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Lacrimae Rerum

By Christopher Howell Poetry

And they rent their garments and painted their foreheads with ash in supplication and lament. The bright stone of the moon bent down, still upon the water where they stood to the knees in cold reflected stars. Breeze in branches made the sound of women wiping their eyes with paper or breathing in an icy…

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Scout’s Honor

By Christopher Howell Poetry

During the Oregon centennial celebration, my Boy Scout troop, dressed as cowboy cavalry, was brought to the dog track to rout a whole tribe of Cub Scouts dressed as Indians in a wild reenactment of a battle that had never occurred or had occurred a thousand times, depending on your degree of historical specificity. Firing…

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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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Church Bells

By Richard Jones Poetry

London is a city of churches and my mother loved the church bells calling to one another over the rooftops. She said you could tell one church from another from the sound of the bells. The bells were that distinct, like human voices. The bells at Saint Paul’s overwhelmed her, just as the grandeur of…

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My Mother’s Visit

By Richard Jones Poetry

My mother was the first pianist I ever heard. All through childhood I was spellbound by her gift, her virtuosity. Now I welcome her to my house, show her the grand piano, and lift the lid to its full height and glory. I ask her to join me on the black bench. At ninety my…

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School

By Richard Jones Poetry

In twelfth grade our English class read Milton, Wordsworth, Samuel Pepys, Keats, and Shakespeare. We reluctantly took turns reading aloud, but besides that I don’t think anyone ever said a word, not even when Pepys described the plague and London’s doors marked with a red cross and “Lord have mercy upon us” written there. No,…

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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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Mixed Company

By Brett Foster Poetry

Mark 2 Meaning, not the fey name of a coffee shop cheekily named, but me and the sinners (not “mixed” as in unlike things commingling, but rather the “meh” of our behaviors or consistent confusions, contradictions like breaking news ongoing, over and over with little new to report…) as I was saying, me and sinners…

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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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