Shine Cycle 2017 Review, 2018 Goals

As the civil year draws to a close, I again pause briefly to consider how the last year has gone and how I might best address myself to the new year. In particular, I’ve been looking back to measure myself against the goals I set a year ago, and deciding what goals to set for the year to come. As usual, I will consider each of my “magna opera” in turn, starting with the Shine Cycle today, and beginning with my goals for that in 2017. Continue reading


“That first Christmas evening”

I wish a merry Christmas and blessed Christmas season to all my readers.

It is common, in some circles in which I move, to say that Jesus was born “that first Christmas morning” or even “that first Christmas morn.” But I, being curious and something of a quibbler by nature, have at times wondered: what time of day was the Christ Child born? Is the idea that he was born in the morning “possible, but in this life we’ll never know,” like the popular notion that there were exactly three Magi (or in fact that he was born on what is now December 25), or “unlikely,” like Rossetti’s charming, picturesque, theologically on-point, but in-details-dubious poem “In the Bleak Midwinter”? Continue reading

“The King shall come”

The King shall come, when men have proved their worst,
Into the squalor of their ceaseless war
To prove God righteous, merciful, and just,
And lead from shame into a way of peace.

The King has come, announced by herald hosts,
And by his life, his sacrificial death,
And taking up his life again in might
Begun a kingdom that shall never end.

The King shall come when every knee has bent
And every foe surrendered to his rule,
Greeted with acclamation by his folk,
To sit down on his rightful throne on Earth.

I wrote this poem about this time last year, but at that time decided to postpone posting it here until this Advent, since I filled last Advent with my series on the O Antiphons. I tried to distill my understanding of the various subjects of the Advent season, which I meditated on in three prior posts in 2012, briefly into verse with some definite structure.

I earnestly welcome your comments, questions, critique, or other feedback about this or any other part of my work. If you’d like to read more of my poetry, you can read my archive (also organized in more manageable installments), follow this blog for (now only occasional) new poetry (among other things), or get my book, which contains over sixty of my best poems, each paired with a public-domain illustration or drawing. You may also share this poem with others, subject to my sharing policy.

Reintroducing the “Hymns” series

In 2013 and 2014, I ran a series of posts here highlighting favorite, preferably old, hymns. It’s now been three and a half years since I last posted anything in this series, but if anything the call for a focus on the truly “great old hymns” is greater than ever: Continue reading

Shine Cycle Character Profile: Sibyl

This is the next in the series of profiles of characters who will appear in the Shine Cycle, my fantasy-series-in-preparation.

Sibyl – In the Empire, a Visiting Scholar and bard; her primary citizenship is in Elvida, where she is one of Scarlet of Elvida‘s most trusted advisors. She is also a valued Imperial advisor, and spends about half her time in each country. Continue reading

Year-End Blog Year-In-Review

Since today is the last day of the year by the Christian liturgical calendar, as usual I have spent the last week looking back over the past year’s posts on this blog: posts related to the Shine Cycle on Monday, and posts related to Strategic Primer on Wednesday. Today, I’ll quickly review all the other posts that have appeared in this space since last year. Continue reading

Strategic Primer Blog Year-In-Review

In this last week of the year by the Church calendar, I’m again taking the opportunity to look back over the past year of posts on this blog. After looking at Shine Cycle-related posts on Monday, today we’ll look at posts related to Strategic Primer since this time last year. Continue reading