A Visit to the Tate

Bo Helmich

This spring, on the final afternoon of a sojourn in England, I wandered the banks of the Thames, coming at last to the Tate Britain, home to one of the largest collections of William Blake’s art. Was it irony or grace to find his work there, in the heart of the city whose sins and afflictions were so grievous in Blake’s time? Gone now are the infamous “dark satanic mills” of England’s early industrialization; gone (or at least hidden from sight) are the “marks of weakness, marks of woe.” Prosperity has largely replaced poverty, and the streets no longer feel “charter’d”—controlled repressively by the English crown.

After two weeks of rain I had happened upon that rare English joy: a sun-washed afternoon—a magic time for strolling and browsing, for hopping on and off red buses more or less at random, for happily spending all eight kinds of coins that the Brits carry about in their pockets. On such a day it would have been a shame to go indoors were it not for the promise of great art, and the inspiring assurance one receives as a gift from the old masters. [Read more…]

Vox Dei

J.B. Toner

Creation is a soaring symphony,
 A euphony, polyphony, a hymn—
 The joyous thunders of the seraphim
Commingle with the murmurs of the trees,
The rising madrigals of morning birds,
 The choric song of rain upon the earth,
 The rushing tide crescendoing with mirth,
The howling wind that God's wild glee avers.
 Some days I stare into the sun at noon,
 And almost swear I see a merry grin;
   If only I could hear His voice, I think,
 Uplifted in some strange immortal tune,
 I might learn hope amidst my doubt and sin—
   But sometimes it's enough to see Him wink.

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.

Sampagita

Cristina A. Montes

Delicate blossoms
fallen
dead,
littered
at the foot of the trellis.
Still in full bloom,
fresh,
unwithered.
The weight of raindrops
was too much for them.

Storytelling, Kill Bill, and the Kingdom of God

Matthew Lickona

Can I tell you something? I get tired of talking about Flannery O’Connor. I get tired of talking about Walker Percy, J.F. Powers and even Evelyn Waugh. I get tired of talking about that remarkable mid-century stretch when books with explicitly religious (sometimes explicitly Catholic) characters and themes were garnering national attention. Take an easy barometer: The National Book Award. Powers—nominated in ’57, won in ’63 for Morte D’Urban. (Edwin O’Connor won the Pulitzer the year before for another book about priestly life, The Edge of Sadness.) Percy—won in ’62 for The Moviegoer, nominated again in ‘73. O’Connor—nominated in ’56, won in ’72 for The Complete Stories. After that? Not so much. [Read more…]

SS. Peter and Paul 2006

Feature

Matthew Lickona

Fiction

Bernardo Aparicio Garcia, Beneath the Ashes

Mark de Cristo, House of Cypress

Neil Silva, Parousia

Stephanie Manuzak, Tacky

Poetry

Megan McQuaig, Crux

J.B. Toner, Four Sonnets

Mikaela D’Eigh, Meditation

John Rieping, Nothing Song

Cristina A. Montes, Sampagita

John Rieping, Transflagration

Tommy Dome, Two Haiku

Brandon Zimmerman, Waiting

Essays

Tonita M. Helton, Forgiveness Through the Eyes of the Soul

Kent Lasnoski, Measure for Measure: Shakespeare’s Parable

Bo Helmich, A Visit to the Tate
Art and Photography
Matthew Alderman, Our Lady, Queen of the English Martyrs – Architectural Designs

Patrick Anderson, Photographs

Bernardo Aparicio Garcia, A Dandelion

Alaide Mata, Paintings

Beneath the Ashes

Bernardo Aparicio Garcia

He opened his eyes onto a massive wrought-iron chandelier hanging directly overhead. He was lying face-up on a thick leather sofa. Apparently, he had been sleeping.

The rest of this story is available only in the print edition of Dappled Things.

Two Haiku

Tommy Dome

Disciple

Follow by footsteps,
or dare to be led by hand—
the nail keeps the grasp

Hard Wood

wood-lover by trade,
acquainted with the matter
that hung his son high