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Savior's Shield - A Poem based on recent events

Savior’s Shield Christmas Eve, a call came in “Man in rage, about to sin” Another day for the uniformed blue We don our vests and suit up It’s just our job, our calling true A pint-sized partner at my side Compact, strong, don’t let it fool She’s as brave as the come Hard, tough, and compassion too The Eve of the Savior, a Thursday night I pleaded with a girl deep in fright Tonight’s the night, you must press charges Your boyfriend’s intent is to come and harm you Her grandma’s instinct to dial 911 Was the right call  for help to come We’ve been down this road, it’s not baby’s fault Emotions run rouge When we’re all cooped up Domestic abuse rises unweary  The drinking, the pressure  All is unyielding They are called into danger Their vow to protect Someday a savior Other days little respect I pray these situations would never come She prayed her boyfriend would remain on the run I darkened her doorway pleading my case This for your protection there is no disgrace Make the right decisio

Parish Bubble (a.k.a Troublesome Post)

  Propelling Out of the Parish Bubble  (Originally posted in 2018   and challenged by the Diocese of Rockville Centre )   The key to the new evangelization is for a parish to build on its historic culture and break out of the parish bubble into the community. A healthy parish will become a resource for the community’s spiritual, physical, emotional, intellectual, and social needs. During my pre-ordination interview for the permanent diaconate, I had a fifteen-minute interview with my bishop. The time together was more or less akin to a speed-dating interview, each prospective future deacon doing his best to impress the bishop. I was able to express an interest in evangelizing outside of the “parish bubble”. The bishop expressed interest in evangelization, as most church leaders are concerned about the dwindling numbers in the pews and lack of robust support for the church by millennials. Having spent my adult married life (twenty-five years) in my home parish, I came to understan

Perplexing Plastic (a.k.a. Troublesome Post)

    "Perplexing Plastic"  (Originally posted in 2018, and challenged by the Diocese of Rockville Centre)  In the 1960’s the promise of a career in “Plastics” seemed like a sure bet, in contrast to the problem where plastic pollution endangers our environment today. In a scene from the movie “The Graduate” Ben, a recent college grad (played by Dustin Hoffman) is questioned about his future at a graduation party. A scene I’m sure many of our high school and college graduates can appreciate as we approach June and the long-awaited Summer months. Mr. McGuire steps in, pulls Ben aside with the intention of some sage advice, “Ben I have one word for you...plastics!”.   As I contemplate the trajectory of faith and spiritual life, various words enter my mind as I answer the call toward a relationship with my fellow parishioners and with God. Words like struggle, trial, joy, authenticity, service, and very recently, plastics enter the frontal lobe. When we shop at the gro

Seeking Harmony on the Seas (a.k.a Troublesome Post)

  Seeking Harmony on the Seas (Originally Posted on 11/6/2018 This article was challenged by leadership in the Diocese of Rockville Centre) It had been a long winter and we decided that a vacation was overdue, so we booked a weeklong cruise through the Caribbean. Adjusting to the ship’s accommodations went smoothly, as we boarded one of the largest cruise ships in the world, “Harmony of the Seas”. The warm weather helped melt away the winter blues along with the tensions and trials of life at home. We enjoyed a warm welcome from the captain and crew as we embarked on our journey from island to island.   We were amazed at the size of the ship, as well as the diversity of the patrons and crew. Traveling together we met people from India, Australia, Mexico, Hungry, Russia, England, South Africa, and America, all journeying together.   The technology to keep the massive vessel on course was impressive as each crew member knew their role in bringing us safely from port to port. With

No Sunrise in a Storm

  No Sunrise in a Storm                           -  Stephen Yusko Ain’t no sunrise in a storm Ain’t heard my name as I roam No fireplace to keep me warm Chase me from my bus stop home I have my demons, yet to name You have yours, just the same Stranger danger look away Not sister nor brother do you claim Crazy Joe, Veteran Al Shopping cart Sally, my passing pals Scrounge for scraps, a buck or two Take it day by day, to pull me through  Ain’t no sunrise in a storm Ain’t heard my name as I roam No fireplace to keep me warm Chase me from my bus stop home Angels appear now and then Shapeshifter Jesus, time to spend  Arm’s length distance away from me In a moment, the eyes of a friend Bleed me out frozen, take my life Winter’s cold, a cutting knife Dumpster coffin calling me Reaper man’s roundup will I be Ain’t no sunrise in a storm Ain’t heard my name for so long No fireplace to keep me warm Poor man’s grave is now home

Gray Day

Gray Day Gray is the color, mountain pathway descent Gray is the color of your stare, discontent Gray is the mud between black and white  Gray takes away the colors from my sight Gray head sign of intelligence Gray clouds hide the sun’s eminence  Gray my mood when I am lonely  Gray is the mystery that goes beyond me Gray is a reach toward retirement Gray is her hair dyed blonde for excitement  Gray clippings on the barbershop floor Gray memory as I reach for the door Gray is the mystery far beyond me Gray like my father ever reminds me Gray is the blessing of many days Gray looking back at my changing ways

Darkened Blue

  Darkened Blue Blue waters turn black  I look to what I lack Not material but decisions made Wayward path, shifting ways Dawning memory unfading Remind me of the obsession remaining  Sunrise sneaks up on the horizon Winter’s blanket chill my soul As I cower under bedroll Warm my mind To greet this day Shine a new path for my way Darkness fades and returns again Sow your pain, unwanted friend Lessons learned scars revealing  Guide me to the path of healing