A Grief Sublime

Leah Acosta

Fecundity of grief
can sow the arsenic seeds of bitterness
or bear the sweeter fruits of peace, relief—
so civilized a crop from wilderness.
A time to plant, a time to reap, a time
to laugh, a time to weep. A grief sublime.

Lealani Mae (Leah) Acosta is a first-year neurology resident at the University of Virginia Health System.

Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Drowning

John Rieping

Blue water spun about as I stared up
as if the foam and sky did duel that day
only to lose when darkness drank their cup
while in my limbs all fight did drift away.
I did not think of death as I sank down
Instead my thoughts took in this splendid doom
—a noisy blue glass swirl bereft of sound
that dimmed too fast, as beauties often do.
A shadow passed before my mind did fade
and I reached out to waken in the light:
My father’s leg had cast a saving shade
and I—though gone—held it with sleeper’s might.
Years pass, and now I drown in fears.
They captivate, but God is no less near.

John Rieping is a 1999 philosophy graduate from Mt. Angel Seminary in St. Benedict, Oregon, and a journalism alumnus of Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. He currently works as the copy editor of The Madera Tribune daily newspaper in Madera, California.

Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Gazing into the Abyss

J.B. Toner

This painless life has been too little blest,
 Too little in true suffering immersed—
 Of all disease is comfort not the worst,
For one who seeks a cause, a cross, a quest?
Yet one who treads the road of holiness
 Leans perilously near a brink accurs’d:
 For vampire-slayers oft are bitten first,
And exorcists are oftenest possessed.

[Read more...]

Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Grace

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...]

The Builders

Gabriel Olearnik

Come up and take them.

–Leonidas, king of Sparta, when asked
by the Persian emperor to lay down his arms.
Battle of Thermopylae, 480 B.C.

The gate was almost finished.
In those thirsty hours, a taut rack of earth we raised
With much labor. We packed the soil with shield-butts.
Waist deep in horse-flies, we stretched our lances—
Protean, slender bronze. Our cloaks were red and wet,
The air was old and saline by the end. [Read more...]

Republished by Blog Post Promoter