Book Review: Bleeder

Eleanor Bourg Donlon

By John Desjarlais
Sophia Institute Press, 2009
272 pp., $14.95
ISBN: 978-1-933184-56-2

“A miracle? Or bloody murder?”

The provocative phrase jumped out at us from the bookcover starkly displayed on the Catholic Writers Guild table. My cousin drew in her breath, and I muttered (rather inadequately, but with great expression): “Golly.” [Read more…]

A Soul in Four Seasons

R.S. Mitchell


Almost forty, I fear, is late for spring.
The path may flirt with periwinkle praise
and court a fair season’s flowering ways,
but what consolation do gardens bring?
Done are days when I grew firm and fast
and each new surging of burgeoning proved
my bounty of blossoming well behooved.
But the yield was barren, and promise passed.
Hack away these gnarled limbs, this blighted bole.
Wild, overgrown, corrupted—who would prune
such wretched wood as might be better hewn
or take the part of parts grown less than whole?
That a dead tree once bore fruit is true
but only, Vine of Life, when hung with you. [Read more…]

Moonlit Trance

Beth Gylys

Everything’s in a trance of Moonlight
— Theodore Deppe

The M’s of couples walk the glowing streets,
and in the square, the fountain’s a bouquet
of broken mirrors. I sway slightly, glass pressed
to lips, hearing in my head the tune of a song
whose name I can’t remember. Rustle of wheat
and silk skirt. Shadow of an oak. Faint
stirring of a child in its sleep. I might
begin to float or sing out loud, or my spirit
leave my body and shimmer toward elsewhere. [Read more…]


Beth Gylys

Grace…comes unbidden.
— Ralph T. Wilson

After the fight, after the air’s charge held
stiff in the car, after wrong turns, a breakfast
of hard fruit and stale pastry and arriving late, [Read more…]

Advent 2009


A Fix for Catholic Music  Jeffrey Tucker


How does Catholicism Aid the Artist?  Eileen Cunis


Assisted Living  John J. Desjarlais

Bienville  Dena Hunt

Exú  Arthur Powers


A Soul in Four Seasons  R.S. Mitchell

The Job Poems  Sarah Gajkowski-Hill

Grace  Beth Gylys

What the Evil Dream  Beth Gylys

Moonlit Trance  Beth Gylys

Her Faith  Beth Gylys

Flight into Egypt  Jeffrey Dennis Pearce

A Birth  Amanda Glass

House of Gold  Robert Meade

Hidden Life  Paul Stilwell

Caduceus  Mark Amorose

Incredulity  Mark Amorose

Purple Wren  John Gosslee

Scattered Seeds  John Gosslee

Art and Photography

Bombus Bombus  Ryan Hannigan

Modernism’s Forgotten Hero  Ryan Hannigan

Red Room  Ryan Hannigan

Self Portrait  Ryan Hannigan

Hovis (Bread of Life)  Ryan Hannigan

Tree  Ryan Hannigan

Valentin’s Martyrdom  Ryan Hannigan


Bleeder  Eleanor Bourg Donlon


Mark Amorose

Divine apothecary of the soul
who, lifted up atop that pole and peak,
beheld the prospect, limitless and bleak,
encompassing humanity in whole:
Upon that hill whose name implies its role,
to raise again the dead, restore the weak,
you made for man the medicine I seek,
elixir of the life the serpent stole. [Read more…]

House of Gold

Robert Meade

Vanilla light ignites in the corner of her room
and she, awake now and poised at her bed’s edge,
studies the bold beacon that hails her
like one unnerved by the beauty of a child
born with one blue eye, one green. [Read more…]

A Birth

Amanda Glass

I. Nocturne (sostenuto)
This time the dance starts slowly. For two days
the music sounds elusive and remote.
No need to rush to meet it, it will come,
and when it comes, I pray I stay afloat.

[Read more…]

What the Evil Dream

Beth Gylys

Do they fall through tunnels,
spinning like weeds in a cyclone?
Do they cry into their mothers’
laps? Do they hurtle down canyons
of body parts: knuckles and knees,
earlobes, blackened livers? [Read more…]


Dena Hunt

Loxie sat at the table stirring her raisin bran. There was only a little milk, so it took a while to get the dry flakes moist. She looked at the paper sack of garbage standing under the sink and the empty Pet milk can on top. A roach ran down the side of the sack. “What you running for?” she said aloud. “You got nothing to be afraid of.” She stretched her long thin legs out under the table and studied the fruit basket pattern of the vinyl tablecloth, barely visible on the top, nearly vanished from many wipings, but around the edges, it was still vivid.She remembered when Mama bought the tablecloth five years ago, when she was only eight years old. She had long ago observed the placement of the various fruits in the baskets, counted each basket in the pattern; now there was nothing left to figure except maybe how many more wipings would be necessary before the pattern disappeared entirely. She occupied herself with this speculation now as she ate her raisin bran. It allowed her to dismiss the garbage sack, the roach, and the miserable steaminess of the New Orleans summer morning. [Read more…]