• Simply Pray

    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… Continue reading

  • Px3: Poetry’s hard, y’all…

    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… Continue reading

  • Px3: There once was a man from Nantucket…

    Px3: There once was a man from Nantucket…

    Oh dear readers, it has come to this: the section on metre where Stephen Fry leads us coyly into writing limericks. He disguises it, of course, by teaching us about amphibrachic trimeter and catalectic amphibrachic dimeter, which are the external and internal lines of a limerick – all very academic, you see.  But the end… Continue reading

  • Px3: Creatures of the Poetic Sea

    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,… Continue reading

  • Px3: What happens when life trumps art

    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… Continue reading

  • Px3: It sounds along the ages

    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… Continue reading

  • Px3: Is there anything worse than poetry about poetry?

    Px3: Is there anything worse than poetry about poetry?

    Here I am, six days into this new spiritual practice of finding and celebrating my poetic and lyric voice. And I’m neck deep in these lessons Stephen Fry keeps hurling at us. First he has us writing in iambic pentameter, which is fine but is also the earworm of poetic metres and I wind up speaking… Continue reading

  • 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… Continue reading

  • Px3: sorrow and frustration

    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… Continue reading

  • Poems, Prayers, and Promises: the poetry begins

    Poems, Prayers, and Promises: the poetry begins

    Gentle readers! How I have missed you! And how glad I was for the break – it would have been unwieldy to write while moving to my temporary digs on Nantucket, where I am doing a two month sabbatical ministry. But now I am settled, a service and several meetings under my belt, and I… Continue reading

Support this site

I am an entrepreneurial minister, which means I am a freelancer, and every part of my income comes from the work I do. The Hymn by Hymn Project was and is a labor of love, but I now am incurring increasing costs for hosting the site.

If everyone who visited gave just $5, those costs would be covered in a single week.

Whether you give once or monthly, your generosity will keep Hymn by Hymn free and available to to the tens of thousands of people who benefit from it.

Please support the project!


Learn more about my ministry at The Art of Meaning

Read my thoughts about congregational life at Hold My Chalice