Praying they will not kill

A Poem by Patricia Wallace Jones

Cradle-born to the high church,
she spent every turn from Epiphany
to Nativity on a needlepoint kneeler
her great-grandmother stitched
until that warm July Sunday
in ’74, when she bore a son with seizures,
one they quickly suggested
was best left at home.

They still send their newsletters,
appeals for funds, announce
parish meetings to discuss what to do
about the ravens that jump up and down
on the roof, their litany of caws
that drown out the priest.

When she shows at St. Michael and All Angels,
she slips into a pew, takes her place
at the back, leaves before the sermon
and Eucharist—fed now,
not by thin wafers and wine,
stories she can no longer swallow,
but by the music, candles and incense,

Calavera Number Six

A Poem by Bob Boldt

Artificial skeletons are hardly ever displayed
now in thought or in sight.
Shop windows are voided of all but surgical masks.
Imagine what all the uncut pumpkins
must think of the strange ones this year.

Halloween was the time of Ghede
whose breath smelled of freshly turned earth
and was once caught soaping a skeptic’s window.
The scariest thing I see are trogs knuckle
drag-racing from coast to flaming coast.
The poet said angels often don’t know when
they are among ghosts or the living.
At least TV makes me feel angelic
when my only contact with reality is
Jim, my Asperger neighbor

and Brit Hume.
This prayer-consuming peace feels
like the slow-motion before the crash:
those precious count-downs to what you,
and I, and all must taste.

In this precise facsimile of Krapp’s den,
I wander in a replay life and wonder
how I will know when I’m a ghost.
I’ll be sure to ask my calavera
when its empty.

A Leaf

A poem and photography by Morris Dean

A leaf beckons – alive, florescent,
in a rainbow of colors, a prism of light
refracted, bent, cast across
a stained garage floor. It greets my eye
at just the moment it needs to happen,
the short span of time when the sun’s rays
penetrate the door at an angle to strike
the white reflector on a bicycle’s front wheel.
Oh leaf, oh leaf, oh leaf! Oh life!