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...]

Story without a Name

Eve Tushnet


Italics. I am in italics. I am canted slantwise toward the world. I pretend that the Roman numeral was modeled on me—the number for one. One alone, to be my own. . . .

I will never hear.


I am the ellipsis. I am discreetly edited out.


I am trapped in the subjunctive tense. Quisiera. I would have wanted. Perdiera. I would have missed. I would have. You know I would have. [Read more…]


Gabriel Olearnik

The words were there within me
In the core, the secret storehouse
of myself
Before my lips moved
You smiled
called me a steppe falcon
And notched your bow. [Read more…]

Salisbury Plain

Taylor Graham

Just over [Stonehenge’s] shoulders I could see, in the blue haze of the remote distance, the spire of Salisbury Cathedral.
— Elihu Burritt, A Walk from London to Land’s End (1865)

Seascape of land: chalky waves that dip
and swell in barrow-mounds—whose graves?
The secret’s lost in history’s haze and pale
green life rooting into thinnest soil.
What tree could grow here? Only stone,
[Read more…]

Night Crossing

Amos Johannes Hunt

Who then is this, whom even wind and sea
submit to for instruction, who shuts up
their elemental raging, interrupts
their wild destruction with authority?
What then is this authority, that made
us cross at night, without a stated cause,
without assurance that the thoughtless laws
of nature would not trump our brave crusade?
Where then is this crusade advancing to?
What fate can this most questionary man
be on his way to meeting in this poor
and questionable world? And once more, who,
and who, and who is this, who proves he can
sleep easily when death is at his door?

Who Lights and Guards Macbeth

King Alfred

Alas! O prince, once worthy Glamis,
What have you done? Alas!
That bold ambitious blade has murdered
So much more than man.
Trust not the eyes!
For Sun is gone and Moon is dead,
And Nature trembles from the shock,
Hart rebels and hunts the hound,
And sky expels the hawk.
Trust not the heart!
For dark deeds and darker thoughts
Rise and set within Macbeth,
And Nature and the Soul are set
Upon the glamorous road to Death. [Read more…]


Seek ye first the Kingdom of the Lord—
 So I was taught, and hastened to obey;
 I watched the fields and rivers fall away;
 Above the soaring mountaintops I soared,
 Through Heaven-vaults alight with sun outpoured
 On luminescent golden clouds of day;
 And far below the sparkling oceans lay,
 And world-waves, washed forever, rolled and roared. [Read more...]