Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Chameleon

hews the hue from pith and peel
to sublimate the color wheel
refracted in sun-speckle drops
like lemon macaroons.  It sops
up the palate's palette cake
and engineers a prism break
above entablatures of trees
to slip into the backdrop frieze
and coalescent with the light
cleave itself from human sight.

Poem by Walter Ancarrow
Photo by Os Nakayama

Monday, August 24, 2015


From my view above, walking
the hall with the cat, she slightly leading,
her body sways a little with her stepping,
undulates, not like the track of an old river
seen from an airplane, sharply cut through the land,
nor a snake or earthworm---
which must exaggerate, side to side.

She makes a subtle, graceful sway.

I think of how that wide river of ungulates looks,
The elands, zebras, wildebeests, buffaloes,
seen from the airplane above,
in their Great Migration up the Serengeti.

The head does not sway, remains straightforward,
not so much in the hip or shoulder either,
with soft forward shift one leg to another,
but, living where the ribs are, that swing.

When I see that liquefaction
in my cat or in the hordes on TV,
I stare in wonder at how the four-legged ones
are made, how seen from above,
they move in that way by merely walking,
in a grace not only probably, but is.


Mary Ellen Branan


Poetry Society of Texas A book of the year 2012 awards
p. 118, Derry Tutt Memorial Award

Friday, August 14, 2015

Monday, May 18, 2015

Mango Salsa

2 ripe mangoes, peeled and chopped
2 large yellow tomatoes, peeled and chopped
2 Tbs grated white onion
2 Tbs finely chopped red pepper
2 Tbs finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 tsp cumin
zest and juice from 1 lime
salt & pepper, to taste.

DD#3 developed this recipe in 2010 and I have served it with repeated success.

In addition to being a refreshing appetizer, this salsa pairs well with grilled or baked fish.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Vows: Church Membership

Vows for Admission of persons to Sealing Ordinances:
1.    Do you acknowledge yourselves to be sinners in the sight of God, justly deserving His displeasure, and without hope save in His sovereign mercy?
2.    Do you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God, and Savior of sinners, and do you receive and rest upon Him alone for salvation as He is offered in the Gospel?
3.    Do you now resolve and promise, in humble reliance upon the grace of the Holy Spirit, that you will endeavor to live as becomes the followers of Christ?
4.    Do you promise to support the Church in its worship and work to the best of your ability?
5.    Do you submit yourselves to the government and discipline of the Church, and promise to study its purity and peace?

On xx September 1979, I answered these questions affirmatively when I joined Chalcedon Presbyterian Church, Atlanta, GA.   I believe it was a transfer of church membership from St James Anglican Church, Atlanta, GA, where I was confirmed on 8 March 1970 (age 11y11m).

Monday, April 13, 2015

Jehovah Tsidkenu

I once was a stranger to grace and to God, 
I knew not my danger, and felt not my load; 
Though friends spoke in rapture of Christ on the tree, 
Jehovah Tsidkenu was nothing to me. 

I oft read with pleasure, to soothe or engage, 
Isaiah's wild measure and John's simple page; 
But e'en when they pictured the blood sprinkled tree 
Jehovah Tsidkenu seemed nothing to me. 

Like tears from the daughters of Zion that roll, 
I wept when the waters went over His soul; 
Yet thought not that my sins had nailed to the tree 
Jehovah Tsidkenu - 'twas nothing to me. 

When free grace awoke me, by light from on high, 
Then legal fears shook me, I trembled to die; 
No refuge, no safety in self could I see-- 
Jehovah Tsidkenu my Savior must be. 

My terrors all vanished before the sweet name; 
My guilty fears banished, with boldness I came 
To drink at the fountain, life giving and free-- 
Jehovah Tsidkenu is all things to me. 

Jehovah Tsidkenu! My treasure and boast, 
Jehovah Tsidkenu! I ne'er can be lost; 
In Thee I shall conquer by flood and by field 
My cable, my anchor, my breastplate and shield! 

Even treading the valley, the shadow of death 
This watchword shall rally my faltering breath; 
For while from life's fever my God sets me free 
Jehovah Tsidkenu my death-song shall be. 

by Robert Murray McCheyne 
Scottish Presbyterian Minister 

(Tsidkenu is Hebrew for The Lord our Righteousness) 

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Easter Hymn

Praise the Savior now and ever;
Praise Him, all beneath the skies;
Prostrate lying, suff’ring, dying
On the cross, a sacrifice.
Vict’ry gaining, life obtaining,
Now in glory He doth rise.

Man’s work faileth, Christ’s availeth;
He is all our righteousness;
He, our Savior, has forever
Set us free from dire distress.
Through His merit we inherit
Light and peace and happiness.

Sin’s bonds severed, we’re delivered,
Christ has bruised the serpent’s head;
Death no longer is the stronger,
Hell itself is captive led.
Christ has risen from death’s prison,
O’er the tomb He light has shed.

For His favor, praise forever,
Unto God the Father sing;
Praise the Savior, praise Him ever,
Son of God, our Lord and King.
Praise the Spirit, through Christ’s merit,
He doth us salvation bring.

Venantius Fortunatus
cir­ca 530-609

Music: Upp, Min Tun­ga
 Swed­ish Kor­al­bok, 1697