Arts+Culture

Arts+Culture

We Are the Eighth Day, © Melanie Weidner

Poetry

Falling upward

          “. . . he was carried up, and a cloud took him.” Acts 1:9

Gravity, they say, is all about mass. Big attracts
Big sucks big pulls big, like death, won’t let go. Still,
We worship those who try: “Lucky Lindy,” St. Michael
Jordan. Leonardo, bless him, forever plotting how
To fly, or assuage the general jowliness of time.

Jesus was taken up, and Mary. St. Teresa of Ávila
Had to cling to the rail during prayer to keep from
Floating skyward—the Assumption being that things
Sometimes fall up. But, come on, which way is
Up? That is to say, which way isn’t? If Teresa was

A person of such faith, why didn’t she just let go? Like
The man I knew who, after being told he had “maybe
Six months,” immediately signed up for swimming
Lessons. “Well,” he said, “I just felt that if I could learn
How to float, I could learn how to die.”









Film

Nutty and Chewy

"Well, well, well, two naughty little children gone.
Poetry

Firefly

I want to find the room where my father is sleeping,
take his hand and wake him. I will say I am sorry

to have come so late, after all the other children.
I will ask about his heart and his dreams,

apologize for disturbing his rest. I want to drive there
faster than anybody, but I am not even on the way home.

The masters say all is one but I am five hundred miles away,
studying the alphabet of broken trees

and the gorgeous dusk of the beaver marsh.
The masters say nothing is separate but I am lost

among the lilies, the needly mosquitoes, the slow tenderness
of the fireflies. I will leave tomorrow if need be.

Tonight I will dream of the great healing
and the night will be warm with the hum of fireflies,

the chir and splish of the beavers fitting one more stick,
one more slap of mud into the mile-long dam.













Poetry

Christening

                                          for Garland

Rose-light hues us on the porch, you nestled
in my arms, as I consider the osprey
circling his customary roost, atop
a power pole across the street. His stare,

not bold or arrogant, but natural,
makes me strangely warm as does his spearing
cry, calling down a reverence for the dusk.
I have witnessed his plummet, through air

rushing too fast to breathe in, falling toward
a point in the water where nothing is.
What does the mullet see at that convergence?
A bullet-shadow covering grainy light,

Leaving the house at dawn, I have witnessed
the osprey on the cross beam of his pole
humming with power, as he tugs out the packed
guts gnashing them down, and I have felt redeemed

in the light that marks us all for sacrifice.
Son, may you find your own pursuing voice,
its argot of praise, Christ-fierce and Christ-wild.
When I hear the osprey’s cry, I know your name.









Film

Fear factor

Steven Spielberg’s War of the Worlds churns up an emulsion of suspense and horror that engulfs you with the gray relentlessness of a low-grade fever. This is not the kind of thrilling, soaring adventure Spielberg created in Jaws or Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom; it’s a cheerless piece of visceral manipulation.