Arts+Culture

Arts+Culture

We Are the Eighth Day, © Melanie Weidner

Poetry

Hummers

Even in Maine’s rain and fog I catch them,
often in pairs, or waiting, patient, perched on
a scarcely bending twig of our aged forsythia,
then working the window box petunias
till the coast seems clear, while I hover, motionless,
on the shadowed porch, hungry for still another glimpse
of ruby throat and emerald layered coat,
the delicate dip of beak in cup, the tilted head,
the blur of wings, that sudden flash of movement—
now-you-see-me-now-you-don’t.
Whatever it may be in me—
some wandered/wondered child—
that makes me watch and wait, this late,
the daily hours to catch their, almost holy, visitations,
I’m grateful for it, mindful too
of one who, every once in a long while, still hovers
back there just beyond, behind the nearest edge
of solitude, or prayer, or even glimpses of the tiniest of birds.
Poetry

Patterns

Concept of green, shape of a crystal bird,
Color and form locked in the synapses
Even neuritic plaque cannot destroy—
Although we cannot know with certainty.
But by the evidence there must exist
A sense of order, of a certain kind,
And things appear where they have never been,
In neat arrangements of a different kind.
Among the lambent eggs and crystal birds,
Given as gifts to a beloved one,
I find green leaves torn from a growing plant,
Arranged in shape, a graceful trinity:
O, I am glad I did not say a word,
Perhaps she thought green leaves would feed the bird.
Film

Wizard comes of age

In the third Harry Potter movie based on J. K. Rowling’s wondrous series of children’s novels, filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón takes the wheel from Chris Columbus, who steered both of the earlier pictures. It would be hard to think of a director with finer credentials for the job.
Poetry

A religious background

In the year that I was born, at a small religious college
in northern Illinois, witnesses recall how just after dinner
one winter evening, a young confessor sparked a fervor:

forty-two straight hours of repentance, studious coeds
and baseball stars alike, suddenly afire. They were warm
with desire to admit their wrongs to their peers, to make

their sins public and announce themselves godly and free.
I was born not long before those penitents were born
again, before they streamed boldly onto that sacred stage,

became oddly patient and waited their turn in choir
chairs to declare their shame—articulate, eyes wet.
While they wept, I wept too, a generation and states

away, until Mother, who knew nothing of fire or college
or regret, lifted me from cradle to font and rocked me
in an arms-and-flesh theology, both of us quiet now,

neither of us with much, maybe nothing at all, to confess.









Poetry

Like rocks

A Desert Father said
that we should be like rocks
in the face of suffering.

I sit on ancient weather-beaten boulders
and hear the wind scraping their surface.
Some have deep crevices, one a crater with a rippling pool.

My face fragments and distorts in its reflection.
Someone has placed small stones neatly around its perimeter,
a gesture of gratitude for an implicit understanding.

Baboons bark in the distance.
I look for them, but I do not see them.
No one ever does in this valley.

I lie back and soak my hand in the chilling water
while rubbing my other hand gently
over the moss-stained roughness of these old silent proprietors.