Lenten Word #45: Absent

  • Poem: Sonnet 98: From you have I been absent in the spring By William Shakespeare
    From you have I been absent in the spring,
    When proud-pied April, dressed in all his trim,
    Hath put a spirit of youth in everything,
    That heavy Saturn laughed and leaped with him.
    Yet nor the lays of birds, nor the sweet smell
    Of different flowers in odour and in hue,
    Could make me any summer’s story tell,
    Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew:
    Nor did I wonder at the lily’s white,
    Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose;
    They were but sweet, but figures of delight
    Drawn after you, – you pattern of all those.
        Yet seem’d it winter still, and, you away,
        As with your shadow I with these did play.

Lent Word #44: Die

  • Music video: Disturbed – Another Way To Die
  • Poem: Music when Soft Voices Die (To –) By Percy Bysshe Shelley
    Music, when soft voices die,
    Vibrates in the memory—
    Odours, when sweet violets sicken,
    Live within the sense they quicken.
    Rose leaves, when the rose is dead,
    Are heaped for the belovèd’s bed;
    And so thy thoughts, when thou art gone,
    Love itself shall slumber on.

Lent Word #43: Remember

  • Music Video: Remember When by Alan Jackson
  • Poem: Remember By Langston Hughes
    The days of bondage—
    And remembering—
    Do not stand still.
    Go to the highest hill
    And look down upon the town
    Where you are yet a slave.
    Look down upon any town in Carolina
    Or any town in Maine, for that matter,
    Or Africa, your homeland—
    And you will see what I mean for you to see—
                 The white hand:
                 The thieving hand.
                 The white face:
                 The lying face.
                 The white power:
                 The unscrupulous power
    That makes of you
    The hungry wretched thing you are today.

Lent Word #42: Do

  • Music Video: I Do by Musiq Soulchild
  • Music Video: I Do by Jessie James Decker
  • Poem: Do Not! By Stevie Smith 
    Do not despair of man, and do not scold him,
    Who are you that you should so lightly hold him?
    Are you not also a man, and in your heart
    Are there not warlike thoughts and fear and smart?
    Are you not also afraid and in fear cruel,
    Do you not think of yourself as usual,
    Faint for ambition, desire to be loved,
    Prick at a virtuous thought by beauty moved?
    You love your wife, you hold your children dear,
    Then say not that Man is vile, but say they are.
    But they are not. So is your judgement shown
    Presumptuous, false, quite vain, merely your own
    Sadness for failed ambition set outside,
    Made a philosophy of, prinked, beautified
    In noble dress and into the world sent out
    To run with the ill it most pretends to rout.
    Oh know your own heart, that heart’s not wholly evil,
    And from the particular judge the general,
    If judge you must, but with compassion see life,
    Or else, of yourself despairing, flee strife.

Lent Word #41: Bread

  • Poem: Bread By W. S. Merwin
    for Wendell Berry
    Each face in the street is a slice of bread
    wandering on
    somewhere in the light the true hunger
    appears to be passing them by
    they clutch
    have they forgotten the pale caves
    they dreamed of hiding in
    their own caves
    full of the waiting of their footprints
    hung with the hollow marks of their groping
    full of their sleep and their hiding
    have they forgotten the ragged tunnels
    they dreamed of following in out of the light
    to hear step after step
    the heart of bread
    to be sustained by its dark breath
    and emerge
    to find themselves alone
    before a wheat field
    raising its radiance to the moon

Lent Word #39: Gather

  • Poem: [Let Us Gather in a Flourishing Way] By Juan Felipe Herrera
    Let us gather in a flourishing way

    with sunluz grains abriendo los cantos
    que cargamos cada día
    en el young pasto nuestro cuerpo
    para regalar y dar feliz perlas pearls
    of corn flowing árboles de vida en las cuatro esquinas
    let us gather in a flourishing way
    contentos llenos de fuerza to vida
    giving nacimientos to fragrant ríos
    dulces frescos verdes turquoise strong
    carne de nuestros hijos rainbows
    let us gather in a flourishing way
    en la luz y en la carne of our heart to toil
    tranquilos in fields of blossoms
    juntos to stretch los brazos
    tranquilos with the rain en la mañana
    temprana estrella on our forehead
    cielo de calor and wisdom to meet us
    where we toil siempre
    in the garden of our struggle and joy
    let us offer our hearts a saludar our águila rising
    a celebrar woven brazos branches ramas
    piedras nopales plumas piercing bursting
    figs and aguacates
    ripe mariposa fields and mares claros
    of our face
    to breathe todos en el camino blessing
    seeds to give to grow maiztlán
    en las manos de nuestro amor

Lent Word #38: Process

  • Poem: I Sing the Body Electric 6. by Walt Whitman
    The male is not less the soul nor more, he too is in his place,
    He too is all qualities, he is action and power,
    The flush of the known universe is in him,
    Scorn becomes him well, and appetite and defiance become him well,
    The wildest largest passions, bliss that is utmost, sorrow that is utmost become him well, pride is for him,
    The full-spread pride of man is calming and excellent to the soul,
    Knowledge becomes him, he likes it always, he brings every thing to the test of himself,
    Whatever the survey, whatever the sea and the sail he strikes soundings at last only here,
    (Where else does he strike soundings except here?)
    The man’s body is sacred and the woman’s body is sacred,
    No matter who it is, it is sacred—is it the meanest one in the laborers’ gang?
    Is it one of the dull-faced immigrants just landed on the wharf?
    Each belongs here or anywhere just as much as the well-off, just as much as you,
    Each has his or her place in the procession.
    (All is a procession,
    The universe is a procession with measured and perfect motion.)
    Do you know so much yourself that you call the meanest ignorant?
    Do you suppose you have a right to a good sight, and he or she has no right to a sight?
    Do you think matter has cohered together from its diffuse float, and the soil is on the surface, and water runs and vegetation sprouts,
    For you only, and not for him and her?

Lent Word #35: Celebrate

  • Music Video: Celebration by Kool & The Gang
  • Poem: won’t you celebrate with me By Lucille Clifton

    won’t you celebrate with me
    what i have shaped into
    a kind of life? i had no model.
    born in babylon
    both nonwhite and woman
    what did i see to be except myself?
    i made it up
    here on this bridge between
    starshine and clay,
    my one hand holding tight
    my other hand; come celebrate
    with me that everyday
    something has tried to kill me
    and has failed.