Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Poetry—What Unitarian Universalists Should Give Up For Lent…

I’m playing with fire here and testing your limits of endurance this week.  But by honest-to-Gwad special request here is a poem that appeared in my 2004 Skinner House collection, We Build Temples in the Heart.

What Unitarian Universalists Should Give Up for Lent
If They Observed it, Which they Don’t,
Most of Them

Pews without padding, Nature Conservancy calendars.
Volvos, polysyllabic verbosity,
herbal tea, austerity,
National Public Radio, unread books in fine bindings,
    Liberalism, Buddhism. Humanism,
    Marxism, Feminism, Taoism,
    Vegetarianism, Conservationism, Transcendentalism,
    Atheism, Consumerism, Sufism,
    for Christ’s sake, Libertarianism,
Joys and Concerns, pretension,
committee meetings, Habitat t-shirts,
potluck tuna casserole, black-and-white films with subtitles,
petitions, sermons, tofu and brown rice,
drums, theology,
season tickets to anything but baseball,
liturgic dance, poetry readings,
    Pilgrim pride
    pride of intellect
    pride of lineage
    pride of lions
    the pride that cometh before the fall
bistros, pledge drives,
advanced degrees, spirituality,
coffee hour, sensible shoes,
philosophy, choir rehearsal,
arrogance, animal sacrifice,
gender-neutral hymnals, learned clergy,
natural fibers, string quartets,
whiteness, turquoise jewelry,
recycling, self-congratulation,
acupuncture, bird-watching at dawn,
yoga, Common Cause,
God, doubt,
egotism, self-denigration,
yesterday, tomorrow.

—Patrick Murfin


  1. Allow me to update that poem by suggesting that Unitarian Universalists at 25 Beacon Street in Boston need to give up falsely accusing me of the archaic crime of blasphemous libel for Lent 2013.


  2. Thanks for being a good sport* Patrick.

    I am hereby standing on the side of love for your educational and entertaining blog on Standing On The Side Of Love Day 2013. :-)

    Keep up the good work.


    * Most of the time anyway. . .