Three Poems by Louie Crew Clay
Henry VIII sported his wives
for all the world to see
— each of the six in her turn
before she fell from favor.
But, because it was not lawful
for clergy to marry,
Henry’s Archbishop of Canterbury
secreted his own wife in “Cranmer’s Box”
to cart her from place to place
in Henry’s kingdom.
These women murmur still,
“Ah, the things we do for the ones we love.”
Where Are Kings and Empires Now?
Romans once ruled the world.
They are much nicer folks
now that they have abandoned such pretensions,
grow fat, and eat pizza.
What a blessing to the rest of the world
if we would abandon our national pretensions.
Only in You Can We Dwell in Safety
Did your parents peek
through the keyhole to your room,
listen to your conversations on another phone,
sift through your drawers for evidence
of wrong doing?
Does your heavenly father
keep a master computer and
the latest spyware
to record your slightest
thoughts and actions?
A lie detector costs only $250-$500
and you can purchase one online.
Might your parish welcome one
as an Advent gift?
Would you use it just for the creeds?
Should scores be used
to validate people for confirmation?
Should we put off baptism
until one is old enough
to be held accountable
to the lie detector?
Watch yes, but be not afraid.
Protect yourself from those
who can do you serious spiritual harm.
You can hear the author reading the poems here
Louie Clay is professor emeritus at Rutgers University. He is the founder of Integrity and he has served The Episcopal Church as a deputy to six General Conventions (1994-2009), as a member of Executive Council (2000-2006), and as a member of the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Newark.