Arts+Culture

Arts+Culture

We Are the Eighth Day, © Melanie Weidner

Film

Twisted childhood

When he wrote Oliver Twist in 1837, Charles Dickens had a cause: he was protesting the harsh and unjust treatment of children in England. His depiction of the situation was searing—more so than the best-known movie adaptations.
Poetry

Autumnal diary

Behold, I am sending forth many fishers, says the Lord, and they shall catch them. (Jeremiah 16:16)

And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19)

At noon the Church of the Epiphany,
on this the long anticipated Date
with Destiny on which we’re told the Fate
of Almost All depends, is strangely free
of angst. The good-sized crowd is here to see
a choir perform Cantata Eighty Eight
and hear Johann the angel Bach relate
a snatch of puzzling Bible history:
God is at first an angry fisherman
who hunts in righteous wrath our sinful kind
but then Christ stoops and speaks, wrath is undone
by love, reality is redefined,
Ohio pales, the stained glass glows blood red,
the hapless fish are named, called, calmed and fed.







Poetry

The River Lee near dark

           What people seeking solace do—they wait
until the light goes low. It’s then they’ve seen
a shadow here and there. They’ve often looked
           to touch once more a face beside the gate.

           Engaged in talk, or walking toward the pier,
they learn one word might lead them well
beyond the ways—it’s nearing late—familiar:
           out past the oaks, the trails, the salmon weir

           where waters thrum—now flash a silverwhite.
I’d follow you, he says, and next, Which way?
He stills to narrows kept for years in check.
           What people, lost, endure to see things right.







Poetry

Geology

Place a stone in the palm of your hand;
it lies there, inert, nothing but itself.
It revels in its stoniness, its solidity.
It gathers light, rises from the plains,
a mountain in miniature, notches and ridges
carved by weather, strata and stria,
the pressure of time, the rough places,
planed. A climber might try for the pinnacle,
looking for toeholds in cracks and crevasses.
The way up is never easy. The air thins.
From the peak, the horizon falls away.
Borders are meaningless. The stone rests in your hand.
It sings its one long song. Something about eternity.
Something about the sea.



Film

Proof of love

Great plays tend to make mediocre movies. The elements that make a play successful don’t always provide the plot and visuals that are the keys to memorable cinema. Complicating matters further is the fact that theater is, by design, dialogue-heavy. The screenwriter who plans to cram long monologues or extended dialogues into the script is doomed.