Arts+Culture

Arts+Culture

We Are the Eighth Day, © Melanie Weidner

Film

The Invention of Lying

In the make-believe world of The Invention of Lying, everyone strictly obeys God’s ninth commandment. Alas, in spinning this ambitious morality play, the filmmakers violate a screenwriting commandment: thou shalt not get cold feet in the third act.
Poetry

"And the angel left her"

            Luke 1:38

So there she stood alone amid a stillness
as loud as any earthquake she had heard,
the eaves creaking in the absence of wind,
the hiss and tick of radiators warming
the house along with a soon-coming sun.
Her hands touch her belly, swelling already
like dough cupped close in an earthen bowl.
She knows it won’t be long before she shows.
What to do with all this sudden silence?
Phone her boyfriend: Joseph, I have news!
E-mail St. Anne: Dear Mother, I’m afraid.
Drop to her knees, now weak with recognition
and kiss the space he filled a moment past
in answer to the question he had asked.

Poetry

Jesus climbing trees

Let this, too, be a source of praise,
that trees meet in the park like six-
winged seraphim, stooping low enough
for a boy to find foothold
and swing himself to a crooked seat.

This act of grasping something greater,
knowing that one's weight won't break
the boughs, that weakness allows mastery.
The sudden slip that bloodies the thigh,
the husky bark rasping one's shin,
then the elation of hanging by the knees,
trembling, maybe, but trusting the limb.

Surely Jesus, too, climbed trees in Galilee,
frightening Mary by exceeding her grasp,
then flinging his body from the upper branches
and returning to earth, triumphant and flushed.

He must have enjoyed as a boy the enabling flaw,
must have loved the flesh He knew would fail,
trailing for hours the ascents of his nimble creatures:
the ring-tailed raccoon, the unseen lizard,
the silent beetle, armored and green.





Film

An Education

Set in early 1960s London, An Education is a coming-of-age film about a sharp-witted teenager who falls in love with a man in his thirties. The world he unveils for her is glamorous, cultivated and illicit. It represents an education, but one very different from the Oxford education she had been striving for.
Poetry

Prayer

I’ve heard of scuba divers in frozen lakes
with tow lines up to snow machines, idling in the sun.

These divers turn upside down, inflate their vests
to press their feet tight against the underbelly of the ice.

With that false tug of gravity in place, the illusion is complete
and they can signal for a pull from up above.

They skate, I’ve heard, across the bottom of the ice and then,
like me, follow their breath bubbles down: To fall up through
a hole into the sky.