Ephesians 5:21-33 You stand in black and white, as clear a word As if I saw you printed on a page; The book is closed; the world is now your stage, The prologue-blessing given by a third; The script you know by heart: the truth conferred Upon you by Creation, that great sage (A truth daunted by neither youth nor age), Shown forth, imprinted, never to be blurred. [Read more...]
No sound falls on my ears, no vision
soothes my eyes. My tongue is without speech,
my vocal cords are cut. I am deaf,
blind, mute, wretched, beyond the reach
of myself. I am six feet deep
in cold mud, sealed into my grave. [Read more…]
Mary Ann Honaker
I keep seeing you in the Commons,
the battle just finished, the blood
still dripping from the trees. Walking
the broad paths, looking up at the monument
of Lincoln. The Sheraton-Commander is very old,
you know, standing over the scene
with its immense weight, its heavy curtains,
its gaudy sign. You walk in and out among
the patterns of the shadows of trees.
Maybe you sit, like Buddha under the bodhi tree.
Only this isn’t enlightenment, this is
much more terrible. [Read more…]
Monsieur. If you will allow
The abattoir is open now. [Read more…]
What endless teeming in creation, hints
the limitlessness in the limits. You watch
one black and green field-bounder, bounder
of the blades and poles of straw, watch, intent, [Read more…]
I would like to taste rain. My palms reveal
rose windows, eyelids red, blood like copper
in sinuses, white breath of mountains in rain.
Then a beautiful woman, hair bright as wine,
bears oceans bound in luminous seaweed.
Starfish rest like diamonds on her forehead.
Michael Fontana lives and writes in beautiful Bella Vista, Arkansas.
I take the toddler grocery shopping,
and I am hungry, hungry,
filling the cart with crackers and chicken
and ice cream and coffee and Christian tracts
and sinners’ prayers and women’s retreats
and sparingly issued wedding bands—
all piled up around the toddler,
packed into the minivan, lining every shelf
in my kitchen, reminding me there is no way to be satisfied
and also healthy, to sleep through the night
without drugs or denial
bubbling in my gastric acid.
The toddler asks, Is it bath night?, wondering
if this uncleanness is temporary and all we need
is a little water, a little bread.
I tell her, When I was young,
I used to dream I had wings.
I cut up a pear for supper. I try to say Jesus
and mean it.
Hannah Marshall lives in Madison, Wisconsin, where she divides her time between writing and mothering. Her poetry has appeared in a number of publications, including the Anglican Theological Review, The Madison Review, and Rock & Sling, and is forthcoming in Hummingbird, Stoneboat, and Minerva Rising.
The orange-bright light at sunset
paints the west-facing stones golden
under the deeper hues of a dome
that seems suspended on this fire.
A flight of birds—wordless, timeless—
writes a cluster of purple shadows,
fleeting images on the curving wall,
silencing the loud evening streets,
for now profane noises hush themselves
before the memory of chants echoing
through vaulted spaces, cut by shafts of light,
where dust floats like countless ancient prayers.
Transfixed by form and image, caught
by blinding light at sunset that soon enough
will fade and lose its power, yet we stand, for now,
silent before what passes still for miracle.
We might be anywhere beyond our
common town in ordinary time, might be
in a dream of Eastern majesty and dying light
of forgotten empires and patriarchs,
might be, as well, in spaces ruined long before
our eyes could see such craft or know
such mysteries as light that touches stones
to momentary gold, or birds that pray with shadows.
Weightless stones, floating in the light,
and heavy-voiced chant, suspended in golden air,
hold time still and gravity at bay so eye and ear
behold the simple revelations of the sense.
We will wake, of course, from this as well,
wake to all the devilish detailed annoyance
of a daily life, but this moment still
can save us from our tumbling rush
of worn-out care and passionate distortion,
save us in memory of bright seconds
fleeting through the sunset, like bird shadows,
light-painted stones, and voices hushed and holy.
Vincent Casaregola is a Professor of English and Film Studies at Saint Louis University, where he is now Director of Film Studies and also teaches American literature, creative writing, and rhetorical studies. He has published poetry in a number of journals, most recently in The Examined Life, Natural Bridge, and War, Literature, and the Arts.
Lord, the cold is creeping in the narrow alleyways making barren and inhospitable the old refuges I feel it in my bones—this may be my last winter Long have I shuffled through these broken streets [Read more...]
Saul’s horse knew the secret art
of conversion, the sudden buck
that throws a man so the back of his head
thuds the hard earth just so,
the momentary loss of orientation,
and then, above,
the quiet intensity of noon’s light
paralyzing the senses. [Read more…]