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How Beautiful the Beloved

By Gregory Orr Poetry

Occult power of the alphabet— How it combines And recombines into words That resurrect the beloved Every time. ________Breaking open The dry bones of each Letter—seeking The secret of life That must be hidden inside. § Fate not just a pair of scissors Waiting at the end to cut the thread, But there at the…

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The Cartographer of Disaster

By Kathleen L. Housley Poetry

And he sent forth a raven and it went back and forth, to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth. —Genesis 8:7 To traverse open water searching for signs of life, a seabird is more suited than a land bird, which needs the trustworthy stubble of wheat fields and faithful…

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Denise Levertov: A Memoir and Appreciation

By Murray Bodo, OFM Essay

The first time I saw Denise Levertov was in the spring of 1973. She was the Elliston Poet at the University of Cincinnati that semester, and she was standing in the aisle prior to delivering the Elliston lecture. She was bent forward talking to someone seated at the end of a row of chairs. She…

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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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Question for My Father

By William Wenthe Poetry

When I look up, into the needles of the cypress tree, brown in November, I see cinnamon—I see wood of violins, breast feathers of the sedge wren, a setter’s fur, toasted grain…. I see the cypress glowing within a cloudless noon, pale blue at horizon as background of a Botticelli annunciation, that turns unpaintably, achingly…

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Folding a Five-Cornered Star So the Corners Meet

By Li-Young Lee Poetry

This sadness I feel tonight is not my sadness. Maybe it’s my father’s. For having never been prized by his father. For having never profited by his son. This loneliness is Nobody’s. Nobody’s lonely because Nobody was never born and will never die. This gloom is Someone Else’s. Someone Else is gloomy because he’s always…

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A Prayer for Home

By Bronwen Butter Newcott Poetry

This November, the pears are as hard as wood but taste like the honeysuckle I used to pick from the chain-link fence in the alley, nipping the end and drawing the stamen out, slowly, until that one sweet drop beaded at the bottom—one of the houses is wild with honeysuckle. When I came to You…

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Creed in the Santa Ana Winds

By Bronwen Butter Newcott Poetry

You believe He’s stronger than the desert wind butting against the fence, wind that ignites sagebrush, tears through the hills and strips the houses to ash. Despite your lips that crack till blood comes, skin that grows rough between your fingers, you believe He will be solid to your touch the way the bay is…

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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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Reading George Herbert

By Robert Cording Poetry

All he ever wanted was to disappear. But he kept coming upon himself as if he were a character in a story who, despite his best efforts to understand, remained inscrutable. How he tried to keep straight the difference between who the author said he was and who he thought he was. He told himself…

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