Cover

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Frontmatter

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Truant Pastures

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Contents

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pp. vii-x

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Preface

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pp. xi-xii

Most of the poems in this book have been collected in The Lives of a Shell-Shocked Chaplain and All One Breath, but I have included some previously not published. I have no idea when I began writing poetry. In St. Michael’s Diocesan High School my friends and I hung around the journalism room, where I was editor, but quietly wrote poems, a beginning. During ...

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Introduction I

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pp. 1-3

In workshops on the creative process, I tell the writers and artists who are learning to reach into their creativity that we bring our entire lives to each moment, and that we can indeed make a book out of the enormous weight of feeling that attaches to our experience. The first ...

Chalk It

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pp. 5-6

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Introduction II. The Pesky Art of Harry C. Staley

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pp. 7-11

In this stanza we are up against a double whammy: one eye sees nothing, one too much. As such, it easily could be the epigraph to the volume in which it appears, The Lives of a Shell-Shocked Chaplain, and to this volume of collected poems. A second volume, also included here, ...

The Lives of a Shell-Shocked Chaplain:Charles McCaffery (b. 1920, d. 1978)

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p. 13

Part I. Early Times

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p. 15

Preliminary Report from Dr. Peters, Geo-therapist

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p. 17

Penmanship (1931, 1984)

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pp. 18-19

Argument from Design (1933, 1980, 1930)

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p. 20

Nocturnes (from early films)

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pp. 21-23

1. Dog-Fight (1928)

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p. 21

2. Autopsy (1928)

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pp. 21-22

3. Double Feature (1929)

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p. 22

4. All Quiet on the Western Front (1932)

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pp. 22-23

Services (1929)

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pp. 24-25

Biology One (1934, 1957)

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p. 26

Take Us In, Mister? (1930’s, 1944)

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p. 27

Asymptote (1945)

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pp. 28-29

Le Bourget (1946)

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pp. 30-31

Engagement (1949, 1917)

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pp. 32-33

Part II. Therapy(1970–1974)

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p. 35

Immersion

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p. 36

Casualties

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p. 37

Sacrifications

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pp. 38-39

Dark Cubes

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p. 40

Morning Song

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pp. 41-42

Apochrypha

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p. 43

About the Aeneid

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p. 44

Mother Behold Thy Son

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pp. 45-46

Early Gothic

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p. 47

Tidings (Christmas 1930s, 1973)

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p. 48

Contractions

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p. 49

Ex-Capt. McCaffery

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pp. 50-51

Fr. Charles Visits Athens

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p. 52

Offertory

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p. 53

Caw

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p. 54

Paradoxology

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pp. 55-56

Voltages and a Fading Coal

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pp. 57-58

Part III. Last Years and Nursing Home

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p. 59

Final Diagnosis

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p. 61

Fish, Two Grown-Ups, Christ (1975)

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p. 62

The Unknown General: Souvenirs (1978)

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p. 63

Viaticum (1979)

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p. 64

Person-To-Person (1979)

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p. 65

Abortions (1979)

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p. 66

Parakeet and Pilot (1979)

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p. 67

Halloween

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p. 68

Late Winters

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p. 69

1. This Cold

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p. 69

2. That Year’s Moon

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p. 69

In the Nursing-Home

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p. 70

1. The Senile General in the Garden

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p. 70

2. The Senile General Contemplates a Snail

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pp. 70-71

3. The Senile General Remembers High School

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p. 71

4. McCaffery’s Solitaire (Nurse’s notes)

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p. 72

5. Transfusions

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p. 73

6. McCaffery’s Bardo

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p. 74

7. McCaffery’s Karma

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p. 74

The Final Flight

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p. 75

All One Breath

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p. 77

THOMAS KELLY

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p. 77

Fourth Commandment

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pp. 77-78

Early Mission

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p. 79

Sniper

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p. 80

Beyond Victory

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p. 81

Puberty

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p. 82

First Will and Testament

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p. 83

Tom Kelly’s Journal: Two Kills

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pp. 84-85

Entreaty [’45]

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p. 86

Nostalgia Bar

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p. 87

Valor

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p. 88

Professor Kelly

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p. 89

Invocation

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p. 89

A Letter from Tom Kelly, Sr.

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p. 90

Snorkeling

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p. 91

The Rat

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p. 92

Kelly and Some Graves

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p. 93

Obese as Buddha

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p. 94

Interrogating the Ph.D.-Proposal

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p. 95

Puntheism

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p. 96

Lacanagain

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p. 97

About Lower Case

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pp. 98-99

Tom Kelly Mimics R-b-rts-n D-v—s

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p. 100

Museum

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pp. 101-102

Construing Aliquis

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p. 103

Never Say Dido

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p. 104

Rest Energy and the Doe

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pp. 105-106

About His Grandson

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p. 107

Pneumatics

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p. 108

Convalescent

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p. 109

A Sermon Kelly Never Heard

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p. 110

Waiting for Beckett

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p. 111

Coma

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pp. 112-113

Waking Towards the Last December

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p. 114

Elegy for Thomas Kelly

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p. 115

CAIN AND OTHER RELATIVES

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p. 116

Cain

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p. 116

I Slew Abel

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p. 117

Two Meals

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p. 118

Cute Kelly’s Semi-Final

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p. 119

Dennis (Chips) Kelly on Pension

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p. 120

UNCLE GUS KELLY

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p. 121

1. Spring 1938

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pp. 121-122

2. Nuncs

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p. 123

UNCLE ORVILLE AND BEATRICE

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p. 124

Liturgy: Father, Fowl, and Daughter

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p. 124

Principal Parts: Orville Ely

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pp. 126-127

About Beatrice

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p. 128

1. Beatrice Remembers Her Mother

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p. 128

2. Beatrice Trip

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pp. 128-129

3. Beatrice: Feast of the Epiphany 1948

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p. 129

4. Beatrice: Essence & Accident

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p. 129

5. Beatrice in Surgery

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p. 130

6. Hic Jacet Beatrice

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pp. 130-131

New Poems

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p. 133

Sister Kelly

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p. 133

Hoc Est Corpus

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p. 134

The Karma of Sgt. Bruce’s Grandmother (1939)

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p. 135

Sgt. Bruce: Born-Again

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p. 136

Clairvoyance (birthday, 1985)

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p. 137

Leaves

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p. 138