First Things RSS Feed - Bryce Christensen
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Fri, 01 Jan 2016 00:00:00 -0500“Do not go gentle into that good night” —Dylan Thomas
Wed, 01 Apr 2015 00:00:00 -0400 The buyer signed the contract smugly sure
The guarded walls he’d bought would keep away
The street-game children, noisy in their play;
The beggars, hungry, hideous, and poor;
The Bible salesmen coming door to door;
Annoying relatives, who’d overstay;
Do-gooder activists, with things to say.
Unwelcome faces would intrude no more.
Tue, 01 Oct 2013 00:00:00 -0400 Youre with us still, your names engraved in stone,
?Inscribed in bronze, recited every May.
?Fresh flowers”mums, carnations, roses”say
?The pains still fresh: our grievings never done.
?Your serried graveyard markers”though youre gone”
?Compel reflection on Memorial Day.
?Our sculptors art preserves your mortal clay:
?Each marble image conjures flesh and bone.
Weve promised that well always keep you here,
?But memories etched in rock must disappear:
?The steles raised to keep you in our sight
?All fall to dust beneath the centuries might.
?Time mocks us when we swear your fame must live:
?We feign a gift that only God can give.
]]>Travel Magazine Revisedhttps://www.firstthings.com/article/2012/11/travel-magazine-revised
Thu, 01 Nov 2012 00:00:00 -0400 The beauty luring men aboard the ship
In times a wreck, unsightly and ignored.
The handsome playboy charming all aboard,
While juggling five affairs without a slip,
Succumbs to age, and cannot book a trip
Except the one across the Styx grim ford.
Cabana couples, bronzed on isles theyve toured,
All yield to rest-home pallor, and the grippe.
One restless traveler turns his thought-worn brow
Away from cruise-line glitz to seek a berth
In pews that line a craft with skyward prow
That splits the blue above the tourists earth:
A pilgrim sets brave sails for distant shores
Aglow with mansions found in no brochures.
Sun, 01 Jan 2012 00:00:00 -0500 The women knew their effort was in vain:
No box of unguent, myrrh, or aloes could
Prevent the corpse from rotting; muscles would
”with bones and sinews”turn to dust again.
The body, pierced and bruised, had two nights lain
Entombed behind a massive stone that stood
Between these women and the pointless good
They meant to do for him who had been slain.
An hour past, two women race pell-mell,
With empty hands and bursting hearts, intent
On bringing news of angels who defied
Embalmers plans and bid them quickly tell
Apostles what theyd left undone: the scent
Of spices wafts from caskets cast aside.
Wed, 01 Dec 2010 00:00:00 -0500 Our
”all melt away
, the markers of a grave.
The sweet infinitives we hope to save”
Prove finite: for
will end their stay.
”gerunds that we crave”
claims both fair and brave.
All vanish when stern
Our firmest sentences are all interred;
Our strictest syntax will disintegrate
Unless our phrases end in one sure Word:
The very parsing of our prayers will damn
All speakers not dissolved in the
Wed, 01 Oct 2008 00:00:00 -0400 San Francisco has not allowed burials within its city limits for over a century.
Please come to Mount Parnassus for the view:
The winding streets, the flowered hills, the dock,
The cable cars, the Ferry Tower clock,
The Golden Gate against Pacific blue.
Select a play, or cabaret”a new
Production opens every night to mock
The hang-ups of the strait-laced Christian flock.
We’re free from graveyard gloom and dark taboo:
The Tale of Neverland’s our holy book!
We worship Peter, child who won’t be man.
We’re all Lost Boys, who play with pirates, sure
That pixie dust will”once again”beat Hook!
We spurn the earth’s restraints, to soar like Pan.
Like him, we wonder: What are shadows for?