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Stone on Stone: Israel, 1980

By William Wenthe Poetry

  I stood in the Jaffa Gate and played harmonica for tips. A cluster of men in Arab dress surrounded me, bewildered, smiling. They had never heard a harmonica before, nor could they see, behind my hands, this sound I held to my lips. The long cry of the muezzin, undulating among corbelled roofs, towers,…

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Ghazal: Woman at the Well

By Carolyne Wright Poetry

In this late season, who is the woman at the well drawing water, reflecting on the woman at the well? Millennial fissures in the well-rim, weed-choked cracks where brackish water rises for the woman at the well. At the bottom of the well shaft, the sky’s reflective eye opens, closes on the shadow of the…

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Recollecting Satan

By Farrell O'Gorman Short Story

I MET THE MAN we chose to call Satan in Myrtle Beach in the spring of 1986, and my only direct dealings with him took place over a period of less than twenty-four hours. The last time I saw his face by light of day he was clutching a can of warm Meister Brau on…

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Winter Mother

By Ava Leavell Haymon Poetry

We’ve left the crib, the family animals, the unstable first trinity. Forgiven the all night journeys made in haste, the rough beds, the secrets and baffling dreams. Since our father left us, his words in our ears orate a baritone poetry, wild and strong enough to hold the yes and the no. Again the sun…

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Advent

By Ava Leavell Haymon Poetry

El Niño slips across latitudes, rises dripping from the ocean From seafloor mud, El Niño brings up the secrets of childhood El Niño crawls in the manger, time runs out El Niño rocks himself dry on the edge of a continent Prairies of wheat go unpollinated, there is rumor El Niño is killing the honeybees…

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Allegiance

By Kim Stafford Poetry

I pledge allegiance to the doomed life, clumsy person, old salmon that batters up a shallow stream. Marked for hurt by this failing, arrested by a simple glimpse of struggle or cruelty, I see the hopeful swagger of a grown person in a child’s bravado, or the childish hurt in an old-face defeated stare. The…

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The Reader’s Prayer

By Kim Stafford Poetry

The road takes you from there to here. Here is where you are. Time takes you from then to now. Now is what you have. Language takes you from what you have to what you have to say. When we meet, this is your gift. And writing takes you from what you have to say…

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Garden of the Gods

By Janet Peery Short Story

  The following excerpt appears in Peery’s new novel, What the Thunder Said. Copyright 2007 by the author and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Press, LLC. Available this spring wherever books are sold.   YES, SHE KNEW THEM. They were her grown sons Sam and William and she loved them dearly but she wished…

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Gravity and Grace

By Betsy Sholl Poetry

Grace fills empty spaces, but it can only enter where there is a void to receive it… ————————————-—Simone Weil Simone Weil, it’s hard to concentrate on you with those three boys on the next bench blowing up balloons and letting them go, all squirt and grunt, fizzling into— the void, I think you’d say. And…

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A Freak of Nature

By Valerie Sayers Short Story

THE FIFTIES. I don’t remember much—I was a small child—but I do know that fear was always buzzing in the background, like static from a transistor radio: a jangly, jazzy fear, not altogether unhappy. The day I discover I’m a freak of nature, the thrill runs from my bellybutton to my throat. We’ve come to…

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