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List for Confession

From the June/July 2021 Print Edition

Avarice—Quite a bit.Lust—Not so much these days.Envy—I’ve never saidMuch in a rival’s praise.Pride can be kept in line.Wrath leads to evil ends.But Gluttony and Sloth?Oh, welcome in, dear friends! —Gail White Image by Fondazione Cariplo via Creative Commons. Image . . . . Continue Reading »


From the February 2018 Print Edition

Walking on water, i.e., in the streets of Venice,I read its history in churches—Gothic,Baroque and Neoclassical, one marbleglory after another, sometimes hearing the whisper of dead Catullusreminding me that the sun that sets tonightwill rise again, but when my light has setthere will be no . . . . Continue Reading »

Into the Fire

From the Aug/Sept 2016 Print Edition

Every love counts, the puppy you were givenAt six, the tadpoles that you tried to raise;Even your silly parents and the siblingsYou couldn’t stand were loved on certain days.The first love of your adolescence, laterSpoken of slightingly as immature,The love of marriage, even if it endedIn . . . . Continue Reading »

Domestic Incident

From the November 2015 Print Edition

I hear my neighbor smashing his guitar against the wall. He’s done it once before when in a rage. This time he can’t afford to get another. They’re expensive things. And yet he loved that wooden box with strings more than his wife. (Their daughters sit afraid and wordless under his . . . . Continue Reading »

With the Bath Water

From the February 2015 Print Edition

When data started to accumulate, we didn’t think the end would be so tragic. Facts were such fun, we could eliminate non-facts. And so we threw away the magic, the charms, the spells, the powers that removed all obstacles, the sacred images that won our wars, brought lover to beloved. Then we . . . . Continue Reading »

I Come to the Garden

From the April 2012 Print Edition

I can name so few flowers. This is why I’m not a better poet. Shakespeare knew oxlip and gillyvor and eglantine, while I, beyond camellia, violet, rose, and lily, am reduced to saying, “There, those crinkly yellow things!” Out on a walk with mad John Clare, I’d learn a dozen . . . . Continue Reading »

St. Clare of Assisi

From the March 2012 Print Edition

Her parents tired of locking her up before she tired of running away. Love mocks the locksmith, and love drove her on till the convent walls closed around her strong as a castle, and poverty made her as safe as wealth makes a queen. Francis the merchant’s son should have died in the streets of . . . . Continue Reading »

Dear Juan de la Cruz

From the March 2011 Print Edition

I gave my class your “dark night” poem to read, not telling them who wrote it. They were quick to name adultery as the midnight deed the female speaker runs to, in a thick burqa of darkness. And the poor thing gets her just deserts, being wounded in the neck by a vampire lover. My best . . . . Continue Reading »