Wednesday, May 2, 2012

"Homage to My Father"

In the world of spiritual endeavor, I too have been wonder-struck unto tears by the observations and invitations made by teachers and texts. I too have melted with longing and hope. I too have been warmed even as I despaired of my weaknesses. I too have smiled and wailed by turns and been thrown back again and again by my failings... hearing the angels sing, but incapable of finding my own voice.

I guess everyone picks their favorites when it comes to spiritual encouragements. But one of mine -- when I serious up about whatever 'spiritual endeavor' may mean -- is a poem that goes to the heart of things without frills or virtue. Something honest where I am all too capable of dishonesty and wonder and tears.

I have posted it a number of times, but it came back to me again today, smiling like a daisy.

Homage to My Father
By Ray Ronci


My father said:
Fuck Father Farrell,
what does he know, that old bastard!

Study all the religions. Learn Italian.
See Venizia, Firenze, talk
to all kinds of people
and never, never think you know more
than someone else! Unless,
unless they're full of shit.

And if they are, tell them;
and if they still don't get it, fuck it,
there's nothing you can do about it.

Learn how to bake bread.
If you can make pasta and bake bread
you can always feed your family,
you can always get a job.

Keep your house clean
and don't worry what anyone else does.
Cut your grass,
prune your fruit trees
or they'll die on you.

Don't drink too much
but don't always be sober --
it makes you nervous.

A couple glasses of wine,
some anisette now and then,
a cigar never hurt nobody.

Nervous people always got an ache here,
an ache there, they get sick,
they die --

Look at Father Farrell:
he'll be dead in a year.

Fuck him!


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