Saturday, July 23, 2011


This is a segment of "Uncle Jim and Little Roy" from the 2009 Goatsinger production of Chooka Choo. Here, the two hobos, Uncle Jim and Little Roy, have taken refuge for the night in a barn. Unbeknownst to Little Roy, Uncle Jim is very sick. Once the young man falls asleep, Uncle Jim goes outside to try and pray.

"Morning" by Emily Dickinson

Will there really be a morning?
Is there such a thing as day?
Could I see it from the mountains
If I were as tall as they?
Has it feet like water lilies?
Has it feathers like a bird?
Is it brought from famous countries
Of which I’ve never heard?
Oh some scholar, oh some sailor,
Oh some wise man from the skies,
Please to tell a little pilgrim
Where the place called morning lies.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Curving Shadow

It was a late Saturday evening
Riding gravel with Willy-Todd
Humid Iowa evening
Flesh and Blood steaming
Yeah, the mood was odd

We saw a great big beautiful bonfire
Out in a shallow field
Curving shadows were dancing
We decided to chance it
Yeah, we made the devil a deal

A christian's eyes -- a sinner's smile
Stopped my heart -- no denial -- no, no, no, no

She was a bright-eyed shadow
Curving in the firelight like a knife's edge
Blurring -- a smoky look -- an open smile
Redemption there -- Lord, stop the trial

You think she holds the answer,
Willy-Todd, he said to me
But a woman's a hard road
Love makes for a heavy load
And you'll never be free

Then a gravel cloud kicked up high on the hill
And sirens cut through the night
The cops descended
The party was ended
Then some fool started a fight

Willy-Todd was at my shoulder
But the girl was pulling my hand
I told her it's okay
I'm not going away
I know what it means to finally be redeemed by a

Bright-eyed shadow
Curving in the firelight like a knife's edge
Blurring -- a smoky look -- an open smile
Redemption there -- Lord, stop the trial
~Mike Moran

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Priestlike Guts

Today will be a day of many fruits and vegetables, I've decided, out of curiosity of what might happen to my priestlike guts if I give them the fresh offerings rather than the burnt offerings they've come to expect.

You realize I have the spleen of a cardinal and the gall bladder of an archbishop; I have the nuts of fundamentalist preacher and the cock of an angry-at-God saint. My lungs draw up the breath like a local chaplain draws up the collection plate, knowing that it'll all be distributed back out to the parts to keep the temple moving.

My heart belongs to jesus/buddha/raven/balder but my mind is very much my own.

That's why my prayers all sound whiny, an undercurrent of God-what-do-You-want-now? feel to them. Perhaps a diet one day of fruits and vegetables might turn my priestlike guts into the guts of a pornographer. Tonight I'll see if my wife will accept a different sacrament.

Lightning might come from my fingertips and burn down the church. Written words are lightning. I could burn you where you stand. So stand back.