Poets and Pastors

Blessed are the peacemakers Huge cloud fists assault The blue exposed bare midriff of sky: The firmament doubles up in pain. Lightnings rip and thunders shout; Mother nature's children quarrel. And then, as suddenly as it began, It's over. Noah's heirs, perceptions Cleansed, look out on a disarmed world At ease and ozone fragrant. Still waters. What barometric shift Rearranged these ferocities Into a peace-pulsating rainbow Sign? My enemy turns his other Cheek; I drop my guard. A mirror Lake reflects the filtered colors; Breeze-stirred pine trees quietly sing.

Anne Tyler, in her novel Morgan's Passing, told the story of a middle-aged Baltimore man who passed through people's lives with astonishing aplomb and expertise in assuming roles and gratifying expectations.

The novel opens with Morgan's watching a puppet show on a church lawn on a Sunday afternoon. A few minutes into the show, a young man comes from behind the puppet stage and asks, Is there a doctor here? After thirty or forty ...

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