Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Back from the March for Life...

Christendom College demonstrated en masse in Washington yesterday.

This is a poem from my old blog which I've revised slightly since I posted it last year. I wrote it in my freshman year after praying at the PP clinic in DC many times and becoming desensitized... it expresses the horror I feel about that.
"No worst, there is none."

Hell has a paved front walk
And a manicured lawn,
A shade tree that must rustle its leaves
In the hours before dawn,
And a street address.

Hell's clients hardly know
Where they should park -
It's modest as a storefront church.
Not a cry, not a mark
Escapes the white rooms of that sanitary place.

Hell's wedged between a preschool and an embassy.
The babbling children playing tag next door
Attract no baleful notice, it would seem;
Unless harm rains silent, as from a reactor core.
You probably expected to see more.

Even the truth-fast criers-out who come
Day after day to pray and plead in very life's defense
Find their minds grown distant and diffuse
When the honeyed light of Monday afternoons
Warms walls that ooze the blood of innocence.

As I rode home, I was listening to some recordings of Dylan Thomas, and I ran across "If My Head Hurt a Hair's Foot." (Scroll down past the scary poem to read it.) I wish I could post the recording. It's about a mother and her child about to be born, although the language is so bizarre that it takes a couple of stanzas to figure that out. Thomas explained it on the CD:
It is not a narrative or an argument, but a series of conflicting images which move through pity and violence to an unreconciled acceptance of suffering, the mother's and the child's. This poem has been called obscure. I refuse to believe that it is obscurer than pity, violence, or suffering. But being a poem, not a lifetime, it is more compressed.
It's a weird poem, definitely an acquired taste. But it felt right to me on the way back from Washington.


Santiago said...

Perhaps an even more frightening poem:


I met a pollster from an antique land,
Who said--"Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand, one in Texas...., one near Canton,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose brow, and wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The electorate that mocked them, and the press that fed;
And on the pedestal, these words appear:
My name is Hillarymandias,
Look on my resume and campaign fundraising, ye fellow Democrats, and despair!
Nothing else remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Meredith said...


I am going to have nightmares about that.