Fire Up a Candle

From the December 2017 Print Edition

Fire up a candle for the Advent wreath. The birth is a week away. Let the deer browse peacefully on their heath, our rifles locked away. Last remnant in our Liturgy of Greek, let all sing Kyrie, Christe eléison. Let all who seek salvation, let the stray sinner come to the church whose Lord is . . . . Continue Reading »

Ode to King David

From the November 2017 Print Edition

Goliath Picture a twelve-year-oldwith round rocks for his slingfacing the fearsome, boldGoliath.  In a ringtwo armies stand apart.The boy with his brave heart can kill from thirty yardswolves on a pasture’s banks,but now the lamb he guardsis Israel.  The ranksof Philistines at warcut . . . . Continue Reading »

Burns in Glory

From the Aug/Sept 2017 Print Edition

The Oxford Edition of the Works of Robert Burns, Volume I: Commonplace Books, Tour Journals, and Miscellaneous Proseedited by nigel n. leaskoxford, 512 pages, $200 Robert Burns, “Rabbie” to those who love him, sired thirty-six children with eighteen mistresses before dying of exhaustion at age . . . . Continue Reading »


From the March 2016 Print Edition

My life is one perpetual retreat.Wall off the world for books to be adored,Testaments Old and New, Word of the Lordwhose great librarian is the Paraclete. Yesterday was the Feast of Christ’s baptism:“This is my Son with whom I am well pleased,”saith the Lord, and once when I was seizedwith . . . . Continue Reading »

Open the Way

From the January 2016 Print Edition

Open the Way for God? Take to the road,Calvary Hill. It is no easy path.Give up your greed, your tendency to wrath,go to confession, and lay down your load. Turn your attention from your sad sack selfto those around you, suffering and in need.Let no day pass without a kindred deed,take down the King . . . . Continue Reading »


From the December 2014 Print Edition

Not fit enough to wander the wild woods or separate my wouldn’ts from my shoulds, what can I say? Not spry enough to scamper on a deck or fend a tall sloop from a leeward wreck, I steer my way. No longer lean or lithe enough to climb a groaning glacier out in Mountain Time, here I shall stay. So: . . . . Continue Reading »

Almost a Franciscan

From the May 2013 Print Edition

A long walk up the mountain from Assisi— my boot heel severed from my right foot Redwing, I smacked it back, using some broken pavement. I’d walked my little brother to l’Eremo, some thirty years later I’d be a Catholic. Now, I suppose, I’m almost a Franciscan. I’d come not to . . . . Continue Reading »

Three Prayers

From the January 2013 Print Edition

I rarely pray to Christ. His sacrifice was so perfect, it’s far beyond my ken. I’m one of those who have denied Him thrice but take His bread and wine, then say amen. I pray three ways, first to the Holy Ghost in charge of poets who would serve the Lord, then to St. Michael, head of . . . . Continue Reading »