GALE ACUFF : Divine Comedy
CHANMING YUAN : Worldly Affairs: Today's Special
WARD KELLEY : The Ancient Heart of Sandy
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Divine Comedy Worldly Affairs: Today's Special The Ancient Heart of Sandy  

Divine Comedy
  I love Miss Hooker. I'd marry her if I was older or she was younger but I'm 10 to her 25 so each night I pray that God will change the numbers so that next morning we'll wake up the same sum and goofy about each other and then I'll go to her house, wherever it is (I guess God will map it out in my head) and knock on her door or maybe she'll be waiting on her porch, if she has one, for me, and then we'll shake hands and then we'll hug and then we'll kiss and maybe more than once and with all our lips to boot. We have four. And we'll close our eyes or they'll close themselves without us really thinking about it and I won't peek, I won't even try, like I do in Sunday School when she has me stand up and bow my head and close my eyes and lead us all in the Lord's Prayer. I spy her there in her chair and with her eyes closed and head bowed as if she's asleep or even dead and I imagine I kiss her and wake her. I'm a kind of Prince Charming, maybe. But sometimes I forget the words and stumble during the prayer, I mean with my brain, it trips over my tongue, so I have to close my eyes and concentrate on God and Jesus and that other world   where They live, and the only way we know it is to pray and sing and talk about the good old stories of the Bible, which is why Miss Hooker is our teacher, to keep us out of Hell, at least for as long as we're still in her class. And of course we want to go to Heaven one day, I mean when we die because that's the only way, no one gets in there alive, that's for sure, but if we can put up with being dead for just a short time then we get eternal life, forever, that is if we rate and don't get sent to Hell instead and the Lake of Everlasting Fire. I learned to swim last summer but that won't help me there, not that I expect to go but you never know. The thing to do, Miss Hooker says, is never sin at all but of course we will, she says, because we're in a fallen state, no thanks to Adam and Eve, and so we have to try hard not to sin and not to want to sin and when we sin we must pray to God in Jesus' name to forgive us. We'd better not die in sin, either, she warns, which means don't die sinning because then we'll be too late to be forgiven. Whew. She sure knows her stuff and it would be a shame if after all she's done for me I wind up in Hell anyway. I hate   to disappoint her so if we married then maybe we could get in together, sort of like a package deal or two for the price of one. If God doesn't give us a miracle, or me one anyway, and make us both the same age tomorrow, then I'll just wait until I'm old enough, 16 say, and all grown up, to ask her for her hand, and all the rest of her, too. She'll be 31 and that's not young but I don't care even though odds are she'll die before me and leave me lonely until I die, too, and go to be with her, if I haven't sinned too much since she left me, of course. But if I've been a good man then I'll meet her up in Heaven and, damn, will we have a reunion. Holy cow. If we have hands we'll shake them and if arms we'll hug each other and if lips we'll kiss them. If there's a way to get closer than that I'd sure like to know what it is. I guess I'll find out. But if we never marry and I happen to get into Heaven anyway I'll be sure to seek her out, if I have eyes to see and ears to hear.
I have many things to write unto you but   I will not write with pen and ink
--JOHN the theologian

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Divine Comedy Worldly Affairs: Today's Special The Ancient Heart of Sandy  

Worldly Affairs: Today's Special
Appetiters: North Korean pickle soup Iranian hard nuts Venezuelan sour coffee Main Courses: American democracy steamed with socialism Chinese communism fried with free market Deserts: Sushi with Oettinger Curry with Brigadeiros  Fortune Cookie Slip reads: Libya There is a second one: s-i-r-y-a?
Poetry endangers the established order  of the soul - Plato

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Sandy Denny (1947-1978), English folk singer, died tragically at a young age when she fell down the steps at a friend's home and went immediately into a coma. She passed away four days later. One of the many songs she penned was an instrumental she co-authored, 'The Lord Is In This Place, How Dreadful Is This Place.' --Ward Kelley
Divine Comedy Worldly Affairs: Today's Special The Ancient Heart of Sandy  

The Ancient Heart of Sandy
from histories of souls
My photographs always appeared too sweet, and I never managed to reflect accurate songs from my ancient heart out through my two sugary eyes. Even my girlish cheeks betrayed an affection for the comforts of modern England. But never was I betrayed by my heart, never by that olden beast, for it was there that screams and trials pumped, peasant wearies and crusades jumped fiery words forth from quilled pens . . . it was there that pulsed the great desire of the race to rise somehow from this mud of the breathing ones, after falling and falling again and again back into our slippery selves, yet always, incessantly, finding a cause to rise. Nay, nay, nay, yea, nay, nay, this is our way to find ourselves along in the midst of the great muddy battle of what it means to be alone in the breathing, and this was the way of my aged heart's song.

copyright 2003 WARD KELLEY
GALE ACUFF : Divine Comedy
CHANMING YUAN : Worldly Affairs: Today's Special
WARD KELLEY : The Ancient Heart of Sandy
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