Humility

J.B. Toner

How many times, I wonder, have I prayed
 With all my waning strength for some one grace,
 One desperate panacea to efface
The miseries that make my faint hopes fade—
How many nights have passed in my despair
 Before I found the wits and faith to see
 The providential serendipity
Whereby the Lord ignores and answers prayer?
 For, peering out from terror’s shroud voluminous,
   At last I realize that what I ask
 Is not in keeping with the soul-wyrd numinous
   Which glows within my heart behind doubt’s mask—
 But when at last I glimpse His purpose luminous,
   I bow before my long-appointed task.

[Read more…]

Operation Pedro Pan

Monica Magnan

They all carry something.
The girl seated next to him
has a holy card with Christ pointing
to a gash in His heart, redder than a mango.
His mother has given him a loaf of bread
with the imprint of a palm frond baked
into the crust like a fossil. [Read more…]

Genesseret

James Watson

Writhing fish and speckled
In their ancient tongue convene:

“The one of whom our fathers spoke has come
Again to visit us–he who hovered on the Surface
And we leaped for joy.” (Forgotten memories
Of a blind happiness, when their cold blood
Was warmed, and they felt their scales tingle.) [Read more…]

Then We Shall Know Fully

Maria D. Byers

On a January night I saw
stars, roaring lanterns, thunder
in the massive silence
of an echo-holding sky
above a fragile world, half woven of
frosted roots and grasses;
and the cold field swayed, glittered vaguely,
oblivious to the universe’s
swelling scale of sounds,
never apprehending the unheard noise
surging over the mute and thousand throngs. [Read more…]

Incarnation

Kate Bluett

She grows
round, a slow trans-
figuration. Some days it
seems she has always been waiting;
sometimes the immanence bewilders her.
The hidden confounds her, its stillness terrible,
its movements swift and sudden, joy dancing
on her inmost nerves. She waits to see him at last,
hold him, take him in her hands, receive him.
Present now, he will then be visible, glorious
to behold, his voice a clarion heard by all.
She waits. One day he will be here,
warm and breathing, sweet
and strangely
small.

Kate Bluett is the wife of J.R. and the mother of Joseph. She writes, for the most part, while they are asleep. She is also a graduate of the University of Dallas, 2001 and 2006. And she lives in a city with the odd name of The Colony, Texas

Confessions

Nick Ripatrazone

wet stalks of wheat lean
against mottled burgundy paint:
a dappled barn, batten winking
with each shift of cloud.

rain-filled gutters rupture
like stretched bladders
and the barn soaks. [Read more…]

What Thomas Saw

J.B. Toner

for J.R.R. Tolkien

Dark seas by night, a howling, weeping sky,
A morning’s mists upon the far dim strand;
Then faces, smiling faces, welcome hands,
Great saints and heroes of the world gone by,
Old friends, lost loves, all people dear and fair,
Then Mary—Mary, mother of us all—
Then nail-marked hands and lips once stained with gall,
Now smiling, smiling, up the crystal stair,
The Dove, the Dove, alight with joy and flame—
Then Him, Whose tears will wash away all wrong,
Whose word cries out to each of us by name,
Whose laughter makes us pure and wise and strong
To enter halls where sorrow never came,
And life itself—and life itself—is song.