Where are my words?
They’re lost and confused
Where is my verse?
It’s banal, reused.
What is my language?
Look not to your tongues.
What must I do?
Don’t speak from your lungs. [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…]

The Agony in the Garden

Ketha Spicer

A bitter boy knelt in a pile of dirt,
And tears furrowed his cheek. A spinach leaf
Covered him, and the young corn hid his grief.
The morning had grown to acres of hurt,
And there was no way out. Weeding was doom.
No plastic soldiers now would charge the peas,
Or cool Tonka trucks rumble through the seas
Of carrot tops. Amidst the onions gloom
Was all. The glory of a sunflower
In August, or a cabbage in the fall,
Was not enough to stop his cry. He’d weep,
And weep again, before the sorry hour
Had passed. For now, the sweat and filth were all
The harvest he could see, or think to reap.

Ketha Spicer is the second of nine children born to devout evangelical parents. She lives in Vancouver, WA, where she was born. In 1994 she entered the Catholic Church through the influence of her sister. She is not married, but has two adopted daughters who were born in Calcutta and are now in their twenties. She also has a beautiful three-year-old grandson.

Illinois Farmers

Michael Lee Johnson

Illinois writer in the land of Lincoln

new harvest without words
plenty of sugar pie plum, peach cobbler pie,

buried in grandma sugar;

factory sweets and low flowing river nearby—
transports of soy bean, corn, and cattle feed

into the wide bass mouth of the Kishwakee River.

[Read more…]

A Natural Law

Kevin Rulo

The man who gets his fill
Will never render nil
The want he did but kill.

In wanting he did seal
That want could never heal
For want is like a wheel,

A wheel that goes around
Where want is lost then found
And then tracks like a hound.

Kevin Rulo received his MA from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., where he is currently a doctoral student and an instructor of Rhetoric & Composition.

On Rome

Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini (Pius II)

Translated by Brett Foster


Old Rome, while elder Romans governed you

no good deed went unmarked, nor wicked one.

Now fathers lost to earth give way to youth,

by whose sway you fall headlong into ruin.


Brett Foster’s first book of poetry, The Garbage Eater, was published in 2011 by Triquarterly Books/Northwestern University Press, and a second, smaller collection, Fall Run Road, was awarded Finishing Line Press’s 2011 Open Chapbook Prize, and has just been released. His poems have appeared in Ascent, Books & Culture, Christianity & Literature, First Things, IMAGE, Literary Imagination, Poetry Daily, Raritan, Sewanee Theological Review, and Southwest Review, and in the anthology American Religious Poems (Library of America).

This Is Only a Test

Roger Mitchell
If the TV stares back in blank silence
without even so much as a message
from our sponsors, do not take it askance.
Black static flies like a flag over this age.
Salute and report for duty, be distracted,
for to be distracted is the noblest aim
(so long as GDP is not impacted). [Read more...]

Good Friday

Kathryn Husing

The black sky’s wind carries a sorrowful cry;
The seamless garment cast away by lots.
While the Father’s promise turns to a lie,
And Judas hangs upon a rope and rots.
	Hell’s angels rejoice: God dead on a cross:
	On this day all man’s hope is lost. [Read more...]