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Three Poems

Three Poems

Three Poems by Louie Crew Clay


Domestic Violence


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.


Be vigilant.


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.


image: Yellow Christ by Paul Gauguin




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