We Are the Eighth Day, © Melanie Weidner


Small prayer in a hard wind

As through a long-abandoned half-standing house
Only someone lost could find,

Which, with its paneless windows and sagging crossbeams,
Its hundred crevices in which a hundred creatures hoard and nest,

Seems both ghost of the life that happened there
And living spirit of this wasted place,

Wind seeks and sings every wound in the wood
That is open enough to receive it,

Shatter me God into my thousand sounds . . .


On Music

Nick Cave might not be well known, but time spent with this complex Australian rocker is well spent. He doesn’t shy away from dense theological issues, which he explores in a rambling, lyrical style that recalls Jim Morrison at his poetic peak.

Two Annes

                           (For Hutchinson and Bradstreet)

One took the colony by the heels, slapping its flank
until it issued a broad cry of rage. Tall and forbidding,
she waxed both sharp and sweet, flying in the angry
face of magistrates, chafing the tender hearts
of the unregenerate gently with her tireless voice.
She coaxed as women labored in their cramped beds of pain.

The other fashioned quills and parsed her poems in clean
white sheets. Still, her clumsy child shamed her,
walking on stumbling feet, as real a “monstrous birth”
as the first Anne’s tissue of stubborn clots. What was it
she tried to say, poet in a wife’s starched linen,
submitting to her tasks and thanking God without
conviction for each bitter loss? Sarah, Hagar
in exile, she too never went back; the stormy Atlantic
roiled, keeping her margins, her heart rising
within her and rising, rising again.


As I sleep

Turning as I sleep, I take
Across my eyes the silent words
Sung by our old sun’s golden birds—
They hope I will awake.

Learning, I have longed to shake
An apple from the sacred tree
That sings sleep into unity—
Before my true day-break:

Yearning, at the end, to make
My entrance in a gown of light
Woven of day, woven of night—
Hearing, at last, “Awake!”


The Edge of Heaven

Most of The Edge of Heaven feels like a shaggy dog story. It’s not until well into the second half of the film that writer-director Fatih Akin shows where he’s headed with his tale.