Every year during National Poetry Month I slip in something by me in hopes that the neighborhood will rub off on me. It takes audacity, I know, but it is the rent the real poets pay for their modicum of attention here.
This year’s poem was created in my role as poet laureate (self-designated) of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in McHenry (Tree of Life.) Today the Congregation is installing the Rev. Sean Parker Dennison as the called minister. A pretty big deal.
To commemorate the occasion, as I have done at similar auspicious moments in the Congregation’s life, I committed poetry. And mighty odd poetry if I do say so myself. I venture to say no other minister has ever been on the receiving end of anything remotely like it, for which most of them will be eternally grateful.
It has already been pointed out that this might even be not entirely appropriate to the occasion on liturgical if not esthetic grounds. It seems more related to the calling of a minister, rather than his installation. Fair enough, but there is not the proper hoopla, ritual, and goat sacrificing for the call, which is pretty much an announcement made one Sunday morning.
I’m maintaining that the installation completes the deal like a quarterback’s Hail Mary Pass in the last moments of a tie game pulled down by a sticky fingered receiver. Time for celebration all around.
If that explanation doesn’t satisfy you, take it up with the U.U. Pope. Good luck with that.
Anyway, I’ve got this nicely framed and wrapped in brown paper to give to Sean, who can hang it anywhere he chooses…or sell at his next garage sale for a good hard nickel.
For the Installation of the Rev. Sean Parker Dennison
As Minister of
The Unitarian Universalist Congregation in McHenry
Tree of Life
April 7, 2013
If we are Nelson Eddy trussed up in a crimson tunic,
impossibly stiff Stetson on our head
and you are Jeanette McDonald,
blonde and demure in the prow of a slender canoe
on a mirror smooth lake in the moonlight.
If there is a boar’s bristle in our hat and we are in lederhosen,
knees chilled to the Alpine air
and you are in the vale below
among your goats and blossoms.
If we are black birds in a quartet
stranded on the far side of the fruit tree
and you are the trio of turtle doves
cooing in the misting dawn.
We are calling you.