Semper Informanda: Prolegomenon

And Audience of One (2007)

Why isn’t an audience of One enough?
The One who applauds without flesh and bone hands
Or not at all
Or maybe he’s frowning

But flesh and bone hands are no help either
They clap off-beat with the One or else break out in between movements instead of
          waiting until the finale is over and the Conductor faces the audience
They cheer and hoot at anything – ballet, concert, aria – it’s all a hockey game to them
Or they’re talking or videotaping at the most sacred moments
Instead of awestruck at tiny princess feet in their first tour jeté
They miss what real excellence is
Or what a hypocrite I am
And how I would sell myself for their laurels, and do.
So clueless, fleshly hands are no help either

A depressing choice…the abundant praise of Cretans or true discernment, whose lauds
          may never come.

It’s only that one Pair that matters and I can’t hear them.
Maybe once in a while, like a phantom flutter across the tympanic membrane
I think I heard it, maybe one clap

But even then, I’m not sure whether it’s because I hit the sweet spot or fell on my
          face…is it possible to do both at the same time?


My Babbling Brook (2010)

Babbling brook, shallow, rapid, chattering, glinting, cheery, splashing
No trickle were you at your headwaters
Bubbling up in spritely zest, full of sparkle
Light prismed through effervescent spray.
Splay of rills soon found common cause
Beginnings announcing alluvial grace yet at course’s end.

Little rill, growing, directed, clear.
Yet chattering gaily over pebbled shallow run.
Crystalline, pure, punctuated by cloud of darting krill.
Named flow now, though headwater contributions still distinct.
Stretching down, depths extending, complex yet clean.
Strength growing graceful.

Sudden only in perception, banks have spread.
Clattering stones muffled now in adolescent depth.
Clear bed obscured by obtuse pools.

River now, moving, flotsam treasures peeking, purposeful, admirable, deepening.
Stretching newfound strength of roils and eddies.
Habitat, life-bearing,
Current flowing seaward bears acclaim upstream for its maternal springs.

Slipping the grip of glib perception
Measured now by mystery
Channel deepened
No longer could he stand firm-footed to bend the current
Swells beyond paternal flow.
Wading squire yields to voyageur.

Joy is the wage of agnostic journey
Though tossed and tangled on the way
Yields more in transient buoyancy than ever in infant current
Greater that borne by transcendent waters than quenched in cupped hands.
To harness with mortal arms holds nothing of water
To yield to time’s tide and be borne where progeny’s course will go
Is to transcend oneself.

Sky, ravines and springs pay their tithes.
Tremulous levies point furrowed brows skyward

Rolling sea, bending horizon, teeming with life, too deep to be plumbed.
Headland raindrops are ancient ancestral memory.
Contented smile, satisfied, open, bearing ships and hopes of nations
Returning skyward vaporous seeds of babbling brooks.

From old man river flows daddy’s little girl
His punt a father’s affection…

                     …and gratitude


Rev. Michael J. Glodo
Associate Professor of Biblical Studies

Orlando Semper Informanda | Volume 6 Issue 31