Saturday, February 1, 2020


An Invitation
Welcome, weary traveler! Come and rest by my fire. I see that your boots are worn from the hard ways of the road and your fine cloak is rent by the thorns of the world. Come, then, and sit. Shall I tell you a story?

There is meat aplenty here, and fine ale for the taking. More than these, though, there are tales to be had – I spin them myself – and thoughts to be pondered; but that part is yours. It is for me to offer such things as I hope shall instruct, interest, and amuse you. It is for you to taste my offerings and see whether they are to your benefit, or whether you were better having never tried them. Remember as you take your nourishment (and as another fine author* once said) that the mind, too, has a kind of blood. As such, it, too, seeks good wine and bread – and, I would add, something more than those.

But come, then, I pray you. Be at your ease and listen as this Caitliceach Cailín unfolds for you legends no mortal tongue has told and shows you paths no Son of Adam’s foot has trod. Listen, stranger, and hear: the door to other Places is opening. Will you not come in?

* Willa Cather, “Shadows on the Rock”

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Pondering Amidst a Season of Penitence

A blessed Laetare Sunday to you, gentle reader!

In the spirit of Lenten sacrifice and keeping one's focus on things not of this world, I have for you today another, older, piece of mine that I lately found and polished up a wee bit.  It is, I admit, didactic, imperfect, and perhaps it will not quite please - but, then, were we made to be pleased?  Were we created for pleasure alone?  The answer, I would dare to say, is at once more simple and more complicated than it may seem.  But that is a question for another day.

In the meantime, then, I offer for your perusal and pondering this little tidbit which - I hope! - will encourage the practice of penance without itself being one.  But perhaps some queries are best left unaddressed...!


+JMJ+

Brevity
By Caitlin LoTruglio (née Clancy)
Copyright 2015, 2016

Say not “I am not old”
Nor “I am well, I am healthy”
For in life you have no measure
You know not when you are wealthy

The boy on the playground swing
The man on the motorbike
The girl with her cat’s-cradle string
The working woman on strike

The one may fall from his height
The other meet with a crash
The child may take an infection
Her elder fall under the lash

No warning may precede each
A demise needs no clear call
Though warnings ever abound
One fate will soon befall all

Are you watchful, good sir, are you ready?
Little lamb, who will own your dolls?
Lad, do your playmates shout “steady”?
Lady, your Maker calls.

To each a solemn promise
To each a holy oath
Each day we arise from the ashes
Fall to dust as we plight our troth

Conceived in the glory of Heaven
Received by the frailties below
Made up by our doings and darings
Taken up or let down for to Know

So in your brief space of December
Which comes you know not how or when
Adam’s son, do your best to remember
That love is beyond mortal ken

One final injunction I leave you
One final thought to recall
Though the last of the last shall ensnare you
In the end it is gift to us all

Therefore, my dear,
Child of God’s breath,
Remember you are never more
Than an inch

From death.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Curiosities Abound

Dear Readers!

A miracle has occurred.  I have posted twice in the same month!  I dare not hope to assure myself or your good persons that this will become regular habit - though I hope much it shall - but I do intend to post again soon.  I have a few poems in the works which, thus far, please me greatly.  I hope they will in time take sufficient shape so as to be presentable to your better judgments.

In the meantime, I found this curiosity locked away in one of the digital drawers of my written warehouse.  It was one I scribbled wantonly but pleasantly one day on the white board of a room at my alma mater.  I was surprised and delighted to return after the summer break and, upon opening the white board, found it still there.  I wonder if anyone read it.

In any case, for your present perusal and, I hope, pleasure, I present -


+JMJ+

Poem Written on the Board of Stowe Hall, Room 209Which Remained There All Summer

By Caitlin LoTruglio (née Clancy)
Copyright 2014

Have you ever stopped to wonder
‘Mid your breathing and the thunder

That each day presents a mystery –
A tapestry of history?

The rain upon the street
Has moistened Solomon’s feet

And the sun high overhead
Has looked upon Ulyssey’s bed

The breeze has brushed St. Paul
And heard John’s desert call

Jordan’s wavelets held a prophet
And her waters washed a God

Some stones have known the tread
Of Alexander or Boabdil, dead

And others known the sandals
Of Turks and ruddy Vandals

Each piece of earth has seen
Tyrants and their vices green

And watched the steps of heroes
And witnessed bloody Neros

I must finish this rhyme
Not at all or at another time

Suffice it here to say
As you go along each day

Be watchful as you rush around
Where you stand could be holy ground….

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Anticipation

Good day to you, gentle readers.

I fear I have left you long in darkness and silence.  Much has happened these past months, of both a joyful and sorrowful nature; too much to be properly penned here - too much to be catalogued, chronicled.  Let it suffice to say that in silence God's work is perhaps oftenest done to us and in silence life still shall be made to move.  But enough.

I doubt not that you are desirous of something more light, more literary.  I have written a number of works over the past weeks and the choice for which of these to present today was not an obvious one as it has sometimes been in months past.  After some thought, though, and in light of the Gospel readings of the day, I have here for your perusal a piece I left lingering a while but am at last desirous of uncovering.  I am, as ever, not perfectly satisfied with its sentiment and shape, but I think I have captured something not negligible.  I shall leave you to guess at what.  

May He Who Is be with you always!

+JMJ+

Anticipation: The Wedding Feast of the Lamb
By Caitlin LoTruglio
Copyright 2015, 2016

Flames erupting in a goblet
Ardor of the blest
The blaze of new wine
And laughter, hot laughter, in a girl’s calm breast –
Father, is this not how You love us?

Hot agony, pure ecstasy,
Sears me, scarlet lover,
Grieving through her fuller joy
I behold, my Lord, your Mother 

Beauty uncontainable
Blushes oceans, rivers forth
Repeatedly, repeatedly,
My Lord! Come to us speedily
Thoughts burning, yearning, greedily
Hearts parched for want of Thee

The phoenix of old resurrects himself
And from David assumes a new form
The roil of the ages lashes about
Burgeons and breaks in a blackening, beckoning storm
My Lord, is this not how You greet us?

At war is the soul reconstructed!
Divinity piercing the mind!
My Lord, My God, My Father,
Blaze – burn, flash, slash, and leave blind!

Whisper to us then in the darkness
When we, drooping to depths of the earth,
Ask –
Does emptiness reign in Your kingdom,
Or of feeling only is’t dearth?

Thorns and nails claw us, alive,
Incisions break open each mind
Thoughts belonging to others
Sink, bite deep, call others in kind

And there on the edge of the altar
At the brink of despair and the world
Flaming highly, my Lord, strikes white splendor –
From the pinnacle God is not hurled

Solace returns to the quiet
Interior fountains blue-flow
They softly, and softly, remember
The sigh of the love that they know

Tranquility seizes her triumph
And Peace thrusts his banner to stay
A silence burns over the stillness, burst
From the heart of a high holy day

Let the wine of triumph be poured
Let the heart of the lion breed flame
Let the wounds of the King be unveil’ed
Let the leper return without shame

And all that is left, the deluge of deeps,
Teeming with bright azure sheen –
All as it is as it was and shall be
My Lord – as it ever has been.


Sunday, November 15, 2015

Sonnets n' Such


Greetings, Faithful Friends!

Today's contribution is more whimsy than wit, but I hope it will meet with your approval nonetheless.   It is a lighthearted and, frankly, somewhat absurd example of that noble form known as the sonnet.  For those of you who don't know, may I direct you to: Sonnets! That webpage, though by no means a perfect textbook, ought to give you the basics.  I have also included, after some hesitation, an analysis of this poem that was (graciously?) penned for the purpose of accompanying it; I leave you to guess at the identity of the writer, who wishes to be nameless.  All I can say is that the author of that assessment is someone whom I sometimes fall into the vile delusion of admiring, but toward whom, in my soberer and saner moments, I like to think I bear a healthily critical attitude.   They smile as I write this.

Without further ado...

+JMJ
Tempus Fugit
By Caitlin LoTruglio
Copyright 2015

If time were worthier, did not decay,
If hours, earthen vessels, stood empty men
This verse were labor of a summer’s day
That might be fuller filled and filled again
So like unto the red-capped drinking bird
Sipping till ambriosious liquors’ spent
It bobs and nods as though it would be heard
And, nodding lastly, then would be content
But, prodigal, these hours are not to be
They, wispy, steal as smoke-foam from my tent
Gone off to tempt with yet more transient glee
And in some other soul provoke desire –
Wherefore this burdened writer pens in ire!



Analysis: 

The speaker appears to be the “author” of the poem who, it seems, has run short on time.  This person desires that time might be, as it were, recyclable -  they wish to get more out of each hour (they want each to be able to be “fuller filled and filled again”).  The writer/speaker, perhaps because they are so short on time when they are writing this poem, then makes a hilarious comparison to an ordinary object, dressing it in language that suggests something much grander.  Namely, they liken the hours to a drinking bird toy (probably very like this one, which you might find in a dollar store or similar establishment) dunking its head in a cup of tapwater until the water evaporates so much that the bird stops and stands finished; here, in the poem, the bird is treated like a noble animal sipping daintily at its godlike sustenance (some “ambrosious liquor”) and listening for a break in conversation (it bobs “as though it would be heard”) so that it may speak its piece and then stand “content.”  The sestet expresses clearly the writer’s frustration that the hours slip away from him/her like smoke from a camp fire – apparently deliberately, for they “steal” away and go to “tempt” another into desiring them to linger as this author has been tempted and, in consequence, the author writes about the situation angrily (hence also his/her characterization of time as unworthy, or at least less worthy than it could be, in the first line).  What seems unfathomable, though, (and perhaps also inexcusable) is the author's choice of the term "smoke-foam" which, while syllabically acceptable, nonetheless seems odd and very much a pathetic image.  I cannot say I commend her for it. 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

At Long Last...

Dear Readers,

Here I am again!  As promised, if a tad tardy.  I wish to most joyfully inform you of my recent good fortune: on August 22nd of this year, the patronal feast of the parish in which we were wed, I married a man I can only regard as the best in the whole world, and my name is changed to reflect this happy union - henceforth I am Caitlin LoTruglio. (Hence, also, further posts will be made under this name - but fear not!  'Tis I and no other who will continue, sporadically, to bring you wit, whimsy, and hopefully a touch or two of wisdom.)

Since its seems most appropriate given recent events, I wished to post what I regard as a pleasant if imperfect poem that I actually wrote back in 2014 - long before I was even engaged.  It contains some reflections and musings of my own on the matter of mothers, daughters, and - most of all - marriage; I hope it may prompt you also to thoughts of two-become-one.

God's blessings upon you!
Caitlin

August 22, 2015

+JMJ

Betrothed 
By Caitlin LoTruglio (née Clancy)
Copyright 2014

White silk
Smooth with lace
Fingered lovingly

Memory
In your face
Tells me how it used to be

Baby-child
At your breast
Nourished by white milk

Long ago
Baby-child
Now hers is white silk

White silk
In a trance
Holding it I abide

Wondering
If from the font
I was meant to be a bride

White silk
On baby-frame
And Communicant

One day
Solemnly
As the mourners chant

White silk
Birth to death
Purity in life

White silk
Till last breath
Clothes me as a wife




Sunday, August 9, 2015

Amidst Mayhem and Matrimony I Present: "The Death of the Winter Rose" !


Greetings, Friends!  

Once again I must crave your pardon for a long hiatus with no explanation.  Just when I thought finishing school was one of the last obstacles to a more regular posting schedule something else swept me up - joyfully! - into a whirlwind of activity: marriage!  Two weeks from now I shall have to log back on, if for no other reason than to change my name.  Splendid, no?  At any rate, God bless you all for being so patient.  Here is a little tidbit from a few years ago I thought you might enjoy...

The Death of the Winter Rose 


By Caitlin Clancy
Copyright 2011

Whistle the wind
And fly the wave
Break the crest
And snap the stave

Billow out
And draw the line
Swerve the shoals
Rend the chine

Hard the crash
Into the sand
Behold the bulk
Uncrew’d, unman’d

There she lies
Upon the shore
She will sail

Never more.