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Archives for December 2014

Advent, the Nineteenth Day: Timorous Beastie


…pusillanimes confortamini, et nolite timere…

And Burns again – whose tag I thought was Shakespeare’s,
The one about the plans of mice and men –
Corrects my mortal thoughts. His wit deducts hairs
That bless my beard – as needlepoint design
Unravels from its loom or raftered scantling
Unwinds from central beam. Dismantling
Such doom, I sip at Timorous Beastie, neat
As Robbie’s lines: “…beneath the blast Thou thought
To dwell till – Crash! The cruel coulter past” and,
Alas, a homeless thing… But solace lifts
A glass, this Advent’s nineteenth day, and gifts
Awaiting be upon us – glad and chastened
To know that God provides for men and mice
No better plan than what will best suffice.

Advent, the Eighteenth Day: Arran Batch 4 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)


…ecce Deus noster veniet, et salvabit nos.

This red-eye retail, emporium of essence,
And holding house of heaven’s holy hooch –
That’s Arran – that’s the place of plain old nonsense
Which Robbie Burns would practice, sing and preach:
“O Whisky! Soul o’ plays and pranks!” As the poet
Declaims – so Harold Currie makes a go at
Installing Arran’s first distillery
(Not watched by moon alone) this century,
When paired and golden eagles play a prank to
Delay the work a year, their rare-aired roost,
A legal brief and stay. Thus, Holy Ghost,
Bestow – this Advent’s eighteenth day – a thank you,
We pray, on Arran’s heights, for making room
Among such rocks as God will soon call home.

Advent, the Seventeenth Day: Nikka Whisky From the Barrel


Ipse est, qui post me venturus est…

The distant lotus pond is to the wadis
Of Palestine as Scottish firth and loch
To Shinto shades of lavender on Fuji’s
Majestic peak. Yet earth, a rounded crock
To fill as well with scotch as saki, grew to
Suffuse in Masataka Taketsuru
A love of Hebrides and Highland malts.
Kimono silk thus dresses tartan kilts
For international acclaim to tailor
This Advent day, the seventeenth that’s passed.
The seamless unity of east and west
In Nikka fashions textures to fulfill her
Epiphany – the rose of paradise
Engrafting petals on the compass rose.

As long as we’re making lots more Star Wars movies…

…let’s make the only one that matters:


The story of how Han won the Falcon from Lando. Starring 48 Hours-era Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy.


Advent, the Sixteenth Day: Tullamore D.E.W. – 12 Year Old, Special Reserve


Aurem tuam, quaesumus, Domine, precibus nostris accommoda…

O’Brien’s Public House was first erected
The year that Eden got it’s seedlings down
Through sheer imagination. Derelict, odd,
And sitting in its corners, older men
Bedecked in shabby tweed and stale tobacco
Are gazing out its single weary window –
As if their youth were waiting half a mile
And forty years back down the road. They smile
And sip from chipping tumblers full of Tullamore –
To irrigate their eyes. This sixteenth day
Of Advent lets their silence have its say:
“Nostalgia’s pulled at my leg but can pull n’more
My ear. Just let a fellow follow through –
He’ll seek out nothing wiser than his due.”

If Walker Percy Had Kittens

Dots and Spots

“Mom, when I was playing with the kittens, I was thinking that the brain is the engine of their Selfs.”

– Expat Minor, Age 6
Recipient of Kittens

At The Jesuit Post – “You Will Become Catholic”

This popped up in my Twitter feed today via Michael B. Dougherty (who is a reason to not un-join Twitter):

It is a Friday in Lent and you have been fasting all day to be in solidarity with Guatemalans and now you hate Guatemalans. Your wife is away, the house is empty. You wander into your younger daughter’s room. She long ago took down all the old posters and pictures. The walls are nearly bare. This happens to be a time in your life when the faith you once held so easily seems to be, not totally lost, just empty. The God whose presence was once felt is now just an idea “assented to”. Truthfully, it hurts. Does it hurt as much as if, say, you lost your mortgage? Who knows? But it does hurt, more than you let on to yourself. It makes everything dark.

You Will Become Catholic

Advent, the Fifteenth Day: Rock Town Arkansas Bourbon Whiskey


Erit radix Jesse…

A razorback misnomer; still, it passes
The test that cuts across the industry
And shaves Kentucky’s competition – thick as
These wiry tufts and bristled hairs must be
To stand on corny ground, this juice of Rock Town.
The tale gets knocked around as locals knock down
A bottle – snout to screwy tail – just how
The natural state of bourbon, Arkansas
Had seen, presents this runty piglet portion
For Advent’s fifteenth day. “So bite the bit
And take a sip,” this whisky says. It’s right
That expectation should exceed aversion –
So winter’s branch on Jesse’s barren tree,
Will stump to prove its root’s nativity.

Advent, the Fourteenth Day: Balvenie 12 Year Old Single Barrel First Fill


Utinam sustineretis modicum insipientiae meae…

St. Lucy’s Day

What gives to us this day that’s bred from margins
Of calendar’s end? The clocks diminish:
Their hands are wickless lamps of witless virgins.
December’s weathers grip the land and push
The fog and rain across a cold horizon.
Yet embers resurrect and sparks emblazon
This fourteenth day of Advent. Darkness reigns
A little while, sure, but our glass contains
A castle’s local genius. Called Balvenie,
It builds its case and pours a million suns,
This sainted maiden’s day. Composed of moons
A dozen twelve, this canticle of honey
Candescence hints at hope – its glint reflects
The light that man has sought since “Fiat lux!”

Existential Dissonance V