? ??????????????????? ????Easy Install Instructions:???1. Copy the Code??2. Log in to your Blogger account
and go to "Manage Layout" from the Blogger Dashboard??3. Click on the "Edit HTML" tab.??4. Delete the code already in the "Edit Template" box and paste the new code in.??5. Click BLOGGER TEMPLATES - TWITTER BACKGROUNDS ?

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Weekend Retreat, Part 2

Still no sign of God

I reclined again into my marvelous sun-drenched rabbit hole in grassy hillside
Began to contemplate life and faith and religion asifitwerethatsimple
As well as the glittery-spined beetles that strode past my feet on their legs of string
And the lace mosquito that drank my blood with its needle beak
Yet I heard no soul-shuddering voice charge like rain from the sky
Was hit with no burning-bush spiritual awakening magical moment
Did not reach Enlightenment my soul reborn butterfly-birth

But lying down…

I did watch the endless Georgia pine trees bow over me in the calm-wild wind
Dream-like as they bent so far I knew for sure they would CRACK and flatten me
But they did not and I loved their cold breathy murmurs
I did listen to the calm-wild wind whistle over the cool concrete roads
I did feel the pores in my skin swallow-gulp contented the warmish daylight
I did observe the gaunt hollow face of the moon supernatural in the blue sky
I did listen to the dead skeleton leaves crackle and hiss so wonderful
I did let my lungs get feathery drunk on the fresh-cold mountain air
I did look at the swirling seas of the sky and let my eyes glow happy

And maybe God was there.
But maybe not.
But maybe.
But maybe not.
But maybe.
But maybe not.

But maybe not.

Regardless we met again soon enough with blossoms of sheepish grins self-conscious proud
We dance-swayed again and smile-sang our nice leaping verses of Christian songs
But I could think only of those ancient wrinkled pines that bent over me so low so low
Their sharp brown shoulders held fast by some marvelous Goliath angel
And the Sun that reached through them like Mother’s hands bright peering fingertips
And the cerulean sky was wet and warm on my face

That night we marched solemn black soldiers under the moonlight, awed faces
We were walking the stations of the Cross—they said—and the magic of the night descended
As we read with star-studded eyes from that big leather book throbbing mysterious
And we gazed up at that splintery blank-faced instrument of torture looking innocent
I wondered about this cross’s great ancestor, the Legendary One
Hero of the crucifix necklaces and the agonized oil paintings
How the Cross felt on that despaired gray Biblical day flushed with mob fury
The taste of that shepherd-carpenter’s divine steaming sweat and the searing heat of
His sacred wine-blood injected into dry wood with dagger stabs through bleached wrists
To be so close to his broken frame and gleaming godliness

Our ghostly breaths tumbled out silvery from between our numb lips
Someone whispered in my ear that the moon was upside-down
Its chin lit so brilliant just liked our own ones coated with white from flickering flashlights
I said I thought it looked nice that way

And I was so warm on that frigid night among the other quiet glowing bodies
And the solid stars ignited burning bright just inches high above our skulls
And I listened to the steadily unsteady voices read this story I knew so well
And liquid emotion trickled thick and real through the ducts of my heart
And I seemed to feel that time and place where it happened celestial bloody martyrdom
Was floating somewhere in the sky just above us

And it all sounded like poetry
Beautiful poetry

Later that night we retreated inside let the flying blazing tongues of the hearth fire
Paint our somber-skinned faces and shocked cheeks and unblinking jewels of eyes
We washed one another’s feet fancying ourselves ancient beard-faced disciples
And noticed shocked somehow that we all had the same ankles and heels more or less
We washed the cold clay feet with melting finger tips and light lukewarm water
Time softened heavy-eyed lovely and ran down the walls in watercolor streaks

Before we knew it we were sweetly asleep in our beds
Wrapped in amber shrouds of sleepy steam
Technicolor Biblical dream

Morning and the mourning of this blazing white religious-fat mountain top
Where we extended our hands to the skies and thought perhaps our fingers brushed God’s heel
We met each other under pearls of dawn cloud our eyes glinting sad laughter
And embraced each other with tight orangutan arms beloved weekend companions

The gray-bearded weekend priest with golden retriever eyes anointed us with oil
As we rose to form a mass of swaying breathing cells with arms around one another
And hands on each other’s shoulders and fingertips buried warm in our hair
And soft faces pressed into one another’s necks and holy hands clinging to our clothes
People were seized by convulsing sobs spines quaking silent weeping
Their eyelids streaks of red and tears blooming on their cheeks like sunflowers
And then the priest with his golden retriever eyes laid his hands on me
And then a hundred other hands rained down upon me wonderful warm hurricane of hands
And I was enveloped in a soft soundless cocoon of palms inhaling me
I closed my eyes as he intoned his chants like the ocean tide moonlit-marvelous
As the dozens upon dozens of fingertips washed over me like saltwater waves

I cried two tears then.

One, Wholeness. The other, Certainty.

And I breathed God in and out
And my eyes sparkled Holy Spirit glittering irises
And a hundred hands were lying upon me
And it seemed they would never leave

But moments are only moments
They dissolve like rain drops in your fingers
Shattering into a trillion atomic shards

And soon it was Monday.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Weekend Retreat, Part 1 (A Poem)

In that place where the blue wind roared as it
Splashed up silent hills carved like lunar landscapes
Where sunlight drifted to the grass in shimmering gold petals
And the earth was flooded with aching, leafless trees
That made the mountains shiver as they sighed

We first sang with burning faces the camp song Jesus melodies
That bounced along buck-toothed like the cartoonish farmer
As the stony-faced collage of North Georgia youth
Picked their guitars whose wooden skins were rough
And we stared at the backs of each other’s necks
And we stared at the backs of each other’s necks
We watched tense-bodied defiant as sheep-eyed strangers
Spilled their souls out of their mouths naked wet glistening
We recoiled while others lowered their lips to it
Angelic thirsty ghostly happy horse lips feeding on each other’s souls
We then tried a taste and thought…not half bad
So our nervous lungs swallowed some overdue gulps of mountain air
And we dance-swayed with the rest and stomped our feet

The next morning our faces dappled with yellowpink sunrise
We met with frightened drowsy dreams icy in our skulls
But then hello earth warm hills cool sunbeams
And again we dance-swayed and stomped our feet
That day we smile-sang our Bible-fresh guitar tunes
We curled our arms around strange necks and shoulders
And we danced in a happy storm of whispered tears
Then they unwrapped their kind fingers from our ankles
And told us we were to have a conversation with God

Blank looks

Bowed heads

Breathless, eager shrugs


We went our separate ways wondering fearing hoping
Feeling silly as we crawled into our cozy grassy spiritual hiding places
I? I lay back among those murmuring blades of grass
And let the humming sky crash down on me weightless waterfall
Let the Sun’s steaming palms rest on me
Listened to the Wind ride through the trees like Paul Revere

Paul Revere Paul Revere Paul Revere Paul Revere

Are the British coming? I asked smiling sweetly crazy to myself

No, said the Wind

Is God? I asked half-hopeful smiling still sweetly crazy at the Wind

I wouldn’t know. I’m just passing through, said the Wind half-annoyed with furrowed brow

Then continued to rush musical and breathy and majestic over the hills and through those aching, leafless trees and off away and up and away

Thursday, March 22, 2012

His Dark Materials, by Phillip Pullman

Read them. Now.


Friday, March 16, 2012

OMG! And a poem

Just had the first performance of Hairspray tonight? It was FANTASTIC. This is the first time I've really ever gotten to experience that theater high, and it was amazing. I had seven lines as the guard. I stuttered in one of them. So I ruined the show, but it was still beyond belief. People laughed! Do you realize what that means? People laughed! We got THUNDEROUS applause. Like thunder. Except louder.

Now for the poem:

The Night Sky

Lying in a grassy field at midnight
The earth is like an hourglass
Peering at the glistening black clockwork of the sky
Its sparkling coils and turning gears
My mind sifts through space—interstellar mitosis
Hot beams of light searing my cheeks
I glide through the Universe—an angelic blue bead of electricity
Bolting through this fantastic icy ocean
Admiring the still, surreal landscapes
By endless fields of tinkling glass flowers
Glazed with the kaleidoscope colors of a solar dawn
By enormous moaning mounds of granite
Hovering mountains breathing their rumbling breaths
By suspended lakes of rainbow chemicals
With shimmering ripples sliding over their skin
Enchanted lakes with majestic, alien fish and sea plants
By paralyzed waves of galaxies
Frozen walls of stardust—twinkling white particles
By pulsating shadowy scars in the world
Into which time and light collapse like
The silvery threads of a spider web
By red planets blanketed by swirling designs of city lights
By mammoth iron pirate ships gliding from star to star
By asteroid archipelagoes and wandering herds of drifting phantoms
By swelling jungles of nebula glowing yellow and green
By dazzling displays of extraterrestrial beauty
All the while in pursuit of that final resting place
Some cloud-spun kingdom planted in the Universe—galactic mitochondria
Someplace to lie down and sleep soundly
Yet I whimper before Eternity sprawled around me
And I can feel Death’s smooth black claws
Digging deep and real into my skin
I am naked and shivering before Eternity—his cold lips closed
Truth surges sour and hot through my willowy veins as I realize
I am nothing but a cluster of intestines and bones and kidneys
In a trembling, shuddering sack of skin
My mind a convenient clump of nerves and synapses
My heart a quivering bulk of flesh
So I lie there with myself and with Death and with Eternity
My Mortality the elephant in the room
Here in a grassy field at midnight

I entered that for this year's annual contest from Claremont Review. I hope it wins, because I need money and I'm both too busy and too lazy too work.

There's two performances tomorrow, and one performance Sunday. I have a lot of people coming to see me, which is embarrassing because I'm only an extra.



Sunday, March 11, 2012

Poem Modeled After Emily Dickinson

From an English project a while back:

I met—my Soul—in an old House—
Of flowered—Peeling walls
That Breathed—the names of tenants passed—
‘Twas ideal Country for my Soul.

I chanced upon—my Spirit there
He wore a Cloak of sparkling—Dust—
And gestured toward two antique chairs
My quaint Consort, my Phantom Host—

We spoke—for hours—of fickle Fate
Of that great, heartless King—the Sun—
We spoke of Birth and Death and Creed
And of our blessed Mother—Moon—

The Noonday reached its—feathered Arms
Through the stained yellow window shades
Time traveled in—great bounding Leaps—
The Day waltzed on—in liquid strides

I grew old with my Soul—that day—
As he sat at—my gray Elbow
Our eyes—turned toward—the whirring Stars
Toward their small—faint—familiar Glow

The Hairspray performance is this Friday through Sunday. I'm going to be so sad when it's over, because I've really enjoyed theater. (Beats the hell out of track and field.) But right now, I'm stressed out of my mind.

Ooghba shlediddy camapamaisomgoonjab.


Friday, March 9, 2012

Lisa Clague

I know my posts have been very infrequent lately. I really am sorry about that. It's been for two reasons. 1) I was up in a cabin in Tennessee for the past several days so I didn't have or want internet access, and consequently I could not post. I'm on Spring Break!!! Yeaaahhhh!! 2) The schedule with school and the musical and Church and so on has been significantly more frantic than usual, especially since our production of the musical is coming up in a little over a week. (My first play production since elementary school! I's is scared......)

So I'm sorry about that. I should get better soon. Especially after the musical is finished. But until then, here are some pieces from the sculptor Lisa Clague, an artist I had the pleasure of discovering in a gallery in Asheville. I couldn't find names on the website so I'll just post the photos.

Très intéressant, oui?

I've done a lot of flirting with conformity in the past several weeks. I got a Facebook and I'm about to read The Hunger Games. I don't know what's happening to me.


Friday, March 2, 2012

The Best Fucking Carbon Neutral Post in the Fucking Blogosphere

We live in a society and--increasingly so--a world that worships the material object. We live in a nation with a Supersize-Me philosophy that revels in a culture sick with rampant capitalism. Superstores are colonizing the face of the continent like a bacteria, those air-conditioned palaces with endless oceans of cheap trinkets and snack foods and clothes and accessories and video games and smart phones and a seemingly never-ending supply of anything you could ever need or want. We are all disciples of a religion that worships gods of wealth, a religion that preaches the importance of having and possesses the mutual goal of having everything.

Even if we lived on a planet with free refills, natural resources that reappeared after you exhausted them like Strega Nona's magic pasta pot, I would still believe that our society's materialistic value system is deeply flawed. But we don't. The reality is that, even putting moral codes aside, we live on a planet with limited resources, and the human population has exceeded seven billion. Furthermore, it's increasing astronomically every year. According to the United Nations' World Population Prospects report, the world population is expected to reach nine billion by 2050, and that's assuming that there will be a decrease in the average fertility rate from 2.5 to 2.0%. At this rate, we're going to spill over the sides of the earth--and even if we don't, there is no possible way the earth's resources can sustain us, especially if the entirety of that nine billion adopts America's Super-sized lifestyle attitude.

There is no denying that human pollution is both a reality and an issue, but the next question most people would ask, of course, is whether or not Climate Change/Global Warming is an actual phenomenon, whether or not humans are behind it, and whether or not it poses a threat.

In all honesty, I am not a chemist. I am not a scientist. I'm a high school student who got a C+ on his last science test. What do I know about the effect of increased carbon emissions on the global temperature? What do I know about atmospheric gases or temperature and weather cycles or anything even vaguely scientific? VERY LITTLE!

Like everyone else in the world, much of what I believe is founded upon what others have told me. Sure, the sky is blue because I can see it, and I know water is wet because I just spilled some down my shirt. But how does a person like me know that those little twinkling spots in the night sky are in fact humongous balls of gas and fire? How does someone like me know that atoms exist, or that the Big Bang occurred? How do we know there's a God? How do we know there's not? How do we know that North Dakota is actually a place? (That's right! Have YOU ever been there? I didn't think so.)

The obvious reply might be that the reason we believe in those things is because the rational-thinking people and the scientific communities of the world have reached a consensus that the above-mentioned scientific ideas are valid, but weren't they all at one time considered heretical to someone or another? How do we know anything is real, except based upon what other people tell us?

Okay, maybe I'm straying from the issue here, but the point I'm trying to make is that I still believe that Climate Change is a reality and I still believe that it is a threat even though I have not performed any scientific experiments or done an in-depth investigation of the issue. All I have to go on is what people tell me--what arguments sound most convincing and whether or not the author behind the article or the speaker at the presentation is a credible source. On the other hand, how are the voices speaking out against Global Warming anymore valid than those in support of it? People say it's a big hoax, but then again, some people said the Holocaust was a hoax. Bang. Now it's out there. And I'm not comparing those who speak out against the theory of Climate Change to neo-Nazis; I'm only making the point that there are a lot of very strong-willed opinions out there and a lot of convincing arguments and a lot of people absolutely certain that they are right. How do I know who to believe?

BUT HERE'S THE THING. I am willing to compromise with people who do not see Climate Change as a) an actual phenomenon or b) a threat to humans or the planet. Because I have not executed any thorough research on the issue, I decidedly do not judge those who do not view Climate Change as a reality, but to those who scoff at it and call it a hoax, I have something to say.

I ask you to consider the absurd amounts of pollution we pump into the sky, black billowing smoke erupting from the exhaust pipes of millions of SUV's and eighteen wheelers--and the humongous clouds of brown smoke that constantly flow from factories and chemical plants all over the world. I ask you to think about the hundreds of various manufactured items around your house, and where they might have come from, what had to be destroyed for them to be created, the carbon emissions required to transport them to you, etc. Think about all of those things collectively in your own home, and then think about those things in hundreds of millions of homes all over the world.

Consider the impossible amounts of garbage clogging enormous landfills, the preposterous quantities of waste and sewage deposited in oceans and rivers all over the world, and the outrageous amount of deforestation, mining, and oil drilling that takes place daily on this planet. Think about all of the SHIT we've been putting our planet through everyday, just by consuming. Just by living this lifestyle, which seems so reasonable to us.

And you have to think, even putting the idea of Climate Change aside, how could this NOT be bad for the planet? How can people pretend as though there's nothing wrong? How could you possibly make the case that pollution is not an issue and that preservation and protection of the Environment is not a priority? How?

Fate or chance or God or gods or whatever...have gifted us with this fantastic planet, this "pale blue dot," the only place currently known in the Universe to support life. Yet we're destroying it--decimating animal populations, cutting down rainforests, damming rivers, drilling into the ground, littering, hoarding. If we fuck it up on this planet, what else is left?

Who's at fault for this? Are we evil for what we're doing to the Earth? Well, we are at fault, but we aren't evil for what we're doing. We're just scared. We're scared of death, scared of hunger, scared of disease, scared of darkness. And the best way we can think of to cope with this is building up walls against these things--and making ourselves feel invincible. Immortal. We are human beings. We're above death--above nature. How can something silly like Global Warming affect us? How could the Earth possibly fail to support us?

But we are mortal. We are human, but we are only human. We can't protect ourselves against death or hunger or disease or darkness, and we can't allow ourselves to ignore the fact that we have to change our ways. We have to change our lifestyles and our philosophies and we have to start being creative in thinking about how we can change things before it's too late.

Change isn't going to come by itself. We have to be the ones to enact it. That includes me. And that includes you.

You begin by doing the simple things. Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle, remembering that those come in order of importance. First, reduce the quantities you use of things, especially disposable objects like plastic or paper. Second, reuse those things you do use--such as using cloth bags or giving away old clothes or possessions. Finally, when you feel you have done your best effort to Reduce and Reuse, you can Recycle. Paper, glass, batteries, and some plastics.

You can carpool. Or ride your bike if you're not that far away. Start a compost pile in your backyard, and buy a book to figure out how to use it. Then build a vegetable garden so you can use the soil from the compost pile.

Turn off the lights when you leave the room. Buy reusable water bottles instead of purchasing plastic ones. Take showers instead of baths, and making sure they're under five minutes. Time yourself and record the times to wean yourself off long showers. If you're in a drought, you can put a bucket under the water and reuse the water from showers or washing dishes to water the planets in your yard.

Get a rain barrel to connect a hose to. Start buying earth-friendly products, such as laundry detergents. Buy journals and notebooks with recycled paper. Turn the thermostat slightly down in the winter and slightly up in the summer. Unplug your electronic devices when you're not using them!!!

Make your blog Carbon Neutral.

We start with the little things. And once we've done that, we can move on to bigger things.

You can't let yourself be overcome with apathy. It's so easy--just take the initiative to do SOMETHING. To do ANYTHING. The earth isn't going to fix itself for us. We need to wake up and make a change or else...

Well, or else we're fucked.