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The Kingdom of the Eternal Heaven

By Paula Huston Essay

WE ARE ROCKETING through the steppes into the eye of the setting sun. To the east of us, the great thrusting shoulders of the Tian Shan, or “Celestial Mountains,” are burnished with the deep rose gold you see on icons from the Sinai or tanka paintings from Nepal. According to local lore, deep within the…

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Nothing

By Scott Cairns Poetry

…no evil thing is evil insofar as it exists, but insofar as it is turned… —Saint Gregory Palamás What had I meant to say? Just now. I have forgotten. Which among the extant flourishing phenomena are you? Is that a limp? The evening drifts into its routine dimming of particulars, quite literally evening the scene…

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No Path

By Jeff Gundy Poetry

Kayak on the quarry: will you hug the shore, push straight across, waver or dawdle? No paths on the water. Almost November, and the poison ivy is still green. The soft trap of sky closes all around. An artful little spray of leaves near the shore, as though Martha Stewart were sitting in for God.…

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Passage

By Jeff Gundy Poetry

On the swift cruise there was only time and water, twin mothers of an anxious son. And money. In the long end of day we pushed right at the sun and failed again except at witness, the beauty softened by mist and latitude until we could almost bear it. What else could we do? We…

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Lessons

By Margaret Gibson Poetry

To cure the hard habit of anger, eat an orange so slowly the juice spills from your fingers and waters the wild gladioli that purple the stones on high Kastelli. To learn patience, go with Ritsa to the little stoa of a shop in Skala, where old Pandalis weighs the small bags of chickpeas and…

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The Look of Love

By Anne Pierson Wiese Poetry

When I board the Manhattan-bound A train in Brooklyn, it is already crowded with commuters on their way home, faces bearing traces of the day—the downward lines of weariness, mostly, the sour pinch of frustration, sometimes the surprise of a smile or the clear signs of content: cheeks at peace, eyes that gaze with interest…

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Recompense His Paraclete

By Thomas Lynch Poetry

His paraclete was a piebald donkey bequeathed him by a kindly parish priest whose sins he supped away one Whitsunday some months in advance of your man’s demise. “Never a shortage of asses, Argyle. God knows we’ve all got one of them at least.” Which seemed the case on closer scrutiny. Argyle named the wee…

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A Conversation with Gina Ochsner

By Mary Kenagy Mitchell Interview

Gina Ochsner is the author of the short story collections The Necessary Grace to Fall (Georgia) and People I Wanted to Be (Mariner), as well as a novel, The Russian Dreambook of Color and Flight (Portobello/Houghton-Mifflin-Harcourt). Her awards include the Flannery O’Connor Award, Oregon Book Award, Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award, and fellowships from the National…

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Switzerland

By Jean Hollander Poetry

The Eighth Day after Creation Then what a falling-off there was, unruly man, a violent God— when earth gave way, and rocks sprang up, volcanoes poured their fire down and mountains rose with jagged crags to form a world outside the plot. Though here today among the glaciered peaks pine stems still grow straight up…

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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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