My Favorite Deadly Sin

Ron McFarland

And eke the verse of famous Poets witt
He does backbite, and spightfull poison spues
From leprous mouth on all, that ever writt.

Spenser, Faerie Queene I.iv.32

In my most envious dream I pretend
not to ride a ravenous wolf in your
homecoming parade, ticker-tape
decorating your victorious shoulders. [Read more…]

Loki Brother to My Blood

Gabriel Olearnik

Suffering reknits creation. In suffering we become the actors in the divine drama, until the beauty of the uncreated is made fully manifest. —Op. cit 32.


There is a traced place around the drag of your eyes

that a traitor the face is. Here, the forehead is like sand

Here, the mouth torn with terse flattery

as if the lips were scarred by threadpoint.

In the badlands of your youth

the wilderness of first loving

walking with you was like dark walnut with a hint of fire

and your smile broke teeth. [Read more…]

The Peacocks of Andalusia

Christopher Scalia

Smugness is the great Catholic sin. I find it in myself and don’t dislike it any less.” —Flannery O’Connor

On the Southern farm with the Spanish name,
the peacocks wear their feathers like a stylish hat
and strut as if they’re each the king of birds. [Read more…]

Barra’s Laird

Gabriel Olearnik

Palest is his face to me
my dearie.
Tis a tint
Of the overcook of mil’.
All hint of heat
Has left it.

Here ran his horse and hied through the heather
and ran a pretty mile from the brink o’ the river. [Read more…]

The Sight

Mary Ann Honaker

Seeing is a discipline.
I look at the same tree every day:
now its bark is black, wet with recent rain;
now striped by the sun, its leaves aflame;
now its lower leaves ablush with wine red,
its crown a deep and murky green;
now it dances naked in the biting winter wind.
How often do I see? [Read more…]

Drinking with Lucifer

J.B. Toner

“Well, Mick, what’s this stuff called again—Bushmills?
It’s very good, but I’ve had better yet:
The scarlet ale of Aztec altars wet,
The absinthe of an abdicated will,
The mead of churning spilth from poison mills,
The wine of groaning thralldom’s tortured sweat,
The black milk of despair from souls of jet,
Sweet seas of tears that drown the looming hills.” [Read more…]

Leaving Song

Katy Willis

Now is the winter of my discontent
  To be reformed, transfigured into spring?
  I cannot seem to hold to anything
That by this sudden blossom is not rent.
I leave a love behind, unfathomed still;
  I have a hope before me, waiting yet;
  And trapped so, where no boundaries are set,
I find a faith, an unexpected will. [Read more...]


Kate Bluett

I: Annunciation

Fra Angelico was definitely a man.
How many times did he paint her
caught at that improbable moment,
troubled, we’re told, by that impossible greeting,
and in every one of his images her face is piously calm. [Read more…]

Roman Diptych

Stephen Milne

1. Domus Livia

Sic transit gloria mundi

On the white walls of the Palatine
Livia in her blue dress
wakes to the fluted birds

Lizards like emerald blades
laze in the fluttering sun [Read more…]