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The Boys in Blue; On Their Eighth-Inning Comeback, October 12, 2015



The Boys in Blue, down in the eighth,
Four runs to catch will take great faith,
Batters bounce up to the plate,
Eager, hungry to change their fate.
Balls fly foul as bats crack and creek,
As past the short stop, balls must sneak,
Like a blacksmith’s hammer, these boys
Work the pitcher while keeping coy.
The man on the mound winds, delivers,
Shooting arrows out his quiver,
More bat-cracking balls shot in play,
Sending the infield in a fray.
Single! Single! two men on base,
Worry covers the pitcher’s face,
Two on—none out—single next,
Load those bases, they will be vexed.
Single! and move those blue runners,
Pinch-run, send in a blue gunner,
One man called home, on three such hits,
Three outs to go, to cause great fits.
Single again! drive that man home,
Quiet that crowd and covered dome,
Now we need two, errors will do,
There’s one, indeed, it brings in two,
The game’s now tied, the blue boys smell blood,
Pouring like a forty-day flood
Their runs upon doubting pagans,
Stealing bases; righteous Fagins.
A strike-out, one down, now a steal,
Open first, leaves no double meal,
The next man walks, bases they load
Rushing not their all-patient mode.
Moments now are quite intense,
The batter doesn’t swing for the fence,
But like our Lord who lowly bowed,
His frame rejected to be wowed,
And gave Himself up on the cross,
A sacrifice, becoming dross,
So this brave blue batter,
Rejected praiseworthy matter,
Cracked that bat, called out on his run,
His comrades cheered, they did not shun,
Their fearless faith, his sacrifice,
Forgave them all their early vice.
That go-ahead, prodigal son,
Their lead-boy came home, his work done.

Broom Snow
The Desert Schooner,
Las Vegas, Nevada
Monday, October 12, 2015

Painting: "DiMaggio Ties Keeler'"
Material Unknown - Date Unknown
Graig Kreindler


To My Three Friends; Upon Their Coming to Visit, One Being Great with Child

(c) Hull Maritime Museum; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

As lightning strikes in twos or threes,
So came you three to visit me,
One sole unit, yet three in two,
Striking my hearth, my earth, you flew.
Leaving heaven to Vegas arrive,
No man has taken so great a dive,
But our dear Lord—that Three in One,
Who for our sins said, “It is done.”
The God who once would throw the bolt,
Down it He rode, as if a colt;
The earth today still feels, still reels
From our Lord’s one thunderous peel.
And thus have I absorbed a shock,
Like a house on sand, not on rock,
Until that day when you or He
Return to me in bright glory.
So I will reel, will feel and wait,
For that great day won’t be too late.

Broom Snow
Written at The Desert Schooner,
Las Vegas, Nevada,
Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Painting: "A Barque Struck by Lightning off Eddystone Lighthouse, Cornwall"
By James W. Wheldon
Oil on canvas, n.d.


Gambler, No. 3 [A Defense of Dogma]

“It is more from carelessness about truth than from intentional lying, that there is so much falseness in the world.” — Dr. Johnson

“The mind can only repose upon the stability of truth.” — Dr. Johnson

(c) The National Gallery, London; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

I fear a great Romantic fallacy is corrupting our country; perhaps no man today is more Romantic than the man who has absolutely nothing to be Romantic about. The self-avowed atheist will be the first of the moderns to start a crusade against belief, admitting its all of no consequence; the feminist who believes gender is fluid and therefore irrelevant will scream, and shout, and shrill and shriek against the one gender that is not fluid—the white, Christian male. If one speaks with any modern moralist, he will discover that morality is either self- or socially-constructed yet that, above all else, it should be fought for with great zeal; that is, by declaring morality as something that is constructed, he is acknowledging that it changes, and if it changes by the mere whims and fancies of society, a rather fickle enterprise, it ends up much like gender, an irrelevant thing we are all trying to define.

But what the moralist often ignores is the simple fact that any war must be fought with a concrete ideal as its foundation. No man begins a war for something he is certain will not exist in five years; no man fights for a country he knows will turn on him once he returns home. All the modern Romantics fighting for ideals they claim are fluid will inevitably grow tired of fighting for fluidity and begin fighting for foundations, and those foundations will be the opposite of reality and common sense. The atheist will no longer fight God alone; he will fight for his dogmatic brand of atheism; gender theorists will give up the notion that gender is fluid, and they will also give up the idea that gender can be male or female; those words won’t exist in their narrow universe; we will all be pan-genders.


The modern rhetorician has also fallen under the spell of denouncing dogma. I was recently reading an essay by the (relatively) famous Mike Rose, who, with the rest of modern composition theorists, railed against the five-paragraph essay and the old, traditional, rigid-rules that used to be taught. The man denies the common fact of student writing. He denies the fact that if you do not show a young writer a way, the writer will not know where to go; and he is content with calling bad writing good, all for the sake of breaking the rules.

But, I say, if anything, we need more rigid-rules, more dogma; if anything, we need more tradition, more boundaries and walls to work within. Breaking down good dogma ultimately leads to the construction of bad dogma.

Any modern secular sage will argue that Christianity keeps its followers in bondage; there are too many rules and too much order. One might say that there is not order enough in many of our churches; one might say that most atheists today are more dogmatic than most Baptists or Methodists. With that I almost cannot argue. But if rules and order are so bad in and of themselves, ask the modern sage, who preaches from a podium, if it would be alright to break his rules. Better, as him if it is alright to break the podium against his brain. Many love breaking down boundaries to free the immigrants into the country. Fewer yet walk into a zoo denouncing boundaries and cages, and those who do only denounce them until the lion leaves his cage. And perhaps that is just why Christianity needs and creates boundaries, for if it was let loose it would devour society like a lion. For it is both terrifying and triumphant.


Not too long ago, I ventured downtown with my dogmatic buddy to share a pint and discuss the ways of man and literature and our Lord. My dogmatic friend explained to me that this particular casino—a man cannot have a pint without a slot machine in Vegas—was one of the oldest, one of more tradition. Now, tradition as defined by Vegas standards is anything over forty years old. I think a man would be hard-pressed to find a building older than fifty years in Vegas; it is a sign of deadness when a city must change every ten years; the lively town is the old town, built with the spirit of youth, built by men who wanted their buildings to last forever because their spirits last forever, buildings unlike the whims and fancies of gender-theory, socially-constructed and built for destruction.

But I have slightly digressed. My friend showed me around the casino and we left, deciding to stroll around the area, continuing our discussion. The downtown area, despite its newness, has made improving strides in recent years, and many locals who are sick of the strip flock there. One finds it easily enough by coming down Fremont Street and running into a pedestrian mall, what is called the Fremont Experience. (But I protest. Read my Gambler, No. 2 if you want the true Fremont Experience.)

We arrived at the corner of Lewis and Casino Center and longed to enter Anthony’s New York Pizza & Deli for a slice, but we found no seating, it being a Saturday evening. A young man from Kansas City who walks through downtown Vegas might feel as if he is in a different country. I did not often venture around downtown KC, but I did stroll around the Westport and midtown area a time or two. To compare the two would be silly. But in general, the Vegas district is much smaller and contains a far wider range of people. Bikers seemed to be a great hit the last time I was there—at Anthony’s—and it will be hard to forget seeing such a big man, with all his tattoos and leather, carry such a little dog around in his jacket. A stretch hummer and a man with a camera across the way caught our attention, especially when that man waived his camera around for a panorama. The white man in a purple EMAW shirt surely stuck out to him. But I fear I have digressed again.

Unable to grab a slice, we continued on, discussing the same particulars and dodging characters you want to dodge. I educated my friend on the sad fact of what a cis-gender was; we talked other particulars. The evening was a fine night from strolling, for once. Though the dryness in Vegas is both a curse and a blessing; the heat is not so bad, but then one must drink a gallon of water a day to keep from drying, wilting, shriveling, and dying. And I and my skinny bones had just had over a pint.

At some point during the evening, my friend asked me if I wanted to see one of the oldest buildings in town. I quickly shot my mouth off and asked him if the building was built last week, and he proceeded to tell me it had been there since the twenties. Educated, I continued with him, winding around darker streets, away from the neon and slots.

We rounded a corner, and there was a quaint, white building, but not just any building; it was a building that stood for something. It was not, I believe, socially constructed. It was not made by man. It was made by God. It was a church.

Broom Snow,
Written & Transcribed at The Desert Schooner,
Las Vegas, Nevada
Late September, 2015

Painting: "A square before a Church"
By Jan van der Heyden,
Oil on oak, 1678


The First Surgery


If ever hands shook, they shook then;
a crude blade poised above bare chest
in a novice hand

the patient writhes
awake, a root tight between the teeth,
grip boa-like to whatever was nearest:

interlocked with another’s fingers
pulling at a sapling's limb
or a desperate clawing
as if to dig up anesthesia
before it ever had a name.

The surgeon, caught in swing
between criminal and compassion
ready to pierce the flesh

with the intent of good, ready
to face the scream, the thrash,
the signs of death.

Oh, to have witnessed the confidence
in that cut, the foresight beyond pain,
as the body opened 

became as something buried and unearthed—
the whiteness of bone
the blood at darkest red.

With it finished,
the breath beginning to even,
the tailor inside—inside us all—

set to work—platelet and clot
his needle and thread, the slow mend
of a treasure beyond gold. 

Bryn Homuth
As a follow to "The First Surfer"
September 15, 2015

Painting: The Doctor, 1891 
Sir Luke Fildes, 1843-1927
Oil on canvas 


On a Lakeside Morning


there’s a shimmer in the trees and waves
borne from the coupling of wind and light

the reed-necks incline toward shore
as though they listened to something there;

the dock planks groan, the fire pit's last embers brood
red, then ash, then lifted in smoke—

spent scraps of the forest, unread pages
in the great novel of the wood.

A story is already there,
written in bark and sap,

the text read not by lantern
or candle, or flame,

but in the warming by its heat,
in the way it holds a stare.

A deer grazes in the dew-glint
sunfish jaw for grubs in the weed beds 

the great-horned owl surveys from its roost.
To see the sudden unfolding of plumage—

like curtains thrust aside to fill a room—
before lifting from the branch

is the lifted strain from a reader in that dim study
in which we often find ourselves,

too engrossed to rise—or even reach—
for the nearest light

until another flips the switch or pulls the chain
to ease our tired eyes.

Bryn Homuth
Sewell Lake, MN
August 24, 2015

Painting: The Blue Rigi Lake of Lucerne Sunrise
William Turner, 1842
Watercolor on paper