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Solitude as Art

By James K. A. Smith Editorial Statement

Like the strange paradox of social distancing, where we step away from our neighbors in order to protect them, so the artist loves the world by retreating from it. The art of solitude is ultimately social.

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Resurrection at Cookham

By Greg Miller Poetry

Stanley Spencer, 1924–27 Cascading white roses! Their throne arbored shade’s —-“curious scent” Spencer recalled while painting. Those Seven Sisters perfume ——-my heart. God the Father’s broad: solid ————–as a Giotto Madonna, his curve-plane’s not ours. His hand’s in his son’s hair. Christ, free, in his white gown, cradles three babies, one naked, in folds of…

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The Field

By Jennifer Grotz Poetry

There was a dirt field I’d walk to as a girl, past the convenience store and the train tracks where the day laborers congregated with six-packs, where the two-lane road turned to one lane with yellow stripes and the vacant field loomed like a desiccated fallen sky. That’s where I’d go to sit on an…

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Cloudless

By Christopher Howell Poetry

I have begun to think that God is small like a wren, a piece of blue beach glass shining in the wet of sea and sky, that double exposure. Every day the huge sun, the blue vault brimming with invisible stars. Each night the echoing expanse of dark and always God in the palm of…

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Tongue Is the Pen

By Brett Foster Poetry

Isaiah 43 I am making all things new! Or am trying to, being so surprised to be one of those guys who may be dying early. This is yet one more earthen declaration, uttered through a better prophet’s more durable mouth, with heart astir. It’s not oath-taking that I’m concerned with here, for what that’s…

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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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Something Understood

By Michelle Syba Essay

MY MOTHER’S FIRST PRAYER was by phone, with a call-center employee from a Toronto Christian TV show. My mother was at a difficult moment in her life—health not good, family on another continent, a small child in her sole care. When she saw the show’s smiling, boyish host, she decided that he was an idiot and,…

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The Stars of Last Resort

By Jeanne Murray Walker Poetry

Imagine someday the splurge drains out of fall. Holding a melon you know a creek of light streams inside its rough burlap ball, but if you cut it open you know stars will fall extinguished in the dark. You know the quarrel of the squeaky porch swing, know the cold that stacks goldfish like knives…

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Erasure

By Robert Cording Poetry

It’s what I need to practice, the lines of my life too neatly drawn around the comfort of being here. It’s why I’m out here again, in the middle of the field just as the day pauses between what is and what was, darkness rising up between the hemlocks and spruces that have brought their…

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The Anxiety Offices

By Lisa Russ Spaar Poetry

I am none the less
boundless this morning,

trawling, under your sway,
winter’s counterfeit cages

wracked & rife & caroled
by the catalogue of all

I do and must learn to love
beyond my power to stay.

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