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A Conversation with Sam Phillips

By Jeffrey Overstreet Interview

In 1987, three years after Harper’s heralded her as the “Queen of Christian Rock,” Leslie Phillips sang these words: “You lock me up / with your expectations / Loosen the pressure you’ve choked me with / I can’t breathe.” That song appeared on an album called The Turning, and the title spoke of her decision…

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Anniversary

By Franz Wright Poetry

1. February 2, 2008: Learning the Rosary Birth is the first affliction but there is no birth. Birth is the beginning of endless affliction ending finally in dying but there is no death. This has never been explained to me in words, but mutilations. I watch you watching something from the window and smiling in…

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Parsonage with Two Maples

By Terri Witek Poetry

I. In unvarnished foreground, a cat offers his paw in a dingy splint to children who bend over it, one in a red, zipped-up jacket so the whole scene is drawn away from the fields, the church where someone’s arranging flowers in deep, dented vases (we can’t see any of this but her parked car,…

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The Name of God

By Anya Silver Poetry

Like a baker, swaddling the juice and heft of apples in pastry, I want my mouth to cradle the delicious name of God. Kissing the Torah, I breathe the dust that has lain on the name of God, imagine ink on my indrawn breath. I will dream myself into the body of a bee. I…

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The Burned Butterfly

By Anya Silver Poetry

Thus this restless little butterfly of the memory has its wings burned now and cannot fly. —Teresa of Avila Char my wings. Lord, singe these cells of forewing, hindwing. Blacken memory’s sky blue shimmer, its thousands of cells— each startling pigment, each dorsal and ventral venation— the coppered glint of flight, oh Lord. If prayer…

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Medieval Miniatures: The Entombment

By Dan Murphy Poetry

from The Book of Hours, 1440 The painter has left a whole corner empty, squeezed the painting into the top half of a diagonal. How gently they lay His body, His face crooked from pain. Nicodemus lifts Him below the knees. Joseph of Arimathea fixing the shoulders to rest, his chin holding Christ’s haloed head…

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Medieval Miniatures: Entry into Jerusalem

By Dan Murphy Poetry

Someone always climbs a tree When a saint arrives—half- Way marker of earth and sky: You can’t get there from here. But this is how we represent Desire for liberation, human form As flag announcing spirit through Flesh. That boy reaches for a bird or palm, The top part of the tree where branches break…

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Sudden Death

By Richard Michelson Poetry

I I am looking for the letter that arrived after Uncle Sol’s death. The one that says: The war is over! Love to Kayla, X-O-X. I even searched back through the cardboard box, opening each envelope in precise reverse order— sorry for the lapse between this missive and the last— watching their lives drawing closer…

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Another Holocaust Poem

By Richard Michelson Poetry

I I watch them enter, lined up, ark-like, two by two, chatting quietly, and after the teacher, counting, passes, one pushes and the one pushed begins the chase. This is how the orphans marched through Warsaw in 1942, I tell the behaved ones, orderly and under orders, and I’m just about to start that terrible…

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Bystander

By William Coleman Poetry

I watched him fall and rise upon that hill, heard his call as he released his ghost. I never dreamed civility would damn me. I was like others, a man of honor with a wife who wanted peace of mind by nightfall, children who needed discipline, routine. I could not be a revolutionary, abandon what…

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