Saturday, November 28, 2015

Roi’s Tale - The Visitors

Here is a new Christmas poem I have written for our Sojourners Fellowship Group

A Shepherds Christmas
Luke 2:   Matthew 2:

It was a chilly evening,
We were gathered round the fire,
A company of neighbors
That we love and admire.
Each were telling stories
They eyed me and said “Roi,
Tell us all a good one
Of when you were just a boy.”

I adjusted my kufiya,
Eased forward on the seat,
Arranged the collar of my robe
So it was straight and neat.
Then taking one sip from my bowl
While thinking out my plan,
I looked around and eyed them back
And softly I began.

“I’ve been a shepherd all my life
I know these hillsides well,
And now well over seventy
I have a tale to tell.
One night like this when I was just
A lad of seven years old
My expecting mother said ‘Get your coat,
It’s already turning cold.’

“Tonight you’re going with the men
To keep watch o’er the flock.
We have visitors staying with us,
Hark I hear their knock.
They’ve all come to be counted
Augustus has said so,
The place is packed, I had to let
That other couple go.’

“So I went with my father
And my uncle to the hills,
The air was clear and we could see
Our small town in the rills.
It seemed to be just nestled there
So silent and so still
And here and there a spark of light
Came flashing up the hill.

It was really beautiful
As we gazed there alone
Watching quietly by the sheep
So they wouldn’t roam.
But that night something happened
That we’d never seen before,
So sit back now my brothers
And I’ll tell you what we saw.

The wind came moaning through the trees
It whistled and it sang
Like a chorus at the temple
When the sacrifice began.
The rushing clouds before us
Transformed to an angel winging,
And this the message that it gave
Came to us through the singing.

‘Fear not for I bring to you
Good news for all mankind,
A Savior is given today
And this shall be the sign.
In Bethlehem, town of David
In a manger all forlorn
All wrapped up in swaddling clothes
The baby has been born.’

And there was with that angel
A marvelous heavenly throng
And this the message I recall
That echoed through their song,
‘Glory be to God on high
And peace to men on earth
Who have His favor, for today
It is the Savior’s birth.’

“Then we went running down the hill
As fast as we could go.
I had a lamb around my neck
Bumping to and fro.
There at the outskirts of our town
In a stable bare and small
We found the blessed baby Jesus
Lying in a stall.

He wasn’t sad or crying
He made no alarming sound,
His mother Mary smiled at him,
With Joseph looking down.
All the cattle were watching,
It was holy they could tell
We gathered round him on the straw,
And on our knees we fell.

“We left there telling everyone
What we had seen that night,
Spreading it through Bethlehem
With the morning light.
And when I told my mother
She remembered with a swoon
That they were the same couple
For whom she hadn’t room.

“The little town was humming
But you know it wasn’t long
Before the census was all over,
And the visitors were gone.
All except the Holy Family
They’re the ones who stayed,
And we watched carefully over them
And for their safety prayed.

“Now in the weeks that followed
My own mother came to term
And I soon had a tiny
Baby brother of my own.
One night we had more visitors
Who came from somewhere far,
They said they found their way to us
By following a star.

“When we looked in the sky above
We saw that it was true
There was a bright star with a tail
Shining in the view.
Those visitors came bearing gifts
For “The New Born Babe”
Dejectedly my mother explained
The big mistake they’d made.

She said, ‘You’ve got the wrong house
You want the Messiah,
They’re staying at the cottage
By the farm, a little higher.’
Before they left to follow on
Something strange they told,
“Don’t tell any one again,
Do not tell a soul.”

We did not realize at that time
How our lives would be changing
That with the prophecy fulfilled
The world was rearranging.
Soon more visitors appeared
In ranks row on row
They were looking for Jesus
They asked us “Did we know?”

I lost my baby brother and
My mother on that day
Soldiers, at King Herod’s behest,
Marched in to our dismay.
My mother tried resisting
She covered the baby she adored,
But they just threw them to the ground
And stabbed them with a sword.”

I’ve been a shepherd all my life
I know these hillsides well,
And now well over seventy
I have a tale to tell.
I saw my Savior at his birth
I knew when he had died
The sky went black and hid the sun
Earth trembled far and wide.

But let me tell the good news,
He rose and went to heaven,
And I have known the truth of Him
Since I was only seven.
He is waiting there for us
Beside His Father’s throne
And if we just but follow Him
He’ll claim us as His own.”

Kufiya - a head dress worn by shepherds in the middle east

Friday, November 20, 2015

Bringing The Clan Back To Dunvegan

My most recent publication is a book for adults and children alike.
With a foreword written by Chief Hugh MacLeod of MacLeod this accumulation poem is the Clan MacLeod equivalent of “The House That Jack Built” and is filled with references to the principle iconic features of clan tradition that children should know and love. It features the Castle of Dunvegan and the drinking horn, the Fairy Flag, and the great Chief, Dame Flora MacLeod of MacLeod.

Anne and Seamus MacKinnon have allowed me to use a particularly lovely view of the Cullins from the sea. Likewise Darby Sawchuk’s picture of the castle with the tables behind is about as good as they get. Ruari Halford MacLeod allows me to copy his drawings which so excellently augment the intent of the lines. My old friend Neil R. McLeod the photographer and Penny DeGraff have supplied excellent images of Chief Hugh and the gathered clansfolk. Lynne Leslie acted as liaison with Chief Hugh, and both must be thanked for the endorsement in the foreword.

The book is available from Amazon please review the book when you have read it.  Thank you!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Jilly Beans Coffee House Hillsdale

The Coffee Nook

I’m going down to Jilly Beans
I have to take a break,
I need a cup of coffee
And a slice of lemon cake.
I’ll sit there by the fireplace
Or in the corner nook,
Reviewing my last lecture notes
Or reading through a book.

Jill is always smiling,
She treats staff and custom well,
Even when its hopping,
They’re happy you can tell.
Local hand made treasures
Can be conned when you’re in line.
Get your card punched for each cup
One’s free - after nine.

Have you been to Jilly Beans
In Hillsdale by the square?
They serve quiche and turkey wraps
And lovely fresh baked fare.
You can sit there quietly
Or natter with your chums,
The place is quite the watering hole
For Hillsdale College “alums”.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Don't Rush To Brush

The familiar recommendation to brush our teeth after meals has now been proved to be wrong, and that our propensity to enjoy acidic food predisposes us to having slightly etched teeth with their enamel protein matrix exposed. Immediate brushing damages the exposed matrix and prevents recrystallization of the of the external calcium hydroxyapatite crystals. We should wait for and hour or so.

Have you ever bitten into a lemon
And noticed how rough each tooth grows?
Well, they have been etched
And their protein matrix,
Where enamel’s dissolved, is exposed.

But check your teeth two hours later
The feeling of roughness is gone,
Your saliva you see
Quite miraculously
Grows the crystals back all on its own.

A lot of our foods are acidic,
We like that it gives them a “bite”,
But the protein’s exposed
On which enamel grows,
And brushing that off isn’t right.

So don’t rush to brush after eating.
If you must brush then do it before,
They’ve been teaching us wrong
For ever so long,
And we shouldn’t do that any more.

We used to say brush after eating,
Which would ruin the lingering flavor
The reason they grieve,
Was the food that you leave?
On your teeth does the germs a big favor.

Enjoy your food while you can taste it,
Take time to relax when you’re done.
Don’t rush to brush
And make all that fuss,
It isn’t right and it’s not fun.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Marjorie Neely at Ninety

Saturday the 20th of June saw a great celebration for an accomplished age. Family from far and near gathered to pay tribute to Marjorie Neely who has turned ninety.

All her children, Dan from Montana, Richard from Oregon, John from Florida,  Paula from Santa Cruz, Nancy from Los Angeles and Jenny from Redding, Northern California, converged on her grand daughter Christine's home in Woodland just north of Sacramento.  What a throng with grandchildren all around!  The drums were throbbing and their was singing and even a poem specially written for the occasion.  Dressed in blue and surrounded by love, it was a grand occasion.

At Ninety
for Marjorie Neely

Grandma has turned ninety
That’s what we’re gathered for,
With friends and family all around
I’m just a son in law.
But just like every one of you
I feel my life is better,
For she’d not let a birthday by
Without a card or letter.

Grandma has turned ninety
Her children are all near,
To celebrate this milestone
They’ve traveled to be here.
Recently days have been filled
Rifling through box and drawer
To come up with mementos
Of the times we love her for.

Grandma has turned ninety,
Oh! I recall the day
We gathered at the airport
And for Scotland flew away.
At every turn she did her bit,
We were glad that she came,
We had three little ones in tow
In car and train and plane.

Grandma has turned ninety
Her daughter is my bride,
To say I love them, just like you
’s’a truth I cannot hide.
And should you con the snaps we take
Around Thanksgiving time,
They are both together with us all
Standing in the line.

Grandma has turned ninety,
She can’t do all that’s new,
She doesn’t post on facebook much
And e-mail like you do.
But she has got a tale to tell
Which you won’t want to miss,
So gather round and listen,
And give Grandma a kiss.

Grandma has turned ninety,
I recall when as a groom
She danced at our wedding
In that big living room.
With the family all around us
Just like we are today,
Another reason to give thanks,
To bow our heads and pray.

Grandma has turned ninety
Our warrior in prayer,
At every turn for each of us
She asks God for his care.
So when a blessing’s given
Or a bounty that we share,
We should offer thanks for her
And thank Him that she’s there.

Grandma has turned ninety
This is a ripe old age
It may be the last chapter
But what a glowing page.
We don’t count the hours,
I think you’ll understand
But we’re glad she’s with us today
So let’s give her a hand!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Precision Attachment Alternative to Implants

Implants are a wonderful innovation, we use them in dentistry to replace missing teeth.  For those who do not want implants, or do not have the bone to place implants the precision attachment partial is often and extremely viable alternative.

It is possible to make partial dentures that do not show in the smile, which can restore the function of the mouth. Furthermore it is possible to design and provide such treatments in a month.  A great time saving.  Remember, implants frequently require bone grafts to support them which take three months to organize into solid bone, and then the implant itself can take three to six months to integrate before it can be finally restored.

Precision attachments are an excellent alternative if you have some well supported teeth which can be used to support them.

Here is an example of missing teeth in the upper jaw being replaced with a precision attachment retained removable bridge. This extraordinary crown and bridgework was engineered by Renzo Casellini at Swiss Quality Dental implant Studio, with whom I have had the pleasure to work since 1976.

This is a Ceka retained Precision Attachment removable bridge

So if you are someone you know needs advanced restorative dentistry consider send them to me for a review.  I have been making smiles functional and beautiful in Hollywood for nearly forty years.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Farewell To The Nest, Hillsdale College

Farewell To The Nest

The Nest - 354 West Street, Hillsdale, MI
Upon my daughter Maran’s graduation and departure from Hillsdale College May 2015

Stunning speakers, (Michael Ward and Larry Arnn), punctuated the commencement festivities at Hillsdale College this year.  Maran's activities on this memorable day began with saying grace and singing  with the Chamber Choir at the President's Club breakfast. She also sang with the choir during the Commencement Program.

Our parental duties included assisting as she moved out her belonging from "The Nest", her final college home.

Farewell to “The Nest”
Whose birdies have flown   
Students are leaving
Your boughs are alone.
Soon Michaelmas comes
When fresh shouts will fall
And your walls resonate
With new singing and call.

Farewell to the chimes
From the tower on the hill,
Tolling the hours
Of each day until,
New faces appear
Both eager and keen
To take flight from the home
Which is now but a dream.