Friday, February 24, 2017

Legitimacy, Law & Order, Union

Legitimacy, Law & Order, Union

When a sustained continuum of actions such as:

By municipalities, states, and commonwealths from the national rule of law
Followed by
Of the results of a legitimate electoral process
Leading to
Over the results of that legitimate electoral process
Resulting in
Of other legitimate processes
In civil discourse and debate
Thereby attempting to justify
The free flow of commerce and traffic
On campuses of education and elsewhere
Fear among minor school children;

There will come a point when the legitimate, established government or authority
Identifies those actions as sedition, subversion, and insurrection
And then
Takes legitimate action to quell the uprising to preserve and maintain the Union.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017


Division Within the Church

There is quarreling among you,
Or so I am told by Chloe.
Must I tell you what to do?
To whom’s allegiance owe we?

Some of you follow Apollos,
Others loyal to Paul.
Some teachings difficult to swallow,
It is Christ we follow, all.

None are baptized in Paul,
I was not crucified for you.
Just once a baptizer,
Was sent to preach as I do.

We are united in Christ the Redeemer,
The One never divided.
Quarrels of the evil schemer,
Are worse than mis-guided.

1 Corinthians 1:10-17
A Paraphrase

Valentine's Day - 1964

Rhapsody in Blue – 1964

Experiencing a sleepless night while in battle with a respiratory incapacity, I sought prior-dawn relief by walking from my bed to a television set. Sickened already by contemporary political banter, not to mention my physical influenza ailment, I keyed in to a cable channel of movies.

The 1945 movie Rhapsody in Blue was just beginning. I knew well the music of George Gershwin. Hearing the memorable melodies again would sweeten my disposition and remove me from my seasonal discomfort. The movie carried me away, so to speak. It lifted me into a cloud of nostalgia.

The movie is about Gershwin’s musical elevation and though produced in 1945 it was approximately 20 years removed from its content. The mid-1920s were the years of Gershwin’s best musical output. But the movie carried me 20 more years, 20 years forward to St. Valentine’s Day 1964.

On Christmas Eve Day 1963 I arrived on ship at the port of Naha, Okinawa. As a military musician I was assigned to the 3rd Marine Division Band after serving in the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing Band at Cherry Point, North Carolina. The band’s living quarters was Camp Hague, an old World War II-looking camp with Quonset huts and a couple of Butler buildings. It looked that way because it was indeed an immediate post-World War II Marine Corps base. In fact, the tiny base was headquarters for the entire 3rd Marine Division for a while.

The United States Government administered Okinawa from 1945 to 1972.

Within weeks after reporting for duty, the band was in preparation for a Valentine’s Day concert at the large U.S. Army Base, Camp Sukiran which was located near the Kadena Air Force base. A large movie and stage theatre was at Sukiran, and during the final days preceding the concert the band rehearsed in that large, “showbiz” edifice.

Impressive efforts is a phrase providing scant justice for work that went into the total production of the performance. The Valentine’s Day Concert’s theme? “Rhapsody in Blue.” The musical score included most of George Gershwin’s recognizable melodies.

The stage’s backdrop situating the 120-piece band, was the skyline of New York City. That large mural was developed onsite by Okinawan artists. Theater technicians, including those who manned the lights, attended the final days of rehearsal just to get things coordinated – to get things right.

The band had the good fortune of having four pianists. Actually, three pianists and one piano player (me). Chief Warrant Officer Griswald, the band officer, selected the best of the pianists to play the lead motif.

On concert evening the theatre was packed, mostly with U.S. Army personnel and their families. In the early 1960s Army and Air Force personnel lived with their families on or off base. Marine Corps personnel were not allowed to bring their families from the United States to the island.

And so it was that a Marine Corps band of virtual bachelorhood presented a grand concert to men, women, and children of our Armed Forces on Valentine’s Day, 1964.  

I am happy, even if only by coincidence, that I saw the 1945 movie Rhapsody in Blue this morning. The movie swept me away from influenza and repositioned me into Valentine’s Day, 1964. The movie was a trigger. That 1964 experience might have been forgotten otherwise. But it was a wonderful time, and with a gap of 53 years, I am thankful for the coincidental recollection.


February 22, 2017

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Sensing Confusion, Seeing Clearly

Sensing Confusion, Seeing Clearly

A pull from the left,
A push from the right.
The national tongue cleft
Between day and night.

Demands from below
Seem the apex of power, of might.
Though just principalities, they know
Their own authority only darkness incite.

Though our battle
Against neither flesh nor blood,
But with cosmic powers rattle,
As if a raging flood.

Our stand against this force,
Is resistance girded in truth.
Our breastplate appropriately sourced,
Our anointed shoes to kick the sleuth.

No matter what,
Adorn the shield of faith!
To flaming darts you shut,
You thus equipped, merely a wraith.

Apply armor cover to your head,
Keep the Word in your mind.
Through the spiritual sword you are bred,
It is for Me you are designed.

Talk with Me all the daylong,
With your thoughts, your desires.
But be alert and persevere, bidding brethren in song
With un-cleft tongue and a heart on fire.

Ephesians 6:10-20
A Paraphrase

Foreign and Domestic

Foreign and Domestic

Who would have believed
That in our present
An alliance so conceived
Between those angry and those mid-orient?

To those angry
There is no order
Because they hang free
On imaginary lands without border.

The mid-orient think their entry
Opening wider each day
As if their ally killed the sentry
Keeping the guardian at bay.

The alliance is but chimera,
Whether accidental or not.
Soon exposed as guerrera,
Trounced and forgot.

Friday, February 10, 2017

The Rose of Democracy

The Rose of Democracy
USA 2017

It appears that something is arising
Against the elect. An alien emergence
Of a discontent at first not so surprising,
But now mutating toward insurgence.

How delicate is the rose Democracy?
Her petals so beautiful but frail.
Stung by the thorn of a legitimate neocracy,
The former rose keeper becomes enraged beyond scale.

The keeper is confused as if the rose.
An identity it thinks free to change
The flower’s constitution, he would pose.
To the new keeper (the new steward), the former keeper commits to derange.

So, from where is the threat to maintaining the blossom?
Is it a close neighbor or foreign sleeper?
Not a foreigner. The threat is near and it’s terribly awesome!
It’s internal. It’s the old rose keeper.