The National Catholic Review


  • December 1, 2014

    Hour of approach, hour of silence.

    The brother sets down his axe in the woods.

    The sister sets down her glasses on the table

    and waits in the moment before prayer

    that throbs from the tolling of the bell.

    Shadows swallow shadows in the frigid air.

  • November 24, 2014

    There is no poem like a gravestone,

    that tersely worded, lapidary tercet,

    the name, the numbers, and the R.I.P.

    that are the skeleton key to all biography.

    Some lie embedded, trapdoors in the grass,

    while others rear their monumental

  • November 17, 2014
    A large cream colored mantis
    captured me today
    by a wisp of my hair
    near the nape of my neck.
    I flitted it like a leaf
    that fell from the aspen tree
  • November 3, 2014
    Wood sways and mutters; palsied shutters bang.
    The call has come. Stripped of starlight, night
    dwindles to gritty lavender and gray;
    mad jags of wind keep drowning out the surf.
    We dress, then slog through beach plums to the bay.
  • October 20, 2014
    Autumn is the time of year
    when God’s invisible hand
    paints the leaves
    in broad strokes
    of color,
    then plucks them off
    one by one.
  • September 15, 2014
    and all floating implements
    star studded saints
    and gemstone dreams
    moon smoke      incense
    squandered speech
    hearts that have wandered
    strangers squinting at the sky
  • Sept. 1-8, 2014
    You fold this sweater the way a moth
    builds halls from the darkness it needs
    to go on living—safe inside this closet
    a family is gathering for dinner, cashmere
    with oil, some garlic, a little salt, lit
  • July 21-28, 2014
    I speak bones to you in the morning—
    hollow, fragile, ordained frameworks,
    their marrow winnowed by earth time.
    I hear emptiness in my pleas for health,
    forgiveness, prosperity. Echoes ossify
  • July 7-14, 2014
    One February morning, pause
    between kitchen and dining room
    to weep at Belle and Sebastian
    singing about God. The cold is good
    for maple syrup, makes sap run,
    you aren’t sure how, or why this pretty pop
  • June 9-16, 2014

    After the murder of Julius Caesar in Shakespeare’s play, Brutus appeals to the charged, fearful crowd in a speech written in prose. He ends up getting his point across. People can see his side and why Caesar’s ambition was a threat to their freedom. But Mark Antony immediately follows him with his iconic speech composed in the rhythms and contours of verse—“ambition should be made of sterner stuff.” It blows the first speech out of the water. Antony stirs the...