The Blessed Mutter of the Muse

Bruce Guernsey

“I’m curious: how many others of you were brought up Catholic?” I asked, and to my surprise, ten of the fourteen students in my class at a small Methodist college in Virginia raised their hands.

We’d been discussing a poem submitted by one of them early in the semester, a poem that seemed to this lapsed Catholic to have come out of a similar religious background. There were no obvious references to the Pope or Holy Communion, but the writing had a certain kind of sensibility that struck a chord with me. The young poet had looked at the same scenes I had as a kid, at the Stations of the Cross, no doubt, at its scenes of Jesus’ suffering, his writhing face and muscles wrenched in ecstasy and pain. How could anyone forget those images, especially a child looking up at them in fear and wonder from a hard wooden pew down below? [Read more…]


Michael Bradburn-Ruster

Sincerely enough, I thanked Alex for lunch (the tuna casserole as delicious, the café just as charming as he had promised), and with an equal measure of hypocrisy told him the conversation had been fascinating. For the truth was, no matter how ingeniously he explained it, his talk of parallel realities and multiverses—citing the authority of Michio Kaku and some reputedly eminent Russian whose name I didn’t recognize—struck me as more than a little absurd, an impression only augmented by the enthusiasm with which my friend expounded it. [Read more…]

Lessons Beyond the Death Camps

James Wilson

The work of salvation takes place in obscurity and stillness. In the heart’s quiet dialogue with God the living building blocks out of which the kingdom of God grows are prepared, the chosen instruments for the construction forged.
—St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross


Some will remember you for what they call you,
A fact or category, and some will
Remember chiefly how you died, and think
Of blood’s enthralling stain. Still others reach [Read more…]

Missa San Joaquin

Don Thompson

I. Kyrie

We grub, we scrape the hardpan,
water all summer and harvest
shallow abundance—but no mercy.

Kyrie eleison

The earth has turned its back on us,
yielding, for most,
only to the grave digger’s shovel. [Read more…]

Welsh Starlight

Meredith Wise

Freshman year, I cut my hair after reading Hopkins. A girl had knocked on my door, interrupting my reading just as my eyes fell on the word “lovelocks,” and asked me if I would donate my hair to the cancer charity Locks of Love. My palms prickled. The poem was “The Leaden Echo and the Golden Echo,” with its solace for the despair of a young girl afraid of losing her beauty: “Give beauty back,” it says, “back to God, beauty’s self and beauty’s giver.” [Read more…]

Mary, Queen of Angels 2012

Mary Queen of Angels 2012 CoverFeature

In The Wine Press Chapter III: Résistance Joshua Hren


Honey Sheila Sennett
Decoherence Michael Bradburn-Ruster


Welsh Starlight Meredith Wise
The Blessed Mutter of the Muse Bruce Guernsey
A Woman Down James Vescovi


The Marionette in Church: A Sonnet Crown Annabelle Moseley
The Marionette Considers the Jester Doll Annabelle Moseley
Pinocchio Annabelle Moseley
Missa San Joaquin Don Thompson
Day’s End Anthony Zick
8 P.M. in the Hospice Dayroom April Selley
To the Child Who Asks Sally Thomas
Stillbirth Sally Thomas
Lamplight Sally Thomas
Widowhood Sally Thomas
Intensive Care Sally Thomas
Lessons Beyond the Death Camps James M. Wilson

Visual Art

Blessed Beatrice of Nazareth Gwyneth Holston
Dante Kathryn Cárdenas
Citrus Flavors Kathryn Cárdenas
Onions and Kettle Kathryn Cárdenas
St. Jerome Kathryn Cárdenas
St. Isabel Gwyneth Holston
The Ecstasy of St. Theresa Kathryn Cárdenas