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Art and the Covenant

By Marjorie Stelmach Poetry

i. Mid-morning Inside the rented van, a stone-gray moth head-butts the windshield, drops stunned in a looping catch, and rises to the same task, intent, not on light—there are other windows, some of them open—but this one light. Now it pauses in a midair hover, its hinged wings wide and minutely scripted in a flowing…

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Canticle of Want

By Marjorie Stelmach Poetry

Lord of worn stone cliffs and the guileless trill          of the canyon wren; Lord of stunted hemlocks, imperiled mussels, seeds that fall on shallow soil;          Lord of boreal forests, of the fragile nitrogen cycle, of vanishing aquifers, spreading          deserts; Lord of neglect and…

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The Breaking Strain of Grace

By Marjorie Stelmach Poetry

Holy Week again:             unleavened sky, all tensions held past hold. Mostly, what I feel is the unlikelihood. These days, pick a miracle,             there’s science to explain it. Say it’s nighttime in the Garden, Jesus praying in a bloody sweat: Hematidrosis—rare; not unknown—            …

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Still Alive, with Crows

By Marjorie Stelmach Poetry

A merciless night here for the trees. At dawn: stripped bushes, ————————–strewn branches. Surveying the scatter for the unbroken, I come up with crows. It’s random on the face of it, this ruthlessness, ——————————————this rampage— like most of the world’s violence, much of its love. Still, after long safety, who can resist ———————————a good dies…

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After

By Marjorie Stelmach Poetry

My corkscrew willow’s the last each autumn to loose its slender fingers of dried gold; first each spring to clutch my heart with, overnight, a thousand fisted buds. Today, the last thing I would wish is another emblem of grit and continuance; still, my willow models a fierce, therapeutic rage, lashing the glass in a…

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Cellar Door

By Marjorie Stelmach Poetry

Years ago somebody decided—I don’t know how this conclusion was reached—that the most beautiful phrase in the English language was cellar door. —Don DeLillo, interviewed in the Paris Review, 1993 i. cellar door / cellar door ———————–Two solid wooden doors hinged to open out leaning on a sloping ledge against the house. Within, a wooden…

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