Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Changing to Rain

The snow-snug sky changing to rain
is comforting as an afghan
crocheted by Mom
forty years ago
during commercials
of Days of Our Lives
or General Hospital.

I'm at Gail Ann's Coffee Shop
(cream, two sugars)
refreshed by the sight and feel
of weather that keeps
most people indoors
if they have their druthers.

Across the street, the Regent Theatre
advertises a Janis Joplin tribute.
The Book Rack opens at 10:00.

I should be asleep, really,
having been up since the wee hours,
but I'm enjoying writing to you
from suburban Boston
three days before the New Year.

Friday, December 25, 2015

A Christmas Carol

Midnight, O midnight, is the holy moment
When God who is truly Man comes to you:
He shall remove all darkness and defilement,
Descend from heaven to make all things new!
The whole world thrills with eager expectation:
The night which makes all people reconciled
Now has arrived. O kneel in adoration!
Behold, behold, your Saviour is a Child.

Now may the light of faith endlessly burning
Show us the way to the cradle of birth,
Just as of old, a star as bright as morning
Led Eastern sages across desert earth.
The King of Kings is born where beasts are feeding:
O powers-that-seem, so boastful of your place,
Proud men and cold, turn arrogance to pleading.
The Child is God, his Mother full of grace.

The Saviour's strength has burst through every fetter;
Divine Love flows, and our world now is free:
A lowly slave becomes a prince's brother;
Chains break asunder in sweet liberty!
What shall we give the Lord for all his goodness,
Made flesh for us, to suffer pain and death?
Rise from your sleep!  Deliverance is upon us!
A Child is born. Praise him with every breath.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Tremont Street

Two bucks, a coffee,
and a kind word or two
to the pinkhaired waif
sitting on the sidewalk
outside St Paul's Episcopal

she smiles tenderly

Friday, December 11, 2015

A Carol for December 23rd

veni ad salvandum nos
Domine Deus noster

It is the eve of Christmas Eve,
   And cities move in breathless haste
Looking for some space to relieve
   The mind's distress, the spirit's waste.
Come, Lord, our God; be quick to save.

We count the hours until the day
   When wisdom shall appear enfleshed
Within a manger thick with hay
   To make the wounded world refreshed.
Come, Lord, our God; do not delay.

O come, Emmanuel, O King,
   O Dawn that scatters darkness drear:
Come in the silence, whisper, sing,
   And bless your children far and near.
Come, Lord, our God, our flourishing.

Love all poor sinners back to grace;
   Gentle the hearts of sage and fool;
Make tender now the scowling face;
   Bring potentates beneath your rule.
Come, Lord, our God: our pride erase.

O Mother Mary, sweet and mild,
   Noble St Joseph, chaste and strong,
Pray that we all be reconciled
   To God's embrace before too long.
Come, Lord, our God. Come, holy Child.

Friday, November 27, 2015

My submission to "La Familia"

I finger these words, like
beads of an ancestral rosary:
Buona sera, signorina!
Céad mile fáilte! Muito obrigado.
So many voices flow into
the sea of who I am,
my heart beats polyglottally,
many-tongued and joyful.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Full Moon

    Full moon, you don't mind
that I am often churlish.
    You still shine on me.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Lines for Sue

you’d listen to Episcopal liturgies on the radio

you loved your Charles Dickens martinis ("olive or twist?")

you read May Sarton and painted seascapes at Chatham

you taught mathematics to the women of Regis College

you would have loved Pope Francis I feel certain

you called me C-33 I called you The Bishop

you would take Mom and me to Henrietta's twice a year

you would talk to your younger cousin on the phone
about everything from Seamus Heaney to Ted Kennedy

you especially loved the poems of Mary Oliver

you loved art and family and peace and the Regis nuns

you sympathized with adventurous theologians

you disdained the narrow mind and the grudging soul

you died of cancer on the twenty-sixth of July

you live in my heart O most unorthodox saint

The Widow at Ninety

Brian was a good man. Born
in Tipperary, he came here with
his parents when he was thirteen.
Served in the Navy during the war.

We got married in ‘48, at St Ann’s
on Holcomb Road. It’s closed now.
He died of a massive heart attack
when I was thirty-nine, leaving me

to raise the four boys by myself.
I had to learn how to pay the bills.
Would you like another cup of tea?
It’s no trouble. Oh, how I miss him!

He always did the shopping, not me.
He was a better cook than I was—
and believe you me, I'm no slouch!
Not once did he ever hit me or the kids.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

For John Clare

I love to see leaves blaze to bold brash red,
Their waxy yellow veins making pale streaks;
See squirrels scamper up broad-shouldered oaks,
Or the dun-gray rabbit with its milk-white tail
(Long-eared big-bellied bag of bounce and frisk)
Happily loping from picket fence to path:
I love the moon distinct in the sky's deep blue
Making the blueness all around it glow.

I love to see frost crisp and whiten grass,
To hear the clamorous grammar of the sparrows
Half-bicker and half-praise in the newborn light;
I love to drink fresh water, achingly cold,
In cupped and lifted hands -- the lively water
That rushes over the slick stones of the Gale --
And most of all, on cold November nights,
I love the smell of unseen threads of woodsmoke
From a neighbour's fire in the year's huddled dusk.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


The most impulsive thing I’ve ever done
Was not to spread some butter on a bun
Or steal a pencil from the Boardman School
Or break a strict pedantic grammar-rule
Or give a beggar a five-dollar bill
Or walk au naturel up Beacon Hill
Or swim in the Atlantic with the sharks
Or chase big dogs while mimicking their barks
Or scamper through the grass with manic squirrels
Or dress in Vera Wang with a string of purrels
Or send fan letters to Drew Barrymore
Or drink beer till it seeps from every pore
Or run the Boston Marathon (it's doable!)
Or swing at curveballs with a bat from Louisville
Or join in circles with my favorite Wiccan
Or flap my arms while clucking like a chicken.
My most impulsive deed, if truth be told?
Hell, I forgot. I must be getting old.

Friday, October 16, 2015



My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
I praise him, for he has done wondrous things,
And in me grows his everlasting Word.

Of all sweet syllables my ears have heard,
The angel's Ave is the best of songs:
My soul, proclaim the greatness of the Lord!

If peace prevail, if sorrow bring a sword,
My heart shall trust in heaven's governings:
For in me grows Love's everlasting Word.

Humility: the sparrow, slightest bird,
Announces grace with the quick tips of his wings!
All things proclaim the greatness of the Lord.

I bless our God whom Abraham adored,
Who loves the poor and rights the proud man's wrongs,
And in me grows his everlasting Word.

Heaven's omnipotent Spirit has been stirred;
The harpist's fingers vivify the strings:
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
And in me grows his everlasting Word.

Thursday, October 15, 2015


Bright lilacs grace the trees of Roxbury.
They sport in the warm breeze of Roxbury.

St Patrick's Church looks out on Dudley Street.
Nuns and priests pray for the needs of Roxbury.

Trucks lumber toward Blue Hill; small cars crawl.
The faces that one sees in Roxbury

Are sad as sunshine, joyous as the rain:
Lampposts wear dungarees in Roxbury.

Ten-hour work-days, Sunday celebrations:
Heaven, bless the days and weeks of Roxbury!

My tricky ticker thrills from top to tip
Whenever my soul speaks of Roxbury!

Hip-hop blares from a brick apartment-house.
No flower excels the weeds of Roxbury!

A kitten jostles the hill-top pussy-willows;
Cold ghosts of preachers sneeze in Roxbury.

Make holiday among the triple-deckers,
Wake up the stones, the streets of Roxbury!

Is this a congenial corner?  Paradise
Shines from the souls you meet in Roxbury.

The Number 15 bus receives the sun
Of mid-morning.  Come, please, to Roxbury.

Dandelions, let your yellow hair down;
Daffodils, grow from the seeds of Roxbury!

Spring, the sweet spring, is the year's pleasant king:
It's over sixty degrees in Roxbury!

Schoolgirls shout for joy—class dismissed!
An imam quotes Hafiz in Roxbury.

The holy women of Fogo and Porto Novo
Say litanies in Portuguese—hail, Roxbury!

Politicians pamphleteer, shake hands;
Blushing roses bleed in Roxbury.

O Thomas, attend the blithesome liturgy
Of Maytime; buzz, you bees of Roxbury!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Eighties Soundtrack

We snuggled ugly, the saucy biscuit and I,
under the lampposts of Noddle Island in August.
We fumbled through Hitchhiker’s, played Depeche Mode,
until September deep-sixed our adventures.

We lived, we did. We wrestled, wrote poems, dozed,
feckless and dopey amid exotic triple-deckers,
subversive sophomores in a sensual summer,
daffodils in the boxing ring, monks at the circus.

Musty sunporches! Mope-rock symphonies!
Falsetto sobs, androgynous archdukes!
Sparkle in the Rain. Low-life. Hatful of Hollow.
Aspirations wrecked in a premature equinox.

My nightingale, my siren, why did you take flight?
When will we drop books, bundle up and nudge?
You've run off with my reason, split with my wits,
jaybird of the fire-plugs, buxom bundle of whim!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Where Are The Days

Where are the days
of Hart Crane and train-rides,
where are the nights
of wide and endless skies?

Where are the star tunnels
through cold October forests,
where are the flaming leaves
and the pretty girls' ghosts?

Where is the vigor and rage
of the slender obsessive teenager,
where is the hope and the trust
that tomorrow will be ecstatic?

Where are the silver yesterdays,
bright dimes on memory's asphalt?
Where has the purple room gone,
the eager poems of 1982?

All here is a fading Polaroid
kept between pages
of a long-neglected book,
stray scraps of newspaper
from late administrations,
the scrawl of rust upon the skies of morning.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Head Over Heels

Niles chases Daphne with a bumbershoot;
Urkel offers Laura his bouquet of slapstick.
O goofy lovers of unrequitable ardor!
Opéra bouffe of abject infatuate clowns!

Dante wrote of sweet Beatrice, his blessing,
"Here is a deity greater than myself."
On VH-1 Classic, the singer from Tears for Fears
starts serenading the pretty librarian.

Morrissey wants the one that he can't have;
and Stephen Fry at age fourteen, verbose but
bold, pursues Matteo through the quadrangle.

Cole Porter's got someone deep in the heart of him.
And I, gobsmacked busker on St Patrick’s Day,
strum a mandolin as I dream of her smile.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

That Heart

That heart is healthiest which learns to praise,
the soul most sane who finds the good in all,
loving the freckled grace of imperfection.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Not About Me

This hapless animal, ill-shaven, weary,
Gets out of bed at quarter after two:
Life gathers dust. So dull. So ordinary.

Dressed in pajamas, spirits less than cheery,
He looks for something, anything, to do:
This hapless animal, ill-shaven, weary,

This grumbling lug, mind blurred and eyesight bleary,
Implores the fates to fashion him anew
But must endure the plain, the ordinary.

His days all seem so mercilessly dreary:
No seraph, wings aflame, shall swoop down to
Surprise this animal, ill-shaven, weary.

No lissome nymph, no ghost benign or scary,
Will charge into his world out of the blue
To alchemize his nights -- so ordinary!

He sighs and groans, too numbed for joy or fury.
Once, he could love and laugh and dream and do.
This hapless animal, ill-shaven, weary,
Disdains the grace of what is ordinary.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015


The Oxford English Dictionary did
result from that explosion in the printing press!
That blue-green earth-marble circles its fair sun
from a fixed reach of ninety-three million miles

purely by chance. Our complex skeletons --
ganglia, veins and arteries, and cells --
are random collectivities of atoms
held together by serendipity.

Those hyperdynamic monkeys did succeed
in giving us, after centuries of typing,
the works of Shakespeare, Keats, and Alighieri!

Stars that delight our eyes on cool clear nights?
Galactic clutter, luminous detritus:
certainly not a sign of the mind of God.

Friday, May 22, 2015

You're the Top 2011

A jolly lyric, a panegyric
to praise one of Boston's best,
but I should be cautious lest
she be distressed or unimpressed:
I'm far too wordy, it's rather nerdy,
the length to which I have gone;
you'll think me mental, but please be gentle
as I ramble and babble on!

You're the top, you're a mackerel holy,
you're a stop by the Bruins goalie:
you're a beauty queen, you're the leafy green of Spring;
you're a live third rail, and you never fail
to make me sing!
You're a dream, and you drive me loco,
you're the steam from a cup of cocoa --
I'm a reckless guy just arrested by a cop:
Signorina, I'm the bottom. You're the top!

You're as fine as a gin martini,
you're a line penned by Seamus Heaney --
you're a candle-wick, you're a Bergman flick at Cannes:
you're a silver platter, a Pollock splatter,
you're tryptophan!
You're so sweet, you're a comic hero --
you're a treat, but I'm close to zero.
I'm a bloke benighted, a withered blighted crop:
I'm a dweller of the cellar -- you're the top!

You're the top, you're Michelle Obama;
you're the top, you're the Dalai Lama:
you're a red balloon, you're a '60s tune on "Glee" --
you're a jazzy jitney, you're a song by Whitney,
you're a liturgy!
You're a blast from an angel's bugle,
you're as fast as a search by Google!
I'm a dying ember, a cold November gray --
but you're funny, you're the sunny month of May!

You're a bird, you're an ode by Horace --
you're a word in Roget's Thesaurus!
you're a silken glove, a turtle-dove, it's true!
You're the rose of Sharon, you're the voice of Karen
singing "Close to You"!
You're a drape, you're a blind Venetian;
you're the shape of an urn that's Grecian!
I'm a bard forlorn, a Samson shorn of hair:
but you're sterling, you're a girl beyond compare!

You're the top of a fireman's ladder.
You're the top! No one makes me gladder.
You're the subtle charm of a country farm in Maine.
You're a sparkling soda, you're the ears of Yoda,
you're a candy cane!
You're a doll -- oh, you're just like heaven!
you're so tall (almost five-eleven) ...
I'm a case of gout, a doltish lout, a pest!
but if, honey, I'm annoying, you're the best.

You're the top, you're a golden trinket;
you're the top, just like Smith & Pinkett:
you're the manner mild of a soulful child of grace;
to be diplomatic, I get quite ecstatic
when I see your face!
You're the lurch of a locomotive,
you're a church with a candle votive:
I'm as crazed as heck, a crashing wreck. I'm done!
You're terrific, beatific, you're the one!

You're so fab! You're McCartney's Lennon.
You're not drab: you're the bluest denim.
You're Seattle grunge, you're a daring bungee jump --
you're a hedge with brambles, an egg that scrambles!
I am Forrest Gump.
You’re a peach, and you make me feel good;
you're a speech by the late John Gielgud:
you’re a cherished chum, you're the total sum -- a friend!
And this litany I’ve written now must end.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Love Song

The scary things love can
    Attack a poor heart with!
Birdsong that stupefies
    Scholars from Dartmouth;
Starlight that lays low
    Professors from Yale;
Moonshine that renders
    A Harvard grad pale.

O, the agonies love'll
    Inflict on your head!
A blow from a shovel
    That leaves you half dead;
A sock in the kisser,
    A punch in the gut --
When Love comes a-knockin',
    He'll find my door shut.

Love should be quarantined,
    Kept in a pen!
I've had the bug once; I
    Don't want it again.
Both codger and stripling
    With fevers grow faint;
You think love's a picnic?
     I tell you: it ain't.

From Sappho to Shelley,
    From Keats to Cole Porter,
This madness leaves millions
    In abject disorder;
From Shakespeare to Auden
    To pop balladeers,
Love promises laughter
    But leaves 'em in tears.

Montague, Capulet,
    Taylor and Burton,
Heloise, Abelard,
    One thing's for certain:
Love's nothing but misery,
    Pain without end.
You want to be happy?
    Steer clear of it, friend.

Friday, April 24, 2015

That Dreaded Question

You were the cool
but approachable
dark-haired biker gal
at my now-ex-girlfriend's
birthday dinner
that July night
of moderate heat
at Christopher's
in Porter Square.

Nursing a ginger ale,
you asked me
That Dreaded Question.
"So! What do you do?"

Intuitively, I knew
you were a woman of
all-embracing sympathy
and of wide understanding.
So I answered:
"I'm a poet
and a curmudgeon
and a sluggard."

Your smile, dear soul,
was warmer than a kiss.
You raised your glass:
"Dude! More power to you!"

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Scollay Square Sonnet

O lovely cocktail-mixer without peer,
Concocting Rob Roys at the Bowdoin Bar!
Quick wit and lively smile, my tart-tongued star,
Friend to the lonely, thirsty, quirky, queer:

Bellissima signorina! well-versed at
Rebuking Sapphic suitors, lustful drunks:
Queen of the shot-glass, Absolut autocrat
Chatting with poets, mailmen, jocks, failed monks:

My Beatrice in knee-high boots, my joy!
Good Catholic girl, tough as a brass knuckle
(Accent pure Boston, seen-it-all brown eyes):

Pardon the glib praise of a gray-haired boy
With beer-gut held fast by a strained belt-buckle,
And dim sight dazzled by your bright surprise!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Tenth Letter to a Poet

Rays of sun fan out,
breaking to brilliance from beneath
gray-blue masses of cloud in a sky
like an evangelical photograph
of uplifting intent.

Underneath the nimbus,
one can almost discern
an italicized verse
from the 23rd Psalm!

I drink instant coffee
and wonder if my prayers
(while I stand or sit,
while I kneel or lie down)
are case-sensitive passwords
dependent on my posture
for their acceptability.

No, I suspect that even when they're careless,
sloppily presented,
articulated crudely or in haste,
Someone gets them, hears them,
and approves.

first draft 2012
revised 2015

Friday, March 27, 2015

Father Branigan's Rhyme

It's after nine. The time for prayer,
The time for sleep, draw quickly near.
And though the drizzle-drops still fall,
I do not feel displeased at all.

The whispery lisp outside my screen
Of shadowy leaves no longer green
Answers the soft and slushy strain
Of tires that drive upon the rain.

Nettled by several petty sins
As customary rest begins,
May my soul be, till dawn come round,
In night's deep absolution drowned.

Tomorrow let me face the day
Eager to work and ready to play.
Let beak of bird and mouth of me
Exalt the Blessed Trinity.

When sunlight starts to wake and warm
Our peccant vale, let me perform
Fresh mercies; let me gladly labour
To praise my God and love my neighbour.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


Give me the poets of the second rank!
(Perfection scares me witless, to be frank.)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Franconia, 1985

After his lecture-and-reading
at Franconia, New Hampshire's
Robert Frost Museum,
I asked Professor William Cook
of Dartmouth University
how I could make my poems better.
I was just sixteen.

Without hesitating, Dr Cook advised:
Begin with the object.

Begin with the object?
I was buzzed on Dylan Thomas,
drunk on the sound of the word,
so I was discouraged, a bit,
by what seemed prosaic advice---

but heartened, a few moments later,
when the credential'd academician
of bald brown head
and black beard turning white
proffered the compliment:
You ask the right questions!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Poem at Dawn

Be still, and let
morning happen.

Let dark blue foredawn
brighten into day.

Let traffic occur,
let coffee be made.

Let mind be lively,
let eyes awake
to many newnesses.

Let commerce begin,
and contemplation.

Let the gravestones
of Mount Pleasant Cemetery
whiten in the rising light.

And though it is still
technically winter,
let the tender flower
of this young moment
unfold and open
to the fullness of spring.

Let the shrinking patches
of tired old snow
trickle away into yester,
into ago.

Let the bare branches of March,
let the birds of Mrs Álvarez,
let my own heart and soul
give thanks and give thanks.

Friday, February 6, 2015

The Muses (Version One)

my muse is dark as the dawn
my muse is Maxwell House or Folgers
my muse has the smile of a plaster saint
and wears the boots of a dominatrix
my muse drops the F-bomb and smokes Lucky Strikes
my muse's joie de vivre has a deathwish
my muse's savoir faire is in the shop for repairs
my muse is hotter than Tabasco sauce
my muse is five below zero in February
my muse is the unkempt curl of Walt Whitman's beard
my muse is the bare toes of Tracy Chapman
my muse is New Mexico sky is Arizona desert
my muse is the bullied lesbian teen
is the kid picked last in gym class
my muse is sexy like a silver ankle bracelet
my muse is as chaste as newfallen snow
my muse is Uncle Willie in The Philadelphia Story

your muse is a politician a salesman a sloganeer
I do not trust his new-and-improved personality
I'm not a fan of his synthetic smile
your muse is the Proud Pharisee mine is the publican
your muse is the glossy magazines
mine is a bootleg recording of the Replacements circa 1985
your muse walks the red carpet in Vera Wang
my muse sleeps on a grate behind the Boston Public Library
your muse knows all the answers to all the important questions
my muse is a drunken knuckleballer bouncing from club to club
your muse is the straight-A student the homecoming queen
your muse is a prayer warrior
your muse is a model for Abercrombie & Fitch
my muse is incorrigible a bad example
my muse is maladjusted
my muse is a mendicant of mercy on the outskirts of grace
your muse has a snappy comeback at the book-release party
my muse frankly doesn't know which way is up

The Muses (Version Two)

My muse drinks from a twelve-ounce mug;
My muse lies prostrate on the rug.
My muse smokes cigarettes (no filter!);
My muse is always out-of-kilter.
In spiky heels and five-foot-seven,
She swears like hell and looks like heaven.
My muse has such a winsome air!
Her leaky roof needs some repair.
My muse is bitchin', like a boss.
My muse is hot Tabasco sauce.
My muse curls up like Whitman's beard;
Her morning fog has almost cleared.

Your muse sells snake-oil on the tube
To housewife and to clueless rube.
Your muse is out to win elections,
And claims his smile cures infections;
Your muse possesses plastic grace,
A handsome, bland, and blue-eyed face.
Your muse is not the likes of me:
He's something of a Pharisee.
Your muse has healthy cheeks of tan,
Is every woman's favourite man.
Your muse looks like a millionaire,
New-and-improved, and debonair.
Your muse can influence the folks
And is adept at witty jokes.

My muse hangs out in seedy bars;
My muse plays out-of-tune guitars.
My muse is stumbling down the street
With woozy head, unsteady feet;
My muse was once a charming girl!
Before she rode the Tilt-a-Whirl,
She had an ounce of self-respect,
But now she's irredeemably wrecked.

But still, I think I'd rather live
With her abjectness than to give
The time of day to those who see
Creation as commodity.

Sunday, January 18, 2015


Restless specters in the dark lane of Memory
Turn happy days into the bane of Memory.

The stained attire, the vestments of yesteryear --
Out, out, damned spot! exclaims the thane of Memory.

In care and worry, I have lost my mirth,
A kindred soul to the royal Dane of Memory.

A quarter-century ago we taped our windows
Against roaring Gloria, hurricane of Memory.

Now sweet with joy, now bitter with calamities,
O winds that batter the weathervane of Memory!

Captive and thrall to Daphne's raven tresses,
Behold, the lovesick Niles Crane of Memory.

Where did I, what did I, who was I going to -- aargh!
One more bit of info down the drain of Memory.

The nagging truth-ache of Embarrassment
Doesn't respond to the Novocain of Memory.

Limbs of trees march forth from Birnam Wood,
Converging upon the Dunsinane of Memory.

Our maculate past, defaced by many regrets ...
Will it vanish in the acid rain of Memory?

It is, the sage avers, deeds left undone
Exacerbating most the pain of Memory.

While Thomas breathes, he hopes. The soft gray dawn
Rises above the spacious plain of Memory.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Of the Moment

I am Time's charioteer, Ben-Hur of the moment:
I race through January gales on the spur
of the moment.

Protesters clog Copley Square, mess up traffic:
who can stay aloof from the stir
of the moment?

The Windchasers perform for the Royal Family:
will their keyboardist become the Sir
of the moment?

Pictures on cable news disorient and sicken:
dizzy in cyberspace, I'm lost in the blur
of the moment.

Lady of light, Woman of wisdom, bless us:
Dante sings to his muse, hymns the Her
of the moment.

At Baudelaire's, satellite radio plays the Cure:
wonderfully pretty lovecats give us the purr
of the moment.

Flags of the regiment fall, and white flags rise:
unconditional is our surrender
of the moment.

Sirens enchant the man of the broken stones:
is Thomas worthy to be the listener
of the moment?

Someday Soon

I should try Church of Our Saviour a mile down the road rambunctiously progressive or so I hear even by Episcopalian standards I shou...