The Sacred Heart of St. Joseph

Jonathan McDonald

1. Canticum
As a youth, St. Joseph is foretold in a dream of his marriage to the Theotokos.

I dreamed a dream one week ago,
That the moon, the sun, the stars, would bow to me,
Like a wife to the will of her lord,
Like a son to his father,
Like a slave to his master. [Read more...]

Absent Friends

Fiorella de Maria

For the staff and sisters of the St Joseph Hospital, Jerusalem
I never thought I would be too afraid
To contact an old friend. My hand reaches
For the telephone but I find myself drawing
Back in case the lines have been torn down
Or your number belongs to a stranger now,
Speaking a language I cannot share. And
For all I know, the letter I keep trying to write
Will be left on a doorstep without a house
Left standing behind it. Or it will lie in some
Depot somewhere with all the other post
Whose owners are not there now to lay
Claim to them. [Read more...]

Tumult

Gabriel Olearnik

Outlanders are the salvation of shapes
the tailored jut of shoulders
the square thighs
face-handlebars
centaur-pilots half a century ago. [Read more...]

Gerard Manley Hopkins: A Life

Reviewed by Meredith Wise

Gerard Manley Hopkins: A Life
By Paul Mariani
Viking, 2008
496 pages, $34.95

“To seem the stranger lies my lot, my life”: in this line, Hopkins could have been speaking of the treatment he has received from his biographers. Two full-length lives have already been published, and both, while impeccably researched, fail to credit the reality of Hopkins’ spiritual life. [Read more...]

Nearer My Dogs to Thee

John Zmirak

“Don’t like the weather?” they say here in New Hampshire. “Wait five minutes.” As summer comes, our polar clime becomes instead bi-polar. Four times this week, the day has turned almost instantly from brightness and balm to lightning and sheets of rain–then back again–several times. The sky is alternately black and blue, as if the weather had been punching it in the face. The lightning knocked out my circuits today, while the crackling of the thunderclouds sent the wimpier of my two beagles into a full-bore panic attack. Little Franzi cowered against my leg, buzzing like those massagers they use at old-fashioned barber shops, until I scooped up all 40 lbs. of quivering hound and laid him next to me in the bed. I actually had to cradle him like a child–albeit a bow-legged, pigeon-toed, stinky, fur-covered child with an IQ of under 25 whom you have trained to defecate outdoors. (It’s best not to admit this when Social Services comes knocking, FYI.) [Read more...]

Patina

William Daugherty

“Oh, William, look! How beautiful!” she said;

and, keen to help, I also turned my head
to see the objet d’art that she admired:
a handsome bronze our gallery acquired
from some estate—two lovers rapt in one
another’s gaze, mote-dazzled in the sun.

“Mary liked this stuff. I never did.”
He was tall but stooped. His right hand hid
his trembling left; a silver pompadour
gave him a courtly air. Her pert couture,
her simple pearls, her much too auburn hair
contrasted with her face, long etched by care. [Read more...]

White Christmas

Joseph O’Brien

Forecasters generally consider a white Christmas to be an inch of snow on the ground or an inch falling that day.
—news item

But along the river bottoms, snow found no place,
When we went walking there
After life, abrupt, stillborn, fell apart.

Your flustered hands gently wrestled
With the chill in the folds of your overcoat.
Frightened doves, they could not bear to be held,

Holding to themselves
In a barren nest untouched by tenderness,
Yet wanting to fly from flesh to flesh. [Read more...]

108 Degrees

Gabriel Olearnik

  No word was given me, no legend 
   no ringing play, no tapestry of the coming time. 
   I did not know my name and of all things 
   there was only the lapping light, the sword and 
   sharp sand beneath my feet. 

The light is red thread on the clock 
4:48. Incomplete--an hour of wet 
salts and seven men murmuring.  [Read more...]

Bereite Dich, Zion

Grace Andreacchi

Fresh snow on the fields
and all along the track
frost flowers blooming.
In the distance a single light
flickers and dies
Overhead the stars like golden fireflies
are winking in the forest of the night.

I have put on my corals and rubies
I have put on my robe of purest light
I have sewed my heart to the sleeve of my garment
Ich bin bereit.

The Creek

R.S. Mitchell

Not rooted, as if cut and put for people,
an old tree stump waits in the creek,
a pedestal
for an office worker’s lunch break.
In miracles you may or not believe
but notice your face hovering over the water
and now perceive
the halo gliding under a strider,
how each foot-well puckers like a liquid lens. [Read more...]