Late Planting II.

From the November 2013 Print Edition

Two hundred miles I sojourned yesterday to see one tractor and its drill seeding the Fargo clay. For me that’s always April’s greatest thrill which this year came in May. Snowmelt soaked into soil. None ran downhill so our forecasted flood went bust. Long loitered the chill of winter, but . . . . Continue Reading »

Almost a Franciscan

From the May 2013 Print Edition

A long walk up the mountain from Assisi” my boot heel severed from my right foot Redwing, I smacked it back, using some broken pavement. I’d walked my little brother to l’Eremo , some thirty years later I’d be a Catholic. Now, I suppose, I’m almost a Franciscan. I’d . . . . Continue Reading »

Three Prayers

From the January 2013 Print Edition

I rarely pray to Christ. His sacrifice was so perfect, it’s far beyond my ken. I’m one of those who have denied Him thrice but take His bread and wine, then say amen. I pray three ways, first to the Holy Ghost in charge of poets who would serve the Lord, then to St. Michael, head of . . . . Continue Reading »

The Enlistee

From the May 2012 Print Edition

This wrestler isn’t ready yet for college, instead he’s shaved his head for the Marines. It isn’t that he has no taste for knowledge but hungers to divine what freedom means. A grandfather was crippled in Korea, shelled in an LSI, the Inchon landing. He’s had enough of . . . . Continue Reading »

A Gift

From the January 2012 Print Edition

The boy comes to the back door of the parish,       bearing he says, “A gift.” A crib, its mattress, and a baby bearish quilt. “I hear you people stand for life.” What came between them, what could cleave a rift . . . . Continue Reading »

Mato Paha

From the May 2011 Print Edition

Like an emergent moth I’m flitting up a slope. Here strips of colored cloth affixed to every tree are prayers, the windblown hope of those who climb to see. This is a laccolith upthrust through sediment, perduring like a myth through man’s prehistory, Pa Sapa ’s pediment. Come climb . . . . Continue Reading »

Address to the Manger

From the December 2010 Print Edition

Sleep, infant, sleep among the oxen and the sheep which kneel before your manger. Welcome to danger. When you become a man preach us the Good News while you can before you bear the scourge and cross, an everlasting loss we all bear to the grave with guilt. It was your doom to save us sinners, us . . . . Continue Reading »

Two Poets

From the October 2010 Print Edition

Mikey’s idea of going on the wagon was sorrowfully to pour that final flagon of single malt whiskey down the drain, then switch to marijuana and cocaine. He simply couldn’t comprehend the danger of drying out. Although he was no stranger to white knuckling through vomit and the shakes, he . . . . Continue Reading »