Arts+Culture

Arts+Culture

We Are the Eighth Day, © Melanie Weidner

Poetry

Rest on the flight into Egypt

One day thought’s Gethsemane
Like some personal handicap
Or guilt, will venerate the image
Of its last nativity, will fold
Its wings away and say,
“The bird of doubt has gone today.”

And all the “how could I be
So stupid” habit of the soul
Will harden to a pigment
Like raven’s feathers, painted
And set on an ancient canvas,
Giving up its foreground
To a moment’s peace in that journey
Of escape from Bethlehem of birth.

Just as in David’s “Rest on the Flight
Into Egypt,” an angel having whispered
Of slaughter, “You must leave, Joseph,”
He, knocking walnuts from the tree,
The donkey munching quietly some hay,
His son reaching up for grapes,
A young child’s suffering at play,
Not thinking yet, “I must, they say.”

And Mary, seated on a rock,
After long labor, serene as
Nazareth, building her pyramid.

Poetry

Slow: Animal crossing

Just after we’ve communally stuffed and thanked,
the first sleet comes down in shanks
of dirty lambs’ wool, rude messy sheets,
slathering the cars we hunch in, hurrying
again, against some febrile deadline, dodging
the poor squiggling squirrel trying to shoot
across the heavy-metal trafficked road
that intersects his world.

He seems to have made it, tail on.
We may, too, make it home, untripped
this time by our own haste,
knowing in some dark artery
that the meal we need,
the company against the cold,
like the animals in the Ark,
are all waiting, like Advent,
inside the small rooms of the remaining
calendar, we pass through, one
by one.

Film

CC recommends

Skip the American movie version of this story and view the series made by BBC for television. Focused on the press and shady doings in the upper echelons of government, this investigation of a murder unfolds over six hours. The depth of characterization gets viewers invested in the story and makes the suspense all the more (pleasantly) unbearable.
Music

CC recommends

Here are choral works by a teenaged Felix Mendelssohn, including large-scale settings of the Magnificat and Gloria, along with some shorter works. The influences of Bach and Haydn are evident in the early work of the composer, who would go on to write Elijah and St. Paul.