by Jonathon | 7.11.14
We saw your massive golden dome from down
below, a baroque body oddly out
of place. I snapped your picture by the brown
limbs hanging near the roadside fence, devout
old guards, one hundred years had left behind.
We leaned across your speckled balustrades
beside the river, where worn paths entwined
and crisscrossed near the watery cascades.
Then, hiking grassy slopes around the charred
magnificent old court, adjacent to
your holy place, we found a heavy door.
Surprised at how we easily slipped through,
we scramble in like heathens, unaware.
Inside were angels winged with elegance.
Subdued by stained glass, carvings, heaven’s air,
we marveled at your ancient relevance.
The pious moment passed, and then I thought
of all the souls who sat within your pews;
the offerings and sadness that they brought.
Your wood grain’s worn, as if it might transfuse
into a blemished song, or ancient phrase,
that mutely sings of suffering and praise.
Photo by the poet, used with permission. For a recent bio of Kelsay, go here. For a comprehensive list of her poems published at WIZ, go here.
by Jonathon | 7.10.14
He keeps his diving helmet in a shed.
The memories that it buoys up, aren’t dead—
that heavy hat of bolts protects his pride.
He seldom ever has to look inside
the wooden crate beneath the old work bench,
where all his man-things: chisel, hammer, wrench,
as if in dry dock, wait to be reused.
His wife told him to toss it, he refused.
You’re eighty-five, you’ll never need that thing!
But somehow, he can never seem to bring
himself to entertain the thought. The brass
is surely worth a fortune, and the glass…
The chance is slim, but yet he still regards
an abalone dive as in the cards.
Photo is of the poet’s father, and is used here by permission. For more by Kelsay at WIZ, please see the bio here, and a comprehensive index here.
by Jonathon | 7.08.14
She spends her afternoons beside the tree,
where Mr. Lizard’s made his home. Last week
she caught him in her mouth, and forcefully,
my husband pried him out. She doesn’t seek
this reptile, or a patterned, scaly prize—
just itches for a thrilling chase. For days
she’s turned into a sphinx. Unblinking eyes,
and breath held in her breast. Her mind’s ablaze
with thoughts of how he was in her possession.
He watches from the wall where he’s protected.
They play their waiting game. No intercession
at dusk is needed. She comes inside dejected,
and marches to the house to scheme and plot.
Tomorrow she will have another shot.
Karen Kelsay, native of Southern California, is the founder and editor of Kelsay Books. Her poetry has been widely published in magazines and journals. Nominated five times for the Pushcart Prize, she is also an award winning poet. Her latest full length book, Amytis Leaves Her Garden, was published in 2012, and received the AML award. Karen lives in Hemet, California, with her British husband.
Photo of the poet’s cat, used with permission.
by Patricia | 2.28.14
Tell me, she whispered, when the kids were down
And the dark of day had drifted over like a welcome shroud,
What is your love? (more) »
by Patricia | 2.28.14
Look with wonder on the world
And on the walkers in the world
Familiar and strange as if on God,
For gods they are, unknowing. (more) »
by Patricia | 2.28.14
I wish I had a home—
No, not my own—
A place I’d shared with others
All the summers of my life
Or all the winters.
But, as it stands, the candidates
Are fallen into disrepair
(False friends!), or usurped by
Some false, pretending owner
(Who would, her eyes askance,
Refuse me ingress or relief),
Or scattered as the family bones. (more) »
by Patricia | 2.25.14
In addition to writing poetry, directing memoir groups, and writing stories for her grandchildren, Judith Curtis is a Master Gardner in Phoenix and a volunteer at the Desert Botanical Garden. She has published poems in WIZ, Irreantum, Dialogue, Segullah, Exponent II, Sunstone, and Fire in the Pasture. She is currently poetry editor for Exponent II and participated in the Mormon Women’s Writers tour in 2010 organized by Dr. Joanna Brooks and Dr. Holly Welker
by Patricia | 2.24.14
Today is WIZ’s fifth birthday! To celebrate that and LONNOL Month, we’re giving away TWO free silver screen classics from days of yore for your viewing pleasure!
This first is a rerun from a previous WIZ Retro Review Giveaway, but it’s one of my favorite old flicks. Come Next Spring is a generous story with a quiet but strong heart. Like many of these older films, rather than relying on in-your-face action sequences and special effects, loud soundtracks, and romantic drama that glues a box-office-compatible couple to center stage, Come Next Spring turns on resonant dialogue and actual, honest questions about family and community relations.
The story: recovering alcoholic Matt Ballot (Steve Cochran) returns to his Arkansas farm and the wife, Beth, and daughter, Annie, whom he abandoned twelve years earlier. He’s more than a little interested to see what’s become of them since he left. As he walks down the home stretch, he meets Annie. Annie is a voiceless creature who keeps company with animals but runs away from her father, who doesn’t recognize her. When Matt reaches the old homestead, he’s surprised to discover not only that his stoical and resourceful wife Bess (played beautifully by Ann Sheridan) has held everything together quite well without him but also that he has a delightful son, Abraham (Richard Eyer), born after Matt ran out on the family. (more) »
by Jonathon | 2.21.14
Your expectations are brisk,
Like December’s chill as it sneaks under the door.
Your needs are persistent,
Like a child’s breath on wintry windows, which
Creeps and spreads like nighttime secrets:
Whispered wishes freezing
Molecules, and moments, into memories.
Your words, like snowflakes in tree branches;
Your thoughts, like snowdrifts, cloud my eyes:
Encroaching, enfolding, encasing, enclosing.
Like the first blanket of winter, you
Transform my heart’s topography.
Glistening on worn out things while
Masking and obscuring autumnal death,
You make cold feel like warmth.
Death and sleep are sometimes not so different.
Laura Hilton Craner is a single mother of four who occasionally moonlights as a writer and poet. Her essays, reviews, blog posts, and stories have appeared in Dialogue: a Journal of Mormon Thought, Segullah, and A Motley Vision, where she occasionally moonlights as a contributor.
Photo via Wikimedia Commons by an unnamed Virginia State park interpreter.
by Jonathon | 2.19.14
(For Clinton F. Larson)
How long did I look in that face, admit
that voice? He left his door unlocked to me,
kept ice cream money in a drawer. He fit
his office to my urchin company.
Those years I spent his foundling, each day waking,
I toyed on his baroque and spiraled stair.
“Look, here is Milton. See this sentence snaking?
These coils bend on forever. Do you dare?”