Arts+Culture

Arts+Culture

We Are the Eighth Day, © Melanie Weidner

Film

Star Trek

A riveting sci-fi adventure, Star Trek is the first of the summer blockbusters that audiences can truly care about. Its action is rooted in feeling rather than gimmickry.
Film

Is Anybody There?

The low-budget English production Is Anybody There? is now reaching screens in the United States, thanks to the presence of Michael Caine in the lead role. The action takes place at Lark Hall, a family-run nursing facility. As one aging resident dies, another arrives to take over the bed—a cycle of life and death accepted mostly with a nod and a shrug.
Poetry

The privilege of water is . . .

That here in the deepest water,
beyond even rags of light,
nearly transparent creatures glitter and flash
like neon signs floating
down the Las Vegas strip;

That as recently as seven years ago
liquid water flowed down
an arroyo on Mars,
shifting sands and turning small rocks, a pattern
like a palm print on a rusting door;

That on a cold night
water vapor makes visible the breath
of small children, who laugh
to see themselves breathe,

and makes visible the broken breath
of old men forgetting their children in refugee camps,
and the drying breath of prisoners in stone cells,
whose mothers and sisters believe they’re long dead;

That in the beginning the Spirit
moved over the waters like a mighty wind;
that the spirit moves through water even now, even now
through the straw held to a sick man’s lips,
blessed from basin to scallop shell
to the forehead of a crying child;
That we are from conception
almost entirely water.











Poetry

Cold comfort

The way Herod liked to listen to John the Baptist,
summoning him from his cell for private chats
but could make no sense of what he said; the way
Festus kept the apostle Paul locked up for two years
because he enjoyed hearing him talk, although his words
made him afraid; the way the German guards, terrified
by night bombings, sought out Pastor Bonhoeffer,
even though he was, by his own account, a provider
of cold comfort, writing to a friend, “I can listen all right,
but hardly ever find anything to say. Yet perhaps the way
one asks about some things and is silent about others
helps suggest what really matters”—did not stop
the sharp rap on the prison door or the words “get ready
to come with us” as if for one more quiet conversation
about what really matters.