the ground.
The test will be of my own choosing”
declared the grown man.

The young princes were undaunted
as the grown man counted.
One, two, three.

The young princes were undaunted
as the grown man taunted.
Ten, ten, ten.

But though they were young,
they knew that the number which followed
ten was not ten, nor ten, nor ten.

It was eleven.

They began counting for themselves.
(Good for them.)

I wish I had seen.
I wish I had been there as they showed,
shoulder to shoulder,
how to overcome someone older,
if things become unfair.

I wish I had seen.
I wish I had been there as the boy named John
took his place beside his friend named Tobias,
shoulder to shoulder,
to overcome someone older
when things became unfair.

But I didn’t see.
I have to rely on the words of the legend
about the young princes who counted
themselves in.

Post 57
To Andriy

O Canada!
Reflections on the National Anthem We Never Knew

I recently learned more about the national anthem of Canada, my country. I was greatly surprised.

The words were written, originally in French, by Sir Adolphe-Basile Routhier. I never met the man. He died on June 27, 1920.

He was a lawyer and then a judge, but he was also a poet. Being talented with words, he used at least some of his spare time, it seems, to writing in ways that glorified God. One of his works became the national anthem of his country.

He would have had other choices for his spare time, as people do.

In my imagination, I picture him turning down an invitation to go to the local club, where there would be cigar smoke and gossiping among the men, each with his own motive. He thinks it would be better to go home and write some poetry near his wife and son. “Sorry men, I’ve got to go and write the future national anthem for a great nation. See you on Monday!”

(I wonder what the modern Canadian judge does in his spare time nowadays. A trip to Arizona, which is not even in Canada? A game of golf, perhaps? How about a round of bridge? Scrabble, with nonsensical words? Any board game that has its own dictionary is suspicious, as far as I’m concerned, kind of like a religion that writes a ‘better’ version of the Bible, adding and deleting books as it sees fit. Any version of the bible missing the Book of Tobit/Tobias, for example, is, well, a little too abridged for my tastes. The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is, as far as I know, the most authoritative English translation. From what I understand, the Catholic Church in Canada drags its feet in not using the RSV, preferring the more ‘politically correct’ New Revised Standard Version.)

But anyway, Sir Routhier’s biography on Wikipedia is pleasingly short.

And speaking of biographies, I’ve been thinking lately about the subject, and I very much appreciate the lines from Chesterton’s poem, To the Unknown Warrior. He is talking about the advantages of remaining hidden from the world. He is talking about how you and your name get used and abused if they become known.

Here are the first two stanzas from that poem.

To the Unknown Warrior

G.K. Chesterton

You whom the kings saluted; who refused not
The one great pleasure of ignoble days,
Fame without name and glory without gossip,
Whom no biographer befouls with praise.

Who said of you “Defeated”? In the darkness
The dug-out where the limelight never comes,
Nor the big drum of Barnum’s show can shatter
That vibrant stillness after all the drums.

I particularly like the image of being out of the limelight. It’s a nearly indescribable and unique feeling — the words nostalgic or bittersweet come to mind first – to stand in the darkness at an event as a fellow spectator when your heart is in it so fully.

But anyway, as for the anthem, I am very glad that nobody thought about altering the French version. What happened, instead, was the French version got translated badly into English, repeatedly. So we’ve never had a proper English version, as far as Wikipedia can tell.

We should be singing:


Ô Canada!
Terre de nos aïeux,
Ton front est ceint de fleurons glorieux!
Car ton bras sait porter l’épée,
Il sait porter la croix!
Ton histoire est une épopée
Des plus brillants exploits.
Et ta valeur, de foi trempée,
Protégera nos foyers et nos droits.
Protégera nos foyers et nos droits.

So the first stanza should be translated something like this (I copy from Wikipedia here):

O Canada!
Land of our forefathers,
Thy brow is wreathed with a glorious garland of flowers.
As is thy arm ready to wield the sword,
So also is it ready to carry the cross.
Thy history is an epic
Of the most brilliant exploits.
Thy valour steeped in faith
Will protect our homes and our rights.
Will protect our homes and our rights.

As any Canadian could testify, that is definitely not what we stand up and sing. This is not what we’re familiar with. We sing something quite different. We may think that the well-known English version is a ‘translation’ of the original French words, but the word ‘translation’ does not even apply in this case. What we sing in English can only be said to be an entirely different song. Even on the broadest definition of the word ‘translation,’ what we sing doesn’t qualify.

Here’s what we sing as the first stanza:

O Canada!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
From far and wide,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

I’m not saying it’s wretched as a song (especially by modern standards), and I’m not saying that we shouldn’t keep it in there as an introduction to the proper anthem (if someone were to ask my opinion), but it’s not the same song. It’s not a translation of the real thing. Going line by line, it’s just quite sad to see what was done to the words of Sir Adolphe-Basile Routhier, God rest his soul.

Where’s the reference to the cross, to the faith, to our “homes and our rights”? Where’s the reference to the garland of flowers and the sword?

What were the motivations of the so-called translators, that such words would be dropped? Ask any honourable translator whether this is quality work.

I’m dismayed by the difference, but the good news is that a very beautiful task awaits a talented and dedicated and diligent French to English translator-songwriter-poet. The anthem awaits you, hidden and ready for your gifts.

Perhaps you’ve already written it.

If so, I’ve got a Contact Page!

As for prizes, well, how about a chance at standing in the dug-out, where no limelight reaches you?

You could be a mostly-anonymous famous person! Chesterton says that’s the best place of all, and from what I can tell, he’s right, again.

And speaking of Chesterton, I should put the rest of his poem in here; it wouldn’t be good if people knew only the first part, the way Canadians know only the first part of their own anthem, and a terrible ‘translation’ at that.

(And I count myself among those who were ignorant about the stanzas beyond the first one. I am astounded that I was never taught the whole thing. If that’s not an indictment of the Canadian school system, then I don’t know what is.)

So first, here’s the whole poem that Chesterton wrote:

To the Unknown Warrior by G. K. Chesterton

You whom the kings saluted; who refused not
The one great pleasure of ignoble days,
Fame without name and glory without gossip,
Whom no biographer befouls with praise.

Who said of you “Defeated”? In the darkness
The dug-out where the limelight never comes,
Nor the big drum of Barnum’s show can shatter
That vibrant stillness after all the drums.

Though the time comes when every Yankee circus
Can use our soldiers for its sandwich-men,
When those that pay the piper call the tune,
You will not dance. You will not move again.

You will not march for Fatty Arbuckle,
Though he have yet a favourable press,
Tender as San Francisco to St. Francis
Or all the angels of Los Angeles.

They shall not storm the last unfallen fortress,
The lonely castle where uncowed and free,
Dwells the unknown and undefeated warrior
That did alone defeat Publicity.

Here are the remaining three verses of the anthem. They may not ‘flow’ yet, as they appear in English here, but Wikipedia tells me (does Wikipedia ever err?) that this is a literal translation of the whole thing. (I include the first stanza again, in order to keep it all together.)

O Canada
National Anthem of Canada

Literal translation of the French original,
as written by Sir Adolphe-Basile Routhier,
bless his soul.


O Canada!
Land of our forefathers,
Thy brow is wreathed with a glorious garland of flowers.
As is thy arm ready to wield the sword,
So also is it ready to carry the cross.
Thy history is an epic
Of the most brilliant exploits.
Thy valour steeped in faith
Will protect our homes and our rights.
Will protect our homes and our rights.

Under the eye of God, near the giant river,
The Canadian grows hoping.
He was born of a proud race,
Blessed was his birthplace.
Heaven has noted his career
In this new world.
Always guided by its light,
He will keep the honour of his flag,
He will keep the honour of his flag.

From his patron, the precursor of the true God,
He wears the halo of fire on his brow.
Enemy of tyranny
But full of loyalty,
He wants to keep in harmony,
His proud freedom;
And by the effort of his genius,
Set on our ground the truth,
Set on our ground the truth.

Sacred love of the throne and the altar,
Fill our hearts with your immortal breath!
Among the foreign races,
Our guide is the law:
Let us know how to be a people of brothers,
Under the yoke of faith.
And repeat, like our fathers,
The battle cry: “For Christ and King!”
The battle cry: “For Christ and King!”

Ah, it is good.

And with a bit of re-arranging, it will be very beautiful to sing.

We need a proper anthem.

We Canadians have been too long asleep.

We have let the Supreme Court of Canada take over the governing of the people, and we have let them strike the good laws from our books. Our legislation is uniquely silent where it should be emphatically protective of the weak.

Who are these people who are so eager to send our country on a journey, untested in the history of humanity? They dismantle the boat of our civilization, stripping it of the masts and the sails and reducing it to a raft. Then they put the population on it. Bon voyage!

Who are these special interest groups who take our politicians on parades down the streets of our cities, beside a banner and flag that we do not recognize?

What is going on? Where’s our red maple leaf?

Where are the regular Canadians? Wake up! Consider our anthem!

It ain’t a lullaby, is it?

No indeed, it is not.

Whether you consider the “translation” (“God keep our land glorious and free”) or the original (“Fill our hearts with your immortal breath”), you will see – this is a prayer.

It’s also a battle cry! It’s time to reclaim our country. There’s someone on our side, and he’s got weapons made of stars.

It’s not Orion and the little dipper and the big dipper after all. That was just a bad translation.

It’s David, says GentleOne, the mystic. “Ah!” I said, because then I understood.

David has a little slingshot.

But he’s not alone.

There’s Someone with him, and He has a slingshot too.

Let us know how to be a people of brothers,
Under the yoke of faith.
And repeat, like our fathers,
The battle cry: “For Christ and King!”
The battle cry: “For Christ and King!”


Post 56

Villagers' Refusal: An Allegory

The Messenger returned to the palace. He had been trying to round up villagers for the upcoming ball that the Prince and the King and Queen were hosting.  He walked into the kitchen and he wasn’t surprised to see that the Prince was there.

The young Prince was sitting at the kitchen table which was used daily by the servants. It was a comfortable place to work, rather sunny.

The Prince had finished drawing a picture of a donkey and now he was working on cutting out the tail.  (The upcoming ball featured a game of Pin the Tail on the Donkey, which wasn’t a surprise to anybody.  And for the record, one of the Prince’s favorite poems was called “The Donkey,” by G.K. Chesterton.)

When he saw the Messenger walk in, the Prince looked up expectantly.

The Messenger looked rather downcast.

“What did they say?” he said. “Any trouble?”

The Messenger said, “Well, mostly I didn’t hear from them. Some said that they had other plans.”

“Other plans?”


“What kind of other plans?”

“Well, some people didn’t say, but other people said they were doing other things that day.”

“That day?”

“Yes, like some had something beforehand, and some had something scheduled for the evening.”

“But during the hours of the ball itself?”

“Well, they could have come, but it would have been a squeeze – a full day, you know.”

“I see. And the others?”

“Well, some felt that they wouldn’t be missed, that others would probably go in their place.”

The Prince looked a little sad to hear this.

“And some would attend only if we changed the party to make it into one for children too.”

“And if we didn’t?”

“Then they wouldn’t.”

The Prince said, “I see.”

The Messenger, at this point, began to become more talkative. “But maybe this is all wrong – maybe you should have told me to invite all the children too? Why restrict it to the adults? Isn’t it the case that children are loved in a special way?”

The Prince smiled. “Well, yes, of course I love the children in a special way, but I have their hearts already. The children are already mine.”

The Messenger was visibly confused.

The Prince went on. “But, you see, the adults is what I wanted this time. I wanted to show them my special love.  That was the point.  And the King wanted to give them a special surprise.”

The Messenger was surprised himself.  He hadn’t heard anything about a surprise, but if the King had a surprise, of course the Prince and the Queen would be the first to know about it.

The Messenger was honoured to be given even this much information.

The Prince said, “Yes, a surprise.”

The Messenger suddenly remembered something. “But you know, there were a few people who said they would attend.  Some said ‘yes,’ right away and others said ‘yes’ a little later.”

The Prince smiled, almost as if he knew who they were without the Messenger saying anything.

The Prince went back to working on his donkey.

What was he waiting for, the Messenger wondered.  Some special last-minute reply from someone?

The Messenger wasn’t sure what to do.

Was it time to shop for potato chips or was it time to go back into the town square to make another announcement or was it time to cancel everything?

The Messenger decided that at a time like this, one could eat a chocolate chip cookie.

The pile was nearby, made just this past Tuesday.  He reached for one and it tasted good.

For the moment, he had no troubles at all.

Finally, the cookie was polished off. He looked up at the Prince expectantly, and waited for his next set of orders. What was it to be? Streamers from the dollar store or another announcement?

The Prince smiled broadly and his young eyes twinkled.

The Messenger waited.

“Isn’t it time for you to get changed?” said the Prince.

Uncomprehending, the Messenger said, “Changed?”

The Prince nodded, “You’re one of the guests too, you know. A special invitation, from the King and Queen.”

He pulled out an envelope sealed with the royal seal, and placed it into the Messenger’s hands.

On the front was the Messenger’s name.

Post 55

Cinderella's Refusal: An Allegory

Suddenly, out of nowhere, an ordinary-looking lady appeared to Cinderella. It was in fact, her own neighbour. Cinderella couldn’t figure out how she could have appeared in her own garden like that, but she certainly had her attention.

This neighbour (let’s call her the Messenger) said that Cinderella could go to the ball, if she wanted to.

Cinderella was very excited to hear this. “Oh my! It’s just what my heart desired!”

The Messenger was also very excited, because she was happy to deliver good news, though she wasn’t used to showing up in people’s homes or gardens like that.

“There are a few things about this, though,” the Messenger said.

“Yes?” said Cinderella.

“Well, you have to find me a pumpkin in the first place.”

“Oh,” said Cinderella. “Why can’t you find the pumpkin yourself?”

“I can’t do it, because I’m not actually here. I’m bilocating (let’s say this is a Catholic fairy-tale) and so I can’t see you or your garden and my hands won’t work to pick it up.”

Cinderella agreed to go looking for a pumpkin, because nobody else was there in the garden with her, and so at least they wouldn’t see her garden antics. She found a proper heavy one and brought it over. Besides, she had to admit, this was a little bit exciting. It’s not every day that someone suddenly appears in your garden. Even if it’s just the neighbour, it’s still kind of interesting.

“And I’ll need three mice.”

Mice! This was a very unusual request. What does a giant vegetable have to do with mice? Fortunately she remembered that there was a mousetrap nearby and it wouldn’t actually be very difficult to find these. She presented them to the Messenger, not noticing how many were actually there. Maybe there were three, maybe five or maybe more. It really didn’t matter that much, did it?

Then the Messenger said, “Thank you for these. There’s one more thing.”

Cinderella was, admittedly, very curious as to what this might be, but a little bit nervous.

“The ball has a dress-code, as some parties and balls do. Everyone is supposed to dress up a bit. Do you have a dress, or a skirt? If I have that, I can do miracles – well, I mean, the one who sent me can do miracles.”

At this, Cinderella hesitated. But then she began to open up. “Well, maybe, yes, sort of. But I almost never wear dresses. Sure, when I was a little girl, I used to do that kind of thing, but I mean, nowadays I’m all grown up. And I don’t even know how I’d look in a skirt. It’s not what I normally wear. I mean, I have some, but that seems like a lot of trouble. And besides, what if I look silly?”

The Messenger said, “Silly?”

Cinderella said, “Yes, silly. I don’t want to make a fool of myself. I’m an adult now. I do adult things.”

At this point the Messenger, who was the neighbour, of course, tried to remember what Chesterton had said about such things.

The Messenger said, “But you know, Chesterton talks about being a fool. He did so in his biography on St. Francis of Assisi – the word ‘fool’ almost became a golden word for him. And Chesterton said that to be a saint you have to be ready to be not only a martyr but also a fool.”

Cinderella wasn’t convinced. She was standing there imagining herself in a gigantic over-puffy bridesmaid style dress from the 1980s, complete with hair frozen in place with hair-spray. She shuddered at the thought.

The Messenger continued, “And what about what C.S. Lewis wrote? He said that when we grow up, we’re supposed to continue to like all the things that we liked as a child. He made the case that growing up shouldn’t involve abandoning all those things, but rather, adding new things, to go alongside the old things. It’s a matter of broadening, not replacing.”

Cinderella thought about these things. She looked at the Messenger. She sized her up. “So you’re saying I should do these things and go?”

The Messenger was very excited, “Yes! Yes! You’ll have a wonderful time! Laughing and talking and being silly together! The whole community! Oh, it will be so wonderful!”

Cinderella said, “Well, I’m not sure if that sounds like a good idea. Maybe I have other plans.”

Cinderella sat back down on the garden bench, crossed her legs and took out her iphone.

The minutes ticked away.

The Messenger was confused and stood transfixed, staring at Cinderella.

This wasn’t the way things were supposed to go.

She looked at Cinderella and she looked at Cinderella looking at her iphone.

More minutes.

Finally, the Messenger had an idea.

All at once, the pumpkin began to change. It rose up, higher and higher, becoming larger and larger. It began to glow from the inside, a warm, pumpkin yellow glow. Golden wheels appeared on each side of it, and the tendrils and leaves of the pumpkin arranged themselves gracefully and became solid gold as they settled into place.

Cinderella barely looked up from her phone, but she did notice that the pumpkin had become a carriage, and she heard a soft click as the door of the carriage closed. At the front, she thought that she might have seen some horses, but she wasn’t entirely sure, and besides, a new text just came in.

She noticed that the neighbour was gone, and, truth be told, Cinderella was kind of glad. She wasn’t sure if she had ever really cared for her anyway. And besides, she’d be able to read all about the ball afterwards on Facebook anyway. Surely the newsy bits would be posted, along with photos.

The carriage began to stir. At the head of it were three restless but beautiful horses.

If you could have heard the whispers of the horses, you would have heard one horse say to the other, “Do you feel like a horse? Let’s go!”

In a moment, the horses were gone.

Meanwhile, the people of the village were texting about the upcoming ball and many discussed it on Facebook. Even the younger children were on their phones.

That was why it was only the very, very youngest of children, or those who didn’t own phones who were looking out the window.

They were the main ones who saw the carriage pass by. Mind you, there were some adults, but the eye-witness accounts differed.

It was about the horses, you see. Everyone described the carriage the same way, and everyone agreed that the horses were exceedingly and unusually fast, (“gliding on air” was how some people put it) but there was disagreement about the horses.

Everyone agreed that there was a horse with a long chestnut-coloured mane in the front. She went by so quickly that it was difficult to catch a proper glimpse of her. They also agreed that the second horse, directly behind it, was a beautiful slightly darker horse with a silky dark brown mane, and there was also agreement that there was a third horse, with a dark golden mane. Some commented that the third horse looked a little out of place, but they agreed there were these three.

What was puzzling was that some people saw, on either side of the middle horse, an additional horse, making a total of five horses. Nobody could say what colour mane these extra ‘companion’ horses had, but they were in agreement that these horses ran without bridles, and some even said that the hooves of these extra horses didn’t even touch the ground.

The villagers couldn’t make sense of this. What would be the point of two ‘extra’ horses running alongside the other horses if they weren’t wearing bridles, or if they weren’t even touching the ground?

But while they puzzled over this detail, others came forward saying they saw two more horses rushing along with the carriage, but these horses were running behind.

Running behind?

It made no sense – what owner of a carriage would arrange things so that two horses would be almost ‘following’ the carriage? That’s even stranger than unbridled horses, because at least an unbridled horse could be said to be in the correct position! That would be seven horses!

Probably most puzzling of all were the extra details provided by some other village children. It seemed like the younger they were, the more non-sensical were the details they provided. It was almost as if they wanted to join in the fun by adding details that nobody could see. One child mentioned a fast-footed donkey and another mentioned some dogs. A little boy named Thomas had pointed to the top of the carriage as it went by. He said, “Angel!” but nobody heard him, because, after all, he was just a little fellow, and besides, he couldn’t pronounce his letter ‘L’ very well yet.

The carriage arrived at the palace, and when the doors opened, nobody recognized the lady inside.

Post 54

Happy Holy Days:
Let All Creation Give Him Homage

I didn’t realize just how talented that inflatable dinosaur really was.

He often rolls over these days and I think he must know how to fetch, because here’s a picture of him offering us his Christmas tree!

That’s the star of Bethlehem on top, the one which guided the three magi who came from the east to Bethlehem. The magi, sometimes referred to as the Three Wise Men, brought gold, frankincense and myrrh. Their names were Melchior, Gaspar and Baltasar.

What a pleasant Christmas surprise.

This year, I’m enjoying two sets of Christmas Holy Days (one according to the Gregorian calendar, and one according to the Julian calendar).

Good dino! Good boy!

(Pat, pat)

Praised be Jesus Christ, now and forevermore.