Hello!

Welcome to my humble website! I’m pretty much done being on big social media platforms and I’m seeing if it makes sense to just have a little corner of the internet where people can come by if and when they want.

If I don’t already have regular contact with you but you’re interested in occasional updates about me and my family, send me an email at ben@hughesky.com. I’ll put you on my special “off the social media grid” mailing list.

I’d also love to keep up with you and yours as well. Maybe we’ll actually have some meaningful correspondence, instead of just thinking we’re keeping up with each other because we see each other’s posts by change every now and then.

Aristeia

Neil Armstrong,  1930-2012

The Eagle landed and Apollo’s progeny
took one giant leap
with tubes and tanks and dreams
to plant Old Glory on her final beachhead.

He walked into the cold, silent vacuum
as glasses clinked in Houston.
His winged and echoing words
understated the immortality of the deed.

From behind mics and podiums
and museum glass he watched
his household name proliferate.

And on the night the inevitable darkness
swirled down over his eyes
the moon flew itself at half-mast.

The distance between mankind and immortality,
though leapt by few,
has never shrunk. Yet on certain nights
its massive amber draws our hearts
and flings them moonward
like an arrow from Apollo’s bow.

2012

City Tour

See the city
drive around
the encircling highway
and streets named for dead horses

admire the trees
absorb the yellow shock
of gingko and the perfect
tulip poplar posture

locate the cemetery
gaze upon the eternal
ossified contrails
of rocketed statesmen

2017

Fellowship

Not, as some have simplified the word,
two fellows in one ship, as if the two
at wind’s whim blithely cast off shore.
Steer starboard in your ark, send birds
to scan the climate, span the swelling blue
and light upon a different metaphor.
Imagine life’s a canvas (art indeed);
adjacent primary colors, me and you,
at calculated master strokes explore
new shades. Imagine all that we two bleed
toward.

2008

Chronic Homiletic Burial

A fantastic stanza from “As We See” by Scott Cairns:

Which is why I’m drawn to—why I love—the way
the rabbis teach. I love the way they read—opening
The Book with reverence for what
they’ve found before, joy for what lies waiting.
I love the Word’s ability to rise again
from chronic homiletic burial.

A Hidden Gem

I came across this poem while randomly browsing a Library of America anthology of 20th century American poetry, and I’m sure glad I did. I will certainly be investigating this delightful and mysterious Ms. Branch further.

In the Beginning Was the Word

Anna Hempstead Branch

It took me ten days
To read the Bible through.
Then I saw what I saw,
And I knew what I knew.

Continue reading

Just Play Ball

For some reason, the parsons of the sports press have pushed the idea that demonstrations of high-level athletic skill, the result of uncountable hours of practice, were morally insufficient. Athletes, the parsons intoned, had to “give back” by dedicating their status to solving the nation’s endlessly unresolved issues of race, gender and—the inevitable guilt trip they laid on pro athletes—income inequality. … We live in a highly polarized country. If people want their sport and its performers to be an affirmation of their politics, feel free. I don’t.

“Why I Prefer Baseball,” Daniel Henninger, WSJ 9/29/17. Couldn’t agree more. Go Cubs go.

Rocket Man

Mr. Trump on Saturday spoke with South Koren President Moon Jae-in, tweeting later about the meeting in which he asked Mr. Moon about “Rocket Man,” referring to [Kim Jong Un].

—From the WSJ, “Trump Officials Warn North Korea on Nuclear Arms.” Without a doubt Trump’s finest nickname to date.

You Had Me at Intro

A Warning

The purpose of a commentary is to assist readers’ involvement with the text. Perhaps readers should therefore take warning before going further. Attentions to a text can turn into experience of its matter, and the judgments and promises of God as given through Ezekiel are so extreme that they can easily undo ordinary religiosity—to say nothing of the disastrous spiritual adventures that might be ignited by his visions.

—Robert Jenson (R.I.P.), Ezekiel, Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible, p. 30. This little mic drop occurs right at the end of the intro. I’m in, Mr. Jenson. Let’s do this.

Habakkuk at the Bible Project

I am preaching on Habakkuk this weekend. The Bible Project’s video on Habakkuk has been very helpful, as are all their videos—invaluable aids to reading and understanding Scripture.

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