Arts+Culture

Arts+Culture

We Are the Eighth Day, © Melanie Weidner

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.

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

Forgiveness, second verse

                "Nevertheless man, though in honor, does not remain;
                He is like the beasts that perish . . ." –Ps. 49:12

Another fall, another shift
of cloud. One hawk, two

hawks sift the patient or impatient
grace of crows:

who owns the skyward lamppost, who has
air rights to overfly the trees.

Down the road, a stone's throw
from their motley argument, the asphalt

where death's gray squirrel body
lapsed from bloodied substance

to the white signature of
nothingness

a year, two years ago

this day records in dust
in the hollowed crucible

where mortality erased itself
a newborn chuff of grass.

















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.