Arts+Culture

Arts+Culture

We Are the Eighth Day, © Melanie Weidner

Poetry

Scots' Form in the Suburbs

The sedentary Presbyterians
awoke, arose, and filed to tables spread
with white, to humble bits that showed how God
almighty had decided to embrace
humanity, and why these clean, well-fed,
well-dressed suburbanites might need his grace.

        The pious cruel, the petty gossipers
        and callous climbers on the make, the wives
        with icy tongues and husbands with their hearts
        of stone, the ones who battle drink and do
        not always win, the power lawyers mute
        before this awful bar of mercy, boys
        uncertain of themselves and girls not sure
        of where they fit, the poor and rich hemmed in
        alike by cash, physicians waiting to
        be healed, two women side by side—the one
        with unrequited longing for a child,
        the other terrified by signs within
        of life, the saintly weary weary in
        pursuit of good, the academics (soft
        and cosseted) who posture over words,
        the travelers coming home from chasing wealth
         or power or wantonness, the mothers choked
        by dual duties, parents nearly crushed
        by children died or lost, and some
        with cancer-ridden bodies, some with spikes
        of pain in chest or back or knee or mind
        or heart. They come, O Christ, they come to you.

They came, they sat, they listened to the words,
“for you my body broken.” Then they ate
and turned away—the spent unspent, the dead
recalled, a hint of color on the psychic
cheek—from tables groaning under weight
of tiny cups and little crumbs of bread.



Poetry

Olin Lake

Behind us, the channel half-clogged
by bullhead lilies slips back
into the smoke of yellow tamaracks
clouding the shore and we glide
on the silk of a dream so deep, herring
break the surface from eighty feet below.

I am this hand skimming the water.
I am these eyes dazzled by light.

I am you whom I loved
before the seas were parted.

I am in the creak of wood,
old harmony of oars.





Film

The Last Station

The Last Station is a complex but entertaining study of a 48-year marriage and the way subtle and extreme changes that take place in each partner can take a terrifying toll on the relationship.
Poetry

Sphinx

            I like to compare notes with him,
            to count the shades of blue
            on a kingfisher’s back . . .
                                                —Robert Cording

“Come see this creature before I cut it loose,”
my husband calls to me from the garage, something large
and winged thrashing on a spider’s thread
dangling down from the opened garage door—
no holy ghost but a moth, caught there by a wing
until he lifts the silk rigging down with a broom.
The flailing insect twirls like an acrobat till he lays it,
freed, in the grass. Tired, it doesn’t move. We admire
and leave it, go about the business of our days.
May it recover . . . may it not become prey
for the neighbor’s cat . . . Later,
when I remember to look again, it’s flown.
(Like your souls, I want to take up the old healing grief metaphor,
speaking to my lost father, my mother, my nephew, my grandmother . . .
Flown like your souls, to some heaven we can’t—
or can—imagine, or map . . .)
That night, having lost our chance if not the means
to identify it surely, we puzzle over the moth book, pointing:
this? Or this? Or this?—(some type of sphinx)—joined in spirit
as in body in our human need to capture and release meaning, feel
the touch of beloved skin: and keep safe all the facts and fancies
of our world, with their attendant terrors and grace, the mystery
of the present moment and the escaping future, heart to hand.

Film

How to Train YourDragon

The first ever Academy Award for Best Picture was given in 1929 to Wings, a World War I aviation drama full of groundbreaking aerial sequences. People flocked to see the film largely because they longed to feel what it might be like to fly.