Be Subject to One Another

Note: The original sermon, delivered at the West Wing Weekend on September 27, 2018, may be seen here; it includes multiple references to the show. The sermon below was delivered with the title “T.H.I.N.K” at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Oneonta, NY on October 28, 2018. How many of you grew up watching Mister Rogers …

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The Blessing of One Voice

(Click here to listen – as delivered at the UU Congregation of Saratoga Springs, NY – thanks to soloists Nancy Kass and Laurie Singer) Fans of the TV show The West Wing are familiar with character President Josiah Bartlet, played by Martin Sheen. President Bartlet is smart as a whip, deeply religious, and a gregarious …

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All Are Called

I wrote a song. And instead of performing it for a few friends, or maybe a small congregation, I first performed it on a big stage, with thousands of people watching – and singing along. How am I feeling about it? Good. The Sunday afternoon reprise went better, partly because I knew folks were going …

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The Courage to Covenant

(As delivered on May 6, 2018, at the UU Fellowship of Bennington, VT)  Reading  “A Ritual to Read to Each Other” by William Stafford If you don’t know the kind of person I am and I don’t know the kind of person you are a pattern that others made may prevail in the world and …

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Simply Pray

Click to listen here (as delivered in Nantucket on March 18, 2018) Let us pray. Now… some of you instantly bowed your head a bit, maybe you closed your eyes. Perhaps you took in a deep breath as you waited to hear how I started the prayer and to whom I addressed it. Others of …

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Px3: Poetry’s hard, y’all…

It’s been over a week since my last post, in part because I have been wrestling with an unruly piece that isn’t just a poem but also a song lyric. Yeah, the not-at-all lyric writer is composing a song. I suppose it makes sense, given my musical propensities, to begin understanding the poetics through music. I …

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Px3: Creatures of the Poetic Sea

I’ve been spending the last few mornings discovering the monsters that live in the Poetic Sea, down in Ternary Bay… I mean, what else am I to think, when rhythms, meters, and devices are given names like ‘anapaest‘, ‘dactyl‘, ‘molossus‘, and ‘tribrach‘? It’s not been a bad journey to this part of the Poetic Sea, …

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Px3: What happens when life trumps art

I’ve been slowly working some exercises on various poetic metres, finding over and over that my verse sounds strained and my rhymes are forced. At times I’ve leaned too far into alliteration and have needed an avalanche of Advil to get through it.  I have been frankly embarrassed by the poetry I’ve been writing, even …

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Px3: It sounds along the ages

I’ve been released from the heroic formality of iambic pentameter – Fry has moved us on to other rhythms, rhythms that – as he points out – feel easier to speak between breaths. In the exercises over the past couple of days, I’ve written a lot of dreck, but occasionally have had moments of meaning …

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Transmogrified

Click to listen here (as delivered in Nantucket on February 18, 2018). I first learned the word “transmogrified” from Calvin and Hobbes. You may remember the comic strip by Bill Waterston, which ran from 1985 to 1995. Calvin, aged 6, was part Christopher Robin and part Dennis the Menace, and his stuffed tiger, Hobbes, regularly …

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Px3: sorrow and frustration

As I sat down to write this morning, I discovered a funny thing – a stricter poetic form actually helped me organize and work with my thoughts. I’m not sure I like today’s poem – a commentary on yesterday’s school shooting – but I think I wrote better than I would have had this been a …

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