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Weekly Poetry Stuffage > Week 136 (Sept 1-7) Poems Topic: Altar Ego

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message 1: by Guy (new)

Guy (egajd) | 10976 comments You have until September 7th to post a poem, and on September 8th to 10th we’ll vote for the one we thought was best.

Please post directly into the topic and not a link. Please don’t use a poem previously used in this group.

Your poem can be any length, as long as it doesn’t take me all night to read it.

This week’s topic is: Altar Ego

The rules are pretty loose. You can write a poem about anything that has to do with the topic. I do not care, but the poem you post must relate to the topic somehow.

Have fun!


message 2: by Ruthie (new)

Ruthie (bluephoenix20) | 129 comments hi.. just curious.. is it really altar ego or alter ego?


message 3: by Guy (new)

Guy (egajd) | 10976 comments Yup! ;-)


message 4: by Ruthie (new)

Ruthie (bluephoenix20) | 129 comments eh??? which one??


message 5: by Guy (last edited Sep 01, 2012 08:17AM) (new)

Guy (egajd) | 10976 comments LoL! Altar .


message 6: by M (last edited Sep 01, 2012 08:20AM) (new)

M | 10152 comments Hmm. I wonder if Guy got the idea from #151 in the “Weekly topic suggestions” thread?


message 7: by Ruthie (new)

Ruthie (bluephoenix20) | 129 comments hmm.. i've never heard that before: altar ego.. guess this is a new challenge for my vocabulary.. :D


message 8: by Guy (new)

Guy (egajd) | 10976 comments M wrote: "Hmm. I wonder if Guy got the idea from #151 in the “Weekly topic suggestions” thread?"

No Comment, M.


message 9: by Caitlan, lioness rampant (new)

Caitlan (psych-enthusiast) | 2866 comments Mod
What is an altar ego, by the way? lol.


message 10: by M (new)

M | 10152 comments Ever met an Episcopal priest?


message 11: by Guy (new)

Guy (egajd) | 10976 comments TY Al. Typical me, twisting words and contexts, causing general confusion and mayhem. LoL!


message 12: by M (new)

M | 10152 comments Guy, you always come up with great topics. I worked for an Episcopal foundation for years. I should be able to think up something.


message 13: by Caitlan, lioness rampant (new)

Caitlan (psych-enthusiast) | 2866 comments Mod
What's an Episcopal priest?


message 14: by M (new)

M | 10152 comments He (or she) is someone who ministers to the sick and the grieving and who has been ordained to the priesthood by an Episcopal bishop, and who can administer the Rite of Communion. A priest usually wears robes during church services. Formerly, a priest stood before the altar, facing God, but now the priest, God-like, stands behind the altar and faces the congregation.


message 15: by Caitlan, lioness rampant (new)

Caitlan (psych-enthusiast) | 2866 comments Mod
Okay. Thanks :D


message 16: by M (new)

M | 10152 comments Sorry, Kat. I realize that wasn’t much help. I don’t know much about the workings of the Episcopal Church, though I know more than I would like to. There are Catholic priests, though! I happily pass the ball to Edward.


message 17: by Guy (last edited Sep 01, 2012 06:56PM) (new)

Guy (egajd) | 10976 comments My wife was raised in a strict Catholic home. The stories she tells of her days at the Catholic boarding school and the required church functions there would curl your whiskers. Mine started curly, but now, after her stories, are straight.

M, Al, Kat. Did you you get a chance to look at my hangnail story? I got it in VERY late, so not sure if you've seen it yet. It is rather weird.


message 18: by Caitlan, lioness rampant (new)

Caitlan (psych-enthusiast) | 2866 comments Mod
I did see it, Guy :D I liked it. It was just weird enough :D


message 19: by Guy (new)

Guy (egajd) | 10976 comments Okay, Kat. 'Weird enough' sounds good. I was concerned it was a bit too morbid.


Christa - Ron Paul 2016 (Christa-RonPaul2012) | 1365 comments So an "Altar Ego" is sort of about someone who has a thing about how they are more spiritual than every one else?


message 21: by Guy (last edited Sep 01, 2012 09:04PM) (new)

Guy (egajd) | 10976 comments Christa, only if that is the story you want to tell. It could be about someone who is far less spiritual; or, it could be about someone who thinks s/he is far less spiritual than s/he actually is.

And it doesn't have to be about spirituality at all. There are altars to false gods, patriarchs, matriarchs, dead pets and dead singers. Not necessarily in that order, or in any combination of them, too.


Christa - Ron Paul 2016 (Christa-RonPaul2012) | 1365 comments Okay thank you Guy, I think I have figured out what you mean.


message 23: by Guy (new)

Guy (egajd) | 10976 comments Good luck. From the pre-'show' discussion, I am now really curious to see what kind of great creative stories you WSSers are going to come up with! Have fun.


message 24: by Elsbeth L.S.E. (new)

Elsbeth L.S.E. (ElsbethLSE) | 174 comments Hmmmm....Altar Ego...Episcopal Priest...I think I may have something for this.

Thanks for the explanation :)


message 25: by Elsbeth L.S.E. (last edited Sep 03, 2012 08:38AM) (new)

Elsbeth L.S.E. (ElsbethLSE) | 174 comments Okay...here's mine. Happy to post this one :D


The Deacon
By SheBlogger
03 September 2012
22.50

A sworn servant of the Lord
Praising and serving in God’s name
Reading, preaching His word
An inculpable man with no blame

He goes to church every Sunday
With his lovely wife and children
As a family, they solemnly pray
Though they fight very often

He helps the poor, the hungry
The imprisoned and the sick
But in another reality
A self-righteous arrogant prick

Living another life
In some faraway place
Where he keeps another “wife”
Who believes in his promise of white lace



Would anyone here be happy to know this deacon is Episcopal? :) Not exactly a priest. At least not yet...


message 26: by M (new)

M | 10152 comments SheBlogger skewers a two-timing deacon with her poem this week! “The Deacon” is powerfully written and a delight to read.


message 27: by M (last edited Sep 03, 2012 06:07PM) (new)

M | 10152 comments Sandpiper


She was crying,
and at the last minute
Mavis, the old secretary,
passed me Lisa’s lectionary sheet.

On the walk down there
I had psyched myself for it,
imagined I were merely
looking back on these things
from years in the future,
when the pain would have
receded and most of what
I would remember
would be the smell of her hair,
the sound of the breakers,
a certain laughter,
in Lisa’s eyes a warm anticipation
rather than the hurt, the beseeching,
of two afternoons before.

Sunday had dawned clear.
A cool breeze rustled the date palms
in front of the chapel.
She was in her choir seat,
hiding her eyes,
her usual composure shattered
as I took the reading
and walked up the carpeted aisle,
so steeled against a moment
still present, not yet past,
that the room
and the rows of people
seemed almost unreal.

At the lectern
I prepared to stumble over
unfamiliar passages
Lisa would have beautifully read.
Through a labyrinth of verses,
I spoke what seemed a
strange summation of my life,
in old words by which
I was abruptly laid open
to my childhood’s darkness,
a remembered face.
The room seemed to fill
with something I could sense
but could not see.
Wondering if I alone perceived it,
I looked out
and found myself in her eyes.


message 28: by Elsbeth L.S.E. (new)

Elsbeth L.S.E. (ElsbethLSE) | 174 comments M wrote: "SheBlogger skewers a two-timing deacon with her poem this week! “The Deacon” is powerfully written and a delight to read."

Thanks, M.

Not as powerful as your "Sandpiper" though :)


message 29: by Ruthie (new)

Ruthie (bluephoenix20) | 129 comments quite hard to compete against these two powerful poems.. but here goes my entry.. :) it is a bit long so please bear with me.. :)

Crossroad

I remember
I used to believe
In the path they have chosen
The path I should take
Across the desert
I used to think
His presence will become
An oasis waiting for me
Beyond the valleys
I used to hope
He would stand
Welcoming me with open arms
In His altar
I used to have
A special place
I called my home
My heavy yoke
He promised He would take
My hungry heart
He said He would fill.

I remember
I used to pray
But He didn’t listen
He never answered
My heavy burden
He did not take
My emptiness
He did not fill
I stand alone
In the path I used to take
Abandoned and forgotten
Lost without guidance
My heart full
With uncertainty and fear
My soul heavy
With eternal loneliness
I used to believe
But not anymore
I seek no longer
What doesn’t exist.

I remember
Taking this way
Standing on my own
Amidst my intersecting life
Seeking to find
A way back home at last
Watching the stars
For their guiding light
Waiting for my faith
To grow and sustain
The soul that is sleeping
Beyond the darkness of my heart
I stopped
From my endless walking
To look at last
To see where I have strayed
Hoping that someday
I’ll find my destined path
Whichever road it may be
From this crossroad.


message 30: by Paula Tohline (last edited Sep 04, 2012 04:52PM) (new)

Paula Tohline Calhoun (PaulaTohlineCalhoun) | 493 comments SheBlogger, M, and Ruthie: You each wrote a terrific poem. I am very impressed with the depth of feeling in all of them. Plus I like the sardonic wit in SheBlogger's. Added a touch of wicked (and sad) fun!

I will add here, that when I saw this week's topic, I thought for certain that Guy had made a typo. But I was going to write about the topic as it was. Made it much more fun.

If any of you folks in the group out there have not figured it out yet, (especially after reading my "Hangnail" entry), I am married to a now-retired United Methodist pastor. Both Methodist and Episcopal churches grew out of the Church of England, and were influenced to greater or lesser degrees by the Wesley brothers (John and Charles). The Methodist church and the Episcopal church are both episcopal (small "e") churches because they are headed by bishops, who appoint their pastors to service in different churches/places after the pastor/preacher/minister/priest has been ordained (for Methodists there are two levels of ordination - first deacon, then elder, both levels require at minimum a Master's Degree in Theology). That means that the Catholic - both Roman and Orthodox - are also "episcopal" churches. This differs from other Protestant denominations, in which each individual congregation "calls" their pastor. Those same congregations will also "hang up on" their pastor when they want him/her to leave! (That was supposed to be funny. . .)

That said, every pastor is unique in their approach to service. Some have a rather inflated "altar ego," and some have virtually none. As a matter of fact, it can (and should) be said that pastors are human beings, subject to the same faults and vices, gifts and graces. For all of you church-going folks, that may come as no surprise, but it interests me that so many people outside of the church are absolutely astounded that pastors (and their spouses) are not in some special category of humanity. It is partly for that reason that I am in the midst of writing a memoir, working title to be, "Irreverently Yours: The Itinerant Life of a Pastor's Wife." I am writing, (hopefully humorously - because the majority of my life has been very funny), about a lot of those misconceptions that I have come across over the years. And contrary to what I stated above, many of those misconceptions have been by life-long church goers/members. Oh well. . .

All that has nothing to do with the great poems already submitted. I'm looking forward to reading all of the entries this week!

Thus endeth the sermon. My poem comes later. . . (Maybe if I scanned that comment differently, it could be my entry. . .I'll think about that! LOL)

Paula


Christa - Ron Paul 2016 (Christa-RonPaul2012) | 1365 comments Thank you Paula, I for one am more informed than I was ten minutes ago. (I'm reformed Presbyterian.) Thank you for taking the time to write that out. Would Charles Wesley be the same who wrote very famous hymes?

((Sorry if I am changing the topic, I can take it to private messages if it is a bother))


message 32: by Ajay, The Caped Crusader (new)

Ajay (Ajay_N) | 1136 comments Mod
Wonderful topic, Guy! I wish I could come up with something, atleast this week.


message 33: by Guy (new)

Guy (egajd) | 10976 comments Paula wrote: "SheBlogger, M, and Ruthie: You each wrote a terrific poem. I am very impressed with the depth of feeling in all of them. Plus I like the sardonic wit in SheBlogger's. Added a touch of wicked (a..."

Paula, thanks for the short history. Very informative and humorous too.

Christa, by our unspoken practice it would seem that the WSS mods are a little loose with staying-on-topic strictures, and enjoy conversational meandering. It is fascinating what kinds of trivia, information and knowledge arise from such conversations.


Christa - Ron Paul 2016 (Christa-RonPaul2012) | 1365 comments I agree one hundred percent, thanks :D


message 35: by M (new)

M | 10152 comments Ruthie’s “Crossroad” graphically evokes the sense of someone who is spiritually lost, who has asked to be shown the way only to get nothing in return, and who seeks “no longer / What doesn’t exist.” Very nice writing!


message 36: by Christa - Ron Paul 2016 (last edited Sep 06, 2012 07:55PM) (new)

Christa - Ron Paul 2016 (Christa-RonPaul2012) | 1365 comments Here is mine. Hopfully you will be able to tell I am talking about public schools.

The Institution
Everyday before the alter of education they bow
Who cares if anyone learns as long as they are cowed.
Who cares if a higher power no longer exists
To this building they flock and is seats do sit

A cruel world full of taunts and mean jokes
No shirt goes unnoticed, no imperfections unnote
Death and tears are all you will find
But you must go here, and your soul you will bind

You cannot succeed if you don't go through this hell
You cannot do anything if you try to pass by.
You will never drive, get a job or wife
If you do not sacrifice the first 18 years of your life

How did this happen?
How did the times change
From a place to learn
To a place to be caged

Bars on windows, door stay locked.
Your freedoms suspended till you become an adult.
You have no choices, so is it any surprise
You come out of there with a clean wiped mind?

If you have not had sex by the age of 12
It is clear you are worthy to be ridiculed to nil
If you lack in any way what every one expects
Then you are the one who will wish for death

Have you brains? Have you an IQ
Not for long my dear child you.
Every original thought from your mind will be smash
You who could cure cancer will now have no chance

Every building is bigger than the biggest of God's temples
And yet the Christians are the ones who are full of scandal?
To this building of evil every parent will send
Their beloved children who will grow up spent.


message 37: by Ruthie (new)

Ruthie (bluephoenix20) | 129 comments M wrote: "Ruthie’s “Crossroad” graphically evokes the sense of someone who is spiritually lost, who has asked to be shown the way only to get nothing in return, and who seeks “no longer / What doesn’t exist...."

M.. thank you so much for the kind comment.. since the topic has something to do with spirituality, i decided to write about my own journey of finding faith.. and as the poem suggests, i'm still standing somewhere in between..


message 38: by M (new)

M | 10152 comments Ouch! Christa’s “The Institution” does not show contemporary public education in a very favorable light. It’s reassuring to know that not all young people buy into today’s materialism, sexual license, and obsession with appearances.


message 39: by Ajay, The Caped Crusader (last edited Sep 06, 2012 05:35PM) (new)

Ajay (Ajay_N) | 1136 comments Mod
Hi everyone, I did write one this time. But I am not sure if this one fits well with the topic. My apologies if doesn't.

The Temple Tour


The senses spun with a particular nosiness as my eyes munched
on the hue rich palette in front of me. The mammoth metallic doors
of the temple creaked open and scores of worshippers made a dash
to the shrine area. They were armed with wooden flower baskets
which housed tiny bananas, alluring jasmine garlands, camphors &
a split open coconut. Crows flew off when the brass bells reverberated.

As I ambled around, the golden tip of the main shrine glinted and
signalled the hour of the day. It was high noon in the month of April.
The agents of adoration chipped away from within, as I was lured
by the artistry of the rock cut elephant sculpures and the flamboyance
of the high rise domes. The scriptures fogged my naked eye.

The main shrine was something else. The Goddess was adorned in this azure
silk sari which glowed with the opulent orange blaze from the mud lamps.
A class of priests worked like bees, multi-tasking the acts of lighting incense
sticks, chanting hymns and constant clanging of the brass bells. After decking
all the polished ornaments on the Goddess, the head priest arose from behind
a white cloak. The younger priests bowed in attention as he took over.

I couldn't stop fixating on his clean shaven head. I noticed three hand engineered
streaks of powdered kumkum, ash and sandalwood on the centre of his forehead.
A epidemic stir rippled from the congregation when he picked up the bronze aarti
lamp and offered his respects to the Goddess by circling the lamp thrice, covering
her entire form and in reverse again. As he turned to face the lesser mortal beings,
his eyes shone with the radical immediacy of a trance.

The crowds moved in a line, mustering all their humanly powers to steal a solid
glimpse of their Goddess. He brushed away the empty-handed devotees. His
smile ricocheted whenever currency notes and coins fell on his lamp plate.
I thought, what a prick. Even temples aren't perfect.

-Ajay Nagaraju
6th September, 2012

References:

*aarti : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aarti
*kumkum: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kumkum


message 40: by Elsbeth L.S.E. (new)

Elsbeth L.S.E. (ElsbethLSE) | 174 comments Paula wrote: "SheBlogger, M, and Ruthie: You each wrote a terrific poem. I am very impressed with the depth of feeling in all of them. Plus I like the sardonic wit in SheBlogger's. Added a touch of wicked (a..."

Thanks, Paula. That's exactly what I was aiming for :)


message 41: by Paula Tohline (new)

Paula Tohline Calhoun (PaulaTohlineCalhoun) | 493 comments Christa - Ron Paul 2012 wrote: "Thank you Paula, I for one am more informed than I was ten minutes ago. (I'm reformed Presbyterian.) Thank you for taking the time to write that out. Would Charles Wesley be the same who wrote very..."


Christa: John Wesley's (younger) brother, Charles, is indeed the famed hymn writer. He wrote hundreds. . .all of them brilliant in their own way, and not the least bit superficial or gratuitous in their use of "holy" language. My favorite of his is the great "O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing!" And, "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" is a incredibly well-done exposition on Christianity's roots and foundation. (Check it out!)


message 42: by Paula Tohline (new)

Paula Tohline Calhoun (PaulaTohlineCalhoun) | 493 comments Didn't get my poem up in time (obviously!), but I have a great excuse! Read here for the explanation: http://paulatohlinecalhoun1951.wordpr...


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