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Copyright (c) 2000 First Things 104 (June/July 2000): 12, 14, 34, 44, 52.

The Charmed Life

This sleight of hand persists

The light through bands of leaf

The lemon scented knife

Our gods like fading mists

This hocus pocus just goes on

A choir of frogs announcing spring

The rain wet skin of musk that clings

A thin smirk on a wedge of moon

This sullen sorcery colludes

With youth’s extravagance

Of turrets and rose gardens

Laughing streets where dusk never intrudes

The magic cup and blessed wafer

Arthur rising from his mythic sleep

The ghost dances and vigils that we keep

With perfect virgins and yet we are no safer

This sleight of hand resists

The falling of those leaves

The lemon cleanser scent deceives

Even at the knife the dream persists

“B. R. Strahan

The Strength to Grasp

Ephesians 3:14“21

No heart too small that its every beat

is not known, weighed and measured.

These are the rules:

size does not matter, depth does,

and breadth, and height shimmers in the distance

far above, where eyes grew blurry with

the cold and wind and airlessness

But no matter: that is not

what this is about; it is about that one

what, the inscrutable how, which

explains itself beyond explaining when I

behold the fresh and newborn gaze of my child,

of my beloved

and so plunge myself into the deep

enfolding ocean

of your love.

-Eugene Zemp DuBose

Morning Haiku

Morning tea: the steam

is filled with a holy ghost.

Sunlight floods the room.

Morning light comes down

through the cross“patterned window.

Eyes half“closed, in shade,

I lift up my eyes

to the cross“shadowed morning.

Orisons, arise.

“Craig Payne

Philadelphia, September 1987

Brown brittle leaves

Rustle on the walk

Like ancient manuscripts.

A child laughs.

He chases down a sheaf

And crushes it to dust.

Can the dry wind bring the rain?

Can dead leaves be green again?

“Peter Leithart

From the Kitchen Window

Chipmunk chewing on a mushroom

In late May, late afternoon,

Amid patches of nervous sun,

They tell us the galaxies couldn’t care less

About little nothings such as this.

It may be so,

And it may be so

Our little chipmunk here

Has his own ideas

On what to explore

And what to ignore.

“D. Q. McInerny