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On Angels and Messengers

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Green #1

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Meery Christmas!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Impressed Yet Distressed ~
Counting the Ways: #10 and #11

You bet
I'm impressed,
for you are very kind.
I must confess, as well,
I find you very sweet ... Dear Heart.

But yet
I'm distressed
for in my foolish mind
I just pressed (oh, hell!)
Control, Alt, Delete ... Re-Start.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


(Reprise from April 11, 2010 - with one word change)

    Where are you going, my Little One ...?

We choose our path and pack our own duffel,
     mostly with stuff that's not worth its weight;
         and we set out on our own private odyssey --
             or perhaps we wait for a ship that never comes.

Though never quite sure where we are going,
     we are guided by Wisdom bought with pain
         and by a gift of Grace, which somehow appears,
             perhaps delivered by a prophet, or just by a friend.

The Cloud of Unknowing hides some distractions
      and we suddenly realize what we've known all along:
          that Being Loved is the place we have been longing for;
              and Loving is the only way that will surely get us there.
                    All the rest is colored bubbles.

Thursday, October 14, 2010




My head wrote this poem to buoy up my heart 
     when it was low in the water. 
It worked -- so now we offer this verse to you, 
     with sincere hope that you’ll find something useful. 
If you don’t like what it says or how it’s said, 
     we really don’t give a dust bunny.

It’s Not About You

Do not take to heart
     any judgmental comments from others.
Cynics and most critics
     are cursed with a relentless itch --
A need to convince themselves
     that they are not inferior to others.

They project their fears and inadequacies
     onto whomever they can.
So when they make disparaging remarks,
     it is one self-image chastising another.
Neither one is yours.
     It’s not about you at all.

If someone throws bricks at you,
     do not stoop to throw them back.
Build something with them --
     perhaps a wall around your garden.
Leave an open gate – you want a boundary,
     not a fortress or a prison.

Elitism is a Euphemism

Snobbery is Insecurity all dressed up
     in fancy, musty clothes from a stuffy attic.
False Pride is Shame going the ball --
     but dreading midnight.
Snobs are afraid they’ll be found out
     to be like everyone else, frail and flawed.

Most of their shortcomings matter very little,
     but one crucial virtue is lacking.
Humility – the habit of seeing yourself
     as you truly are, not as you wish to be.
Once you accept the truth,
     there is nothing left to prove.

Reprise from April 6, 2010


The Road To Perfection

The harshest critic is usually the Judge within you
     taking over the task begun by your parents.
Perhaps it’s time to send that judge down the road –
     and to exile the Judge’s soul-mate, the Victim --
that pin-cushion Martyr, with arrows by the hundreds
     sticking into him or her from all angles.

Do you set higher standards for yourself
     than you do for others? Isn’t that Vanity?
Why be so slow to forgive yourself for making errors,
     when you would so quickly forgive a friend?
Do you think you can achieve Perfection?
     If so, you’ve already made one big mistake.

Accept the fact that the Road to Perfection
     has not been completed -- nor will it ever be.
Check all your baggage except for one knapsack,
     then tear up the ticket and travel light.
Let the Judge and Victim trudge toward Perfection,
     while you head toward Fulfillment instead.

Your Garden

Peer into a mirror as if it were a window
     looking out on a garden.
Then step outside into that garden
     and just admire it for a while.
Now you may look around for weeds,
     but go slowly and carefully with the hoe.

Every new sprout is not an evil alien invader
     on a mission to choke your petunias.
Welcome some wildflowers,
     like Spontaneity and at least a little Risk.
Trust Helen Keller -- “Life is a daring adventure or nothing.
     Security is mostly a superstition.

Take time often to water your garden,
     but not with a fire hose.
Compassion is a persistent shower,
     but a gentle one --
Enough to wash the dust from the leaves
     and refresh the thirsty roots.

Now go somewhere else
     and do something different.
Come back in the morning light to see how well
     the garden grew during the night --
Simply because you turned it over and left it alone --
     trusting that all would be well. It is.



Criticism Without Condescension

The only criticism of any value
     is Constructive Criticism, kindly offered.
Patronization is a hollow bone,
     useful only as a weapon.
Sincerity is the marrow needed for growth.
     Pick no bones without it.

Whom Do You Trust?

Seek the advice of someone with no agenda
     other than to help you.
Someone trustworthy, truthful and tactful,
     who will say what they truly believe.
Don’t bother if you’re just looking for someone
     to agree with you.

Put your own opinion on a shelf, for now,
     to make room in your head for new ideas.
Listen with an open mind
     and adopt ony the ideas that willl work for you.
The finest new clothes may not come in your size.
     Borrow only those that fit.

Value the opinion of a simple man,
     though he may lack tact or eloquence.
Unencumbered by pride or reputation,
     he often sees more clearly than the experts.
With childlike honesty, he will give you his view,
     and be delighted that you asked for it.

Divine Guidance

Tech support is available from our manufacturer.
     Call him -- anytime, any topic, no cost!
Smarter than Google, though slower than a turtle,
     with answers tailored to your needs.
It’s not necessary to put your question into words,
     or even into complete thoughts.

You won’t be addressed by a voice from the sky –
     unless you’re Charlton Heston.
It will be more like a telepathic message
     from Jiminy Cricket, perhaps when you’re asleep.
Wish upon that star … then wait … patiently ... quietly …
     and the answer will seep into you.

Without your knowing when it happened,
     you’ll realize that you can see more clearly.
When you get this gift that some call Grace,
     do what Mom taught you: say, “Thank You!”.
Somehow, the fog will have faded away –
     and you will know what is right and true.

AFTERWORD -- An Earworm for You to Sing and Share

“Has anybody here --
     seen a judge and a victim?
Can you tell me where they hide?”
     “I thought I saw them trudgin’
Down the road to Perfection,
     with Anger, a Martyr, and Pride.”

Copyright 2010, V. J. Lucid and The Attention Deficit Compan
      but feel free to forward it to friends.
It’s too big to chew without cutting it up,
      so each part and many verses are written to stand alone.
If you like it,  please tell
If you don’t like it, you can't image the size of the dust bunny I do not give.


Are you tired of saying the same things over and over to maintain discipline.
Here's what you have to do:
  • Post this Demerit System on the bulletin board at the beginning of the season.
  • Appoint your spunkiest Alto to keep score.
  • Concentrate on the music.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Here's a web-site where you can download public-domain sheet music, as well as compositions by contemporary composers.  I've posted some of my music there.  "Glory to God" was downloaded 80 times over the weekend.  My "Ave Maria" has been downloaded over 150 times in two weeks.  You can even hear an MP3 of somebody with a mediocre voice singing a demo of "A Father's Lullaby:  There will Always be Dragons to Slay".  Check it out.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

All the Forest Creatures

All the forest creatures, 
     small and great,
          held their furry or feathery breath
as Prince Franklin hovered
     over the tranquil, nubile waif on her mossy bed,
          still asleep despite the lightning and thunder,
and with his trembling, noble hands, 
     descending like parachutes toward her snow-white 
          (actually off-white, yet still virginal) bosom -- 
Franklin suddenly pushed the buttons on the paddles
     that he had wired to a tin-foil kite,
          and authoritatively yelled Clear!,
scaring the droppings 
     out of all the forest creatures, 
          small and great.


Suppose you’re on the edge of a cliff, the brink of the Unknown.
You’re facing the setting sun, an angry sea behind you, far below.
Suppose God asks you to stand on your toes,
raise your arms into a crucifixion pose -- and fall backwards,
trusting that the ocean has been filled with God's Grace.
Could you do it?  There's no shame in saying "No".
So, let’s try something with a little less risk.
Shall we?

Go into your bedroom tonight and turn off the light.
Close the door, leaving your worries in the hall --
preferably in a plastic bag, all tied-up tight.
Sit on the foot of your bed and say two little prayers:
one for someone you know, and another for someone you don't.
Then, try to sit for at least a minute without thinking at all.
Just listen.  In the Darkness, God says, "Trust Me."
Did you hear it?

God says your Guardian Angel just sprinkled Grace
all over your blanket, like Tinkerbell and her pixie dust.
She stuffed some in your pillow, too; and there’s plenty left over.
(If you recall, God had planned to fill the ocean with Grace.)
Now, fall backwards from your sitting position,
rest your head on that pillow and cover up with that blanket.
Let God keep the world spinning for a while without your help.
Can you do it?

Let go, Dear Heart, and sleep in serenity
trusting that God will send the Morning Sun
to bring warmth, light for your path and new hope.
Perhaps the Garbage Angel will pick up your worries before you awaken.
Above all, remember God's promise to bless you
with all the Grace you’ll need to get through One More Day.
Since the day you were born, God has always kept that promise.
Hasn't She?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Glossary of Seldom-Used Music Terms

Dr Speedbump’s                                                   
 Glossary of Seldom-Used Music Terms 3.5
Page 1 of 2

al dente

with a toothy grin; (see liberace)

al Fredo


al Pacino

violent, but charming


as high as you can sing


gradually emerge from a painfully slow tempo


few will like this section; (see broccoli)


slow enough to put the audience to sleep


extremely stretched out

aria guitaria

air guitar

aria guitaria segovia

very good air guitar


squirming around to get more comfortable


an alto absent without notifying the director


distasteful, but doesn’t stink as bad as anchovi

bromo salsa

a dance that follows anchovi pizza molto presto


crisp; (see dorito and tostito)


whole notes smushed together but still distinct

clipiti clopiti

in the style of Gene Autry; (see palomino)


beautiful, except where it’s flat

con supina

sing even if you don’t want to

counter tenor

a singing waiter at a diner

da Vinci

be inventive; make something up

de Julio

campy, but in an oriental style

de Niro

forget about it; the composer’s not talking to you


falling apart when the conductor loses his place


finish in 30 minutes or less or you don't get paid


corny; one variation of caracas


heavy, but soaring

el Greco

distorted, like everything by this composer


from a distance


fine but distasteful


sung slowly, faking the words


in control with conviction (don't screw it up)


generally shaky


with a commanding voice


a rocky, medium-heavy rhythm; (see marciano)


very suggestively


sickeningly sweet

largo cargo

slow and heavy

largo con fuego

a slow burn


with gaity, al dente, in a tuxedo

of Seldom-Used Music Terms
Page 2 of 2


a very thin tone


a rocky, very heavy rhythm; (see graziano)

martini pimento

ornamentation with no real purpose

mea culpa

with lots of mistakes

mea maxima culpa

the worst mistake imaginable

nolo prima

miss the entrance


saturated with flats


flat and boring


more uniform than pinto, ala Gene Autry


with contrasting spots; (see clipiti clopiti)


with blind determination, ad infinitum


you must pay to play; i.e., no union musicians


played stiffly with strings

pizza molto

very flat

pizza pepperoni

with zest, but still flat

pizza poco

just a little flat

pizza poco a poco

getting flatter all the time


what you should have done before the concert


performed while standing for more than 4 hours


start way too soon

quasi modo

moving along at half-speed

quasi morte angelina

beautiful but fading; literally “like a dying angel”


very disgusting


executed by an ensemble

riga morte

stiff and very dull; quiet but not soft


a more robust tone; (see linguini)

rondo bondo

a recurring theme, each time by a different instrument, but never as well as the second one; always rehearsal section 007

sara palino

totally unprepared, stopping halfway through


coarse and gritty


no sorento, ever


a cappella tutti (orchestra, chorus and soloists)

soni bono

literally “a good sound”, but really a bit irritating


go back to this place; (synonymous with DS)


stumbling painfully along


from an even greater distance than fargo


there’s absolutely nothing to do in this section


very exciting, compared to omaha or topeka


another variation of caracas (see dorito)

vivace fortissimo subito

wake the audience up; (see anesthesia)

wasilla vista

see siberia


riga morte quasi modo


With all creation manifested
On the seventh day God rested
At least that’s what we’re taught the Good Book sayeth.
We have observed the Sabbath Day
Watching Namath or McNabbath play
(God was unemployed per se, 'til day the e-ighth.)

Jews and Seventh Day Adventists
Except the bankers and the dentists
Were so zealous they began their work on Sunday.
They tried to start their work week over
But couldn’t sell it to Jehovah
(So, they’re saddled with a Sabbath off by one day.)

They do all their chores on Sunday
Sabbath Saturday is fun day
In the Fall they watch a lot of college ball.
If they could have they’re druthers, though
They’d watch Peyton or his brother throw
(Pro games they wouldn't get to see at all.)

But Lo! A would-be savior came
Howard Cosell of boxing fame
Before he died, he saved them, somewhat, from their plight.
If you believe this Sabbath story
Give Howard thanks and praise and glory
(For his gift of one more game, on Monday night.)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

An Invitation to Repeat Visitors

Welcome back, whoever you are.

If you come to visit from time to time
to my humble attempts at rhythm and rhyme,
A "Follower" I invite you to be.
It would feel most rewarding to me,
For, as a poet, I don't earn a dime.

You only need to register with an email address, to protect us bloggers from anonymous abusive comments.   You won't get any spam.  It would sure be inspiring to know that somebody out there actually reads some of this stuff.    I'd just like too know if it piques anyone's interest.   Comments are always welcome (even slightly abusive ones if they're the least bit constructive).
Lavish praise and unbridled admiration are preferred, of course.

   Thanks !

Saturday, September 25, 2010

In Memoriam: Meus Deus-Pater

A man of joy.
A man of sorrow.
Easy to love.
A contemplative genius
Too deep to fathom.

He looked like Santa Claus.
The children, for a while, believed he was.
No ... the beard was too well trimmed.
More like Hemingway, I'd say, though
Hemingway's prose was not as poetic.

He excelled at everything.
Even warfare for which he later atoned.
After bombing Nantucket, accidentally,
A fighter pilot in the oxymoronic Pacific War.
He came home more penitent than triumphant.

No mother, no father -- but embraced
by aunts, uncles, cousins and a brother,
plus a new brotherhood of disciples
of Ignatius, in which he made reparation
for acts of war by facilitating Acts of God.

A teacher, missionary and spiritual director.
On countless occasions,
he touched thousands of souls
in hundreds of ways over scores of years,
sharing the grace of one God.

Not without a demon.
In his hour of darkness
he made it down that hallway
with the help of others.
I know he helped them, too.

Even after being struck down,
unable to talk, unable to walk,
his eyes were clear as a starlit sky.
I looked into those eyes one day
as I cut up his chicken dinner.

There was no doubt that my Godfather
was still in there, with an awareness
that would make Buddha smile.
Liberation would inevitably come.
When the Father called, he went in peace.

Out of the Mouths of Babes ...

Yes, it says "Marilyn Monroe".  Who knew?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Self-Portrait

On the Road

you meet pilgrims
who appear to be going your way.

walking side-by-side
doesn't mean you share the same goal.

assume a common goal
when you started in different places?

run your own race
and stay in your own lane 'til the end.

Monday, September 20, 2010

St. Cecelia's Mass of Hope

After eight years, off and on (mostly off),
I have updated St. Cecelia's Mass of Hope
for the next-to-last time.

Now, I can write the Alleluia and move on ("Alleluia" indeed).
I am finishing up just as the Vatican is changing the words.  
I hope Episcopalians discover it.  They can sing it "as is".
I'll look at it all again sometime in early 2011 and
perhaps update it according to the new Roman Missal.
While revising the words, I'll write a melody line
that the average RC congregation could sing (if they actually tried)
and harmony (with less ornamentation) for your average Catholic choir.
For now, at the risk of excommunication, the working title
for the final Catholic update is Messa di Bingo".

So, whatever room of God's house you reside in at the moment,
please have a listen to St. Cecelia's Mass of Hope.
I suggest that start with the Gloria,
the Lamb of God,
and more if you have time.
Look at the scores and sing along with the MIDIs.
"Kyrioke!". [Sorry, I couldn't resist].

I would be absolutely delighted to hear your comments,
even if you think it's bubble-gum music or totally unsingable.
The only part ever performed, as far as I know, is The Lord's Prayer.
The Syracuse  Chorale, 80 voices +/- did the world premier
at the Episcopal Cathedral in Syracuse for a 2009 Christmas Concert.
It was an honor for me, especially to be on a program with Vivaldi.
I got to take a bow.   He didn't.
*Someone once asked
      "What's a Catholic Church without Bingo?"
It was a rhetorical question. I answered it anyway,
and blurted out  "An Episcopal Church!". 
[Transubstantiation is easily overlooked; and American
Catholics don't pay strict attention to the Pope anyway.]

I'm told a Bingo Mass won't sell in the South.
Bingo is a Northeast phenomenom (like Kennedy's, I suppose) 
How about "The Mass of Grace and Grits" as a Southern alias.
Why? Because (according to Scott Peck) a wise southerner once told a Yankee,
puzzled by the white stuff on his breakfast platter,
"Them's Grits. They're like Grace. You don't order them. They just come."

Sunday, September 19, 2010

If You Close the Door ...

you think no one can hurt you
if you close the door
and lock it from within.

no one can hear you
no one can help you.
no one can even ask "How are you?"

your friends stop trying.
You think no one can hurt you?
Someone just did.

Friday, September 17, 2010

A View of ADD -- from the Inside

It's not a deficit of attention.
On the contrary,
there's an abundance of attention,
with a sensory overload to match.
The Creator, for some impish reason,
didn't bother to install a stimulus filter
in the brains of some of us:
butterflies, cabbage moths, hummingbirds
and me.  You too, perhaps?
Like the rip-tide in swift river
where the flow converges
at the downstream end of an island --
and at the mouth of that river,
when the wind is blowing onshore --
there's bound to be turbulence
where the flow of thoughts collide.
With unfiltered sensations
from the usual five senses
plus a few more that, for now,
we'll call intuition and inspiration,
trying to get something accomplished
is a bit like boiling a 3-minute egg in a geyser.
Making a decision is similar to
pointing out your favorite snowflake
before it hits the wet pavement.
If you prefer,
imagine the life of a goldfish in a lava lamp.
It's not like a hurricane with a headache --
not so organized or directional.
Rather, more like an electrical storm:
with lightning sky to sky and sky to ground,
sudden cracks and ominous rumbles
that no one can hear but us.
You may see it in my eyes sometimes,
when you're talking to me
but you're not sure if I'm tuned
to the same channel.
Salmon know what it's like,
swimming upstream through the rapids,
leaping above the whitewater now and then
to gain some distance.
Paradoxically, we sometimes hyperfocus,
with steel-wire determination, unable to let go.
Despite the turbulence,
Salmon are intent to spawn and die.
And so, I suppose, must I.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Shall I Compare Thee ...?
Counting the Ways #9

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Well, art thou sticky and hot?
Thank God, the former you're not;
and the latter I consider OK.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


The Attention Deficit Compan

  • Anger is the bottle of warm soda that you dropped on the floor and then left on the table for an unsuspecting person to open.  Sometimes it’s a suit of armor (see Hurt).
  • Anxiety is a parasite that feeds on Doubt and defecates more than it consumes.
  • Confidence is the jar that contains Anxiety.  Nobody knows what's in there, but you.  
  • Contentment happens when you stop bitching long enough to count even a fraction of your blessings.
  • Desire and Fearthe two puppeteers who try to move you about.
    They inevitably tangle your strings.
  • They inevitably tangle your strings. 
  • Despair is a sea of Sadness on a moonless night in March. Hope is a dolphin.
  • Disappointment is a result of focusing on the outcome rather than on the process.
  • Discontent is what you get when you can’t see what you already have.
  • Embarrassment is the ragged underwear beneath a suit of Dignity.
  • Envy is the result of looking in the mirror and seeing somebody else instead of yourself.
  • Faith is a conviction made with insufficient evidence.
  • Gratitude is Grace going the other way.
  • Grief and Sorrow are the wounds left behind when a part of you is ripped away. Sympathy is the bandage and Compassion is a kiss to make it better.  
  • Guilt is the hangover your conscience gets when it realizes what Selfishness has done.
  • Happiness is the prize you get if you stay on the ride through the ups and downs, remain seated, keep your hands inside the car at all times, and hold on to the few things that really matter.
  • Hatred is not the opposite of Love.  That’s Indifference. Hate is the venom of the snake that inevitably bites its own tail.
  • Hurt is the little person inside a big suit of Anger, like the Wizard of Oz.
  • Jealousy is the jailer who tortures himself when his prisoner tries to escape.
  • Loneliness comes to visit when your roommate is a self-image that you don’t really like.
  • Love is God, for God is Love.  All of it! Every warm feeling or thought, every kind word, every secret longing, every unselfish action, ever and everywhere: the unseen, often unfelt centripetal force that makes us One.  To learn how to Love and how to Be Loved – that’s why we’re here.  All the rest is colored bubbles.
  • Sadness is something  that you need once in a while so you’ll recognize  Happiness when it happens.
  • Self-Pity is Sadness with Low Self-Esteem.
  • Shame is the noise a secret makes when it rattles the closet door.
  • Suffering is the soreness you get for resisting what is.  
  • Vengeance is where Pride goeth after the fall.  Humiliation is the driver.
  • Zeal is Enthusiasm on Speed.