Arts+Culture

Arts+Culture

We Are the Eighth Day, © Melanie Weidner

Poetry

Spring inventory/Ursuline Mother House/Paola, Kansas

Thanks for this window, three stories up,
and the breeze in the curtains, laundered by the rain,
for the unrolling leaves, green and silver.

Thanks for the red-tile roof and the clean white
cornice, for the blue-gray wings in the eaves,
coming, going, spread cruciform.

Thanks for the quicksilver sky caught
in a bowl, for frogs in the garden,
flip-flap, chitter-chatter trees,

and that one persistent whistler whose
song flies out like line
from a fisherman’s reel.

This is my song, too,
cast out, cast
out.







Film

Hidden lives

The opening scenes establish the unforced style of Nobody Knows, a heart-rending film by Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda about four Tokyo youngsters who are abandoned by their mother.
Poetry

Intercession

Winter dawn pinks even this dirty air,
here where the currents of the world
stall between mountain ranges.
We awaken inhaling fumes and dust,
the calls of crows, breath and prayers
from around the globe.

A child in church, I knelt with
the congregation, leaned into the wails
of women around me pleading for the son
lost to Chicago, for Hiroshimo’s victims,
the girl with the iron lung. They would
begin on a pitch around middle C
and slowly rise with arched phrases
into a high tremolo toward the amen,
as though reaching to heaven.

Now the sun tears
the gray veil, and doves repeat
their soft, low moaning, for heaven
is nearer than we think—in the undersides
of leaves and in their shine,
warmth on my shoulder, scent of bread.
Even in that sick, black night when a man
stood in the center of the lane, his arms
out, pleading for the headlights to come in,
as we stood beside him, now in a silent
heap, his boots flung off, as we
breathed “mercy,” as we breathed “help.”







Poetry

Conspiracies

Listen! And hear the whispers of uprisings
all about you, springing not from the blood
of desperation, revolt from under the grinding heel
of emperies; grounded instead in eastering
earth and its hovering Spirit. Conspiracies
of roots and bulbs and seeds! And who knows
what under the stones the worms are up to?



Poetry

Bell

      Good Friday, 2004

Since time flies one way like an arrow,
the sugar can’t be stirred out of your oatmeal
and no matter how long the murderer sobs
on the median strip—sorry!—he can’t reverse
his swerve, cannot rescind his drink

before the crash. Like him, was Jesus heartsick
to find history’s not a zipper running both ways?
He who loved eternity—its roominess,
its reversibility—as he grew up, did he
have to learn he never could unsay a thing

he’d said? And yet today, like all Good Fridays,
He hangs on the cross again. On altars
he hangs. On necklaces. His death is like an x
that rides the wheels of time to come again
in ritual, that miniature eternity, that spring

re-sprung. Dear God, there in your big eternity,
remember that your hands and feet can never
be unscarred again. Hear these words spoken
by a body that suffers, by a tongue
that will stiffen soon and be gone.

Have mercy on us who love time.
May this prayer be a tire
that rolls over every inch of the way
to find You. May it be a bell
which can never be unrung.