Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Hebron Crossroads 4-18-04
By Jeff Gill

After winter’s eraser has wiped the landscape clean, spring starts to color in the new portrait of growth and life.
Sharp slashes of yellow along roadways mark stands of forsythia, alternating with thinner, lower lines of gold where daffodils streak horizontal edges. Bursts of lavender and pink-tinged magnolia dot corners of homes and lots, while drifts of whiter dogwood blossoms pick out contrasts in woodier settings.
The billows of loose limbed willow in yellow-green jump out from what is still, for a few weeks, gray brown tree trunks, the maples casting down red brown forerunners of leaves still curled within their stems.
Get out for a walk in the woods now, if you can (wear boots, stepping cautiously between the mudruns) and get a map in your mind to lay against the more deeply shrouded dark green obscurity of summer. You can see across the landscape for a while yet, but also note where life (morels, trillium, squirrel nests) is breaking up the bark and leaf moldering monotony of the forest.
Much is going on in civilization, too, around the Hebron Crossroads. New shapes on the roofline of Clay’s Café on West Main Street, and don’t forget they’re still open for business through all this construction activity.
Go on out West Main past the municipal complex, where our next Hebron Village Blood Drive with the Red Cross is Monday, Apr. 19 from 1 to 6 pm, and climb Sunset Hill to where Trudy’s Attic is no more. . .
Now, welcome to K&C Cycle, Hebron’s Yamaha dealership and motorcycle shop. They had a grand opening last week, and many of you are stopping by to look at accessories as well as the possibility of a new ride on which to cruise the springtime hills of Ohio.
Head north of Main on High Street, and there’s activity apace at the former Water Works business, stripping down the old steelframe and sheathing structure. Has anyone heard what’s up for that site? Next door, at 149 N. High, Mantonya Chiropractic is cleaning out the building where their practice will move and grow, while the Adams’ have purchased the equipment of the former child care center there and are thinking of getting started in that business somewhere about.
And this coffee drinker is looking forward to a café/bookshop somewhere near the heart of downtown!
Next weekend, starting Thursday evening, actually, the Lakewood Drama Club is putting on the “biggest” show they’ve probably ever had, “The Wizard of Oz.” Huge sets, a cast of thou. . .OK, hundreds. . .alright, a hundred, but still! Familiar scenes and story plus local faces, some very hard to recognize behind complex makeup, and a full workout for the lights, sound, and pit orchestra: you don’t want to miss it. A second show has been added for Sunday Apr. 25, but call the Performing Arts hotline at Lakewood High, 928-4496 for ticket info. You really want to get your ticket in advance for the show you want, and Saturday night was nearly sold out two weeks ago, so call! Saturday will include some special moments we’ll report on in coming weeks.
No truth to the rumor that Don Thorp plays “the man behind the curtain” in “Oz,” but he’s always been a coach to say “pay no attention to” the guy on the bench and watch the young men on the field as they play, execute, and perform in their own art form of baseball. This “wizard” of the diamond has now won 700 games as Lakewood baseball coach; or, as he’d probably say, coached teams that won 700 games. Another big achievement for a Lakewood legend.
And did you know Laura Finkes, whose achievements with the discus in track and field with Lakewood are saluted at the village limits on signage there, is continuing her string of accomplishment in discus competition at the collegiate level? Denison’s Big Red has Laura making their name known in Ohio and around the North Coast Athletic Conference, and we should have some season’s end results to share next week.

Closing this week, before the month of April comes to an end: did you know this is National Poetry Month? Spring makes for poetry in many ways, and while space and formatting make it hard for us to run too much poetry in the Booster, we can point you to some wonderful online resources to browse and read poetry to your heart’s content.
Robert Frost is both one of my personal favorite poets and my ideal Spring poet, as well (think “Two Tramps at Mudtime,” f’r instance). His quote “poetry is a way of taking life by the throat” heads Frost’s page at bartleby.com, an excellent source for public domain classic poetry and an easy website to navigate.
Gutenberg.net has a large quantity of public domain material as well, both poetry and prose; poetry.com as you might guess from the url suffix is more mercantile in outlook, but poetry.net has an assortment of links to recent poetry, of all levels of skill and quality.
The Library of Congress is the abode of the national Poet Laureate, and their website, Thomas.gov, can link you to a number of websites on poetry, including that of Robert Pinsky, the incumbent in that office.
Locally, puddinghouse.org is the domain of Jennifer Bosveld, whom I was privileged to work with in the early days of the Licking County Coalition for Housing. I was saddened to learn in doublechecking her web address that her husband Jim, so recently ordained to the ministry in the Unitarian-Universalist Church, died a month ago. They had operated a B&B in Johnstown until a while ago, where their business publishing and sharing poetry was based; they had since moved to just over the line back into Franklin County, and made the internet their base of operations.
Somehow I doubt that this will stop Jennifer from writing and publishing poetry, and her website still has the best information on readings and performance venues as well as publishing opportunities in central Ohio for poets. Jim had a great heart, and that love of life will live on in the work he and Jennifer began through Pudding House, and I’m certain in Jen’s poetry, too.
Don’t know where to start in reading poetry? Well, aside from my favorites like Frost, George Herbert, Emily Dickinson, Robert Browning, and William Blake, all of whom can be found online (try Google or the sites above), today’s poetry in America is marvelously represented by Maxine Kumin, whom I had the privilege to meet and write a poem for a few years ago. She publishes regularly in book form (no small feat, that) and in the pages of magazines like “The Atlantic Monthly.”
Plus there are likely to be poems through the rest of the month at knapsack.blogspot.com. Or you could write your own! As William Stafford said, “write a poem a day. I didn’t say write a great poem, or even a good poem everyday. Just keep writing them, and you’ll start to see.”

Jeff Gill is pastor of Hebron Christian Church and poetry fanboy; if you want to send a poem to dare him to print it in this column, or have news of local interest, email disciple@voyager.net or call 928-4066.

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Some poetry bloggage from Yeats & Tolkien:

The Second Coming

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all convictions, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

William Butler Yeats, 1925;
. . .and

The Lake Isle of Innisfree

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet's wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.

. . .now, from fantasy out of reality, the supreme poet of reality out of pure fantasy, J.R.R. Tolkien; four, in English and Elvish (Tengwar):

I sit beside the fire and think...
by J. R. R. Tolkien

I sit beside the fire and think
of all that I have seen,
of meadow-flowers and butterflies
In summers that have been;

Of yellow leaves and gossamer
in autumns that there were,
with morning mist and silver sun
and wind upon my hair.

I sit beside the fire and think
of how the world will be
when winter comes without a spring
that I shall ever see.

For still there are so many things
that I have never seen:
in every wood in every spring
there is a different green.

I sit beside the fire and think
of people long ago,
and people who will see a world
that I shall never know.

But all the while I sit and think
of times there were before,
I listen for returning feet
and voices at the door.

The Road Goes Ever On

The Road goes ever on and on
Out from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
Let others follow it who can!
Let them a journey new begin,
But I at last with weary feet
Will turn towards the lighted inn,
My evening-rest and sleep to meet.

Also called: Galadriel's Lament

Ai! laurië lantar lassi súrinen,
yéni únótimë ve rámar aldaron!
Yéni ve lintë yuldar avánier
mi oromardi lissë-miruvóreva
Andúnë pella, Vardo tellumar
nu luini yassen tintilar i eleni
ómaryo airetári-lírinen.
Sí man i yulma nin enquantuva?
An sí Tintallë Varda Oiolossëo
ve fanyar máryat Elentári ortanë
ar ilyë tier undulávë lumbulë
ar sindanóriello caita mornië
i falmalinnar imbë met,
ar hísië untúpa Calaciryo míri oialë.
Sí vanwa ná, Rómello vanwa, Valimar!
Namárië! Nai hiruvalyë Valimar!
Nai elyë hiruva! Namárië!


Ah! like gold fall the leaves in the wind,
long years numberless as the wings of trees!
The long years have passed like swift draughts
of the sweet mead in lofty halls
beyond the West, beneath the blue vaults of Varda
wherein the stars tremble
in the voice of her song, holy and queenly.
Who now shall refill the cup for me?
For now the Kindler, Varda, the Queen of the stars,
from Mount Everwhite has uplifted her hands like clouds
and all paths are drowned deep in shadow;
and out of a grey country darkness lies
on the foaming waves between us,
and mist covers the jewels of Calacirya for ever.
Now lost, lost to those of the East is Valimar!
Farewell! Maybe thou shalt find Valimar!
Maybe even thou shalt find it! Farewell!


Snow-white! Snow-white! O lady clear!
O Queen beyond the Western Sea!
O Light to us that wander here
Amid the world of woven trees!

Gilthoniel! O Elbereth!
Clear are thy eyes and bright thy breath.
Snow-white! Snow-white! We sing to thee
In a far land beyond the Sea.

O stars that in the Sunless Year
With shining hand by her were sown,
In windy fields now bright and clear
We see your silver blossom blown.

O Elbereth! Gilthoniel!
We still remember, we who dwell
In this far land beneath the trees,
Thy starlight on the Western Seas.

A Elbereth Gilthoniel,
Silivren penna miriel
O menal aglar elenath!
Na-chaered palan-diriel
O galadhremmin ennorath,
Fanuilos, le linnathon
nef aear, si nef aearon!

Ai! laurie lantar lassi surinen!
Yeni unotime ve ramar aldaron,
Yeni ve linte yuldar vanier
Mi oromardi lisse-miruvoreva
Andune pella Vardo tellumar
Nu luini yassen tintilar i eleni
Omaryo airetari-lirinen.

Si man i yulma nin enquantuva?

An si Tintalle Varda Oilosseo
Ve fanyar maryat Elentari ortane,
Ar ilye tier undulare lumbule;
Ar sindanoriello caita mornie
I falmalinnar imbe met, ar hisie
Untupa Calaciryo miri oiale.
Si vanwa na, Romello vanwa, Valimar!
Namarie! Nai hiruvalye Valimar.
Nai elye hiruva. Namarie!

Ah! Like gold fall the leaves in the wind,
Long years numberless as the wings of trees!
The long years have passed like swift draughts of the sweet mead
In lofty halls beyond the West
Beneath the blue vaults of Varda
Wherein the stars tremble in the song of her voice,
Holy and queenly.

Who now shall refill the cup for me?

For now the Kindler, Varda,
The Queen of the Stars, from Mount Everwhite
Has uplifted her hands like clouds,
And all paths are drowned deep in shadow;
And out of a grey country darkness lies on the foaming waves between us,
And mist covers the jewels of Calacirya for ever.
Now lost, lost to those from the East is Valimar!

Farewell! Maybe thou shalt find Valimar.
Maybe even thou shalt find it! Farewell!

Gilthoniel A Elbereth!
A Elbereth Gilthoniel
O menel palan-diriel,
Le nallon si dinguruthos!
A tiro nin, Fanuilos!

A! Elbereth Gilthoniel!
Silivren penna miriel
O menal aglar elenath,
Gilthoniel, A! Elbereth!
We still remember, we who dwell
In this far land beneath the trees
Thy starlight on the Western Seas.

JRR Tolkien

Monday, April 12, 2004

An Easter Communion Meditation

Seed & earth
Sun & rain
Life & birth
Joy & pain

Growing grain & seedling grapes
Stalks in sheaves & rounded shapes
Stone grinding mill & winepress of wood
Clay outdoor ovens by courtyards stood.
Deep in the earth, casks aging their wine
Preserving as drink the fruit of the vine.

Table all set, and dishes too
Plates and cups both old & new.
Loaf & chalice, broken & poured
A sacred meal, served by Our Lord.
Body & blood, symbol & sign,
Meaning & action as one, intertwined.

To us, and today
Meal & mystery now on display
Sharing & service, worship divine
For you & for me, now & always align.
Eternity's bread, & heaven's full cup
A banquet where all of God's people rise up.

Invited, accepted
Included, respected
Servants in all things Our Lord has directed.

Joy & pain
Life & birth
Sun & rain
Seed & earth;
From empty tomb
Recall & meet
In this room,
Take & eat.

Easter 2004