For you, Love.
For you, Love. We are intertwined with the mystery of the universe.

I was working on this during the first round of loss. I somehow finished it afterwards.

I’ve lost the original Illustrator version. Hopefully one of these years I’ll have enough money to have the hard-drive recovered, but I doubt if I ever will. So much art gone. Oh well, I’ve lost everything else anyway, so whatever.

Kitchen Sync


So, I mentioned it in passing, but haven't written about the poetry reading.

On March 25, I performed at the Kitchen Sync open mic in Denton, TX. The poets in attendance were very welcoming, kind, and talented. I had a blast, and I was on fire.

I'm planning on going back this month, but I'm in Oklahoma City…yeah, weird. Even weirder, I got cast in a couple small bit roles in a community theatre production of The Laramie Project. I'm very excited, I've always wanted to do theatre and here I go, weee! It's a six-to-eight week obligation and so I may not be able to make it down, but I'll try, there's something special happening in Denton.

Here's an approximation of the introduction I performed (I improvised a lot). I'm not sure if it's through, but I suspect it is. I feel good about it.

Main Content

Hello, I’m Franklyn Monk

The one that disappeared a little after every defeat and

slunk down into that hole
where I turned in and around myself
and popped out the other side

The undoing unbeing before you

as convincing as I am

illusionary. I don’t exist!

Except maybe as a ball of calm in a sea of chaos
or a knot of chaos in a sea of calm.

I can’t tell.

The only thing I know with certitude
is I have a voice,
and I like to use it.

The Hardest Part Is People

A long time ago, stranded alone in a midwestern hellscape I never wanted to be a part of to begin with, before I hit rock-bottom, I joined a UU congregation.

One day we had a guest speaker and he laid this on us:

Dearest God:

The hardest part is people.
May we face them
without rancor or disappointment.
May we see the pain behind their actions
rather than the malice;
the suffering rather than the rage.

And in ourselves, as we struggle
with the vise of our own desires –
may we be strengthened to a quiet heart,
to a quickened empathy, to act
in gratitude rather than need.

And may we be reminded
that each time we close our hearts
to another’s, we add to the darkness;
May we be helped to always follow kindness and to always see that ours is the calling of possibilities.

Let this be our prayer, guiding us toward that which is unknown but shaped by our faith.


Lee Barker, President and Professor of Ministry at Meadville Lombard Theological School (Unitarian Universalist).

Continue reading The Hardest Part Is People

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