Burns in Glory

From the Aug/Sept 2017 Print Edition

The Oxford Edition of the Works of Robert Burns, Volume I: Commonplace Books, Tour Journals, and Miscellaneous Proseedited by nigel n. leaskoxford, 512 pages, $200 Robert Burns, “Rabbie” to those who love him, sired thirty-six children with eighteen mistresses before dying of exhaustion at age . . . . Continue Reading »


From the December 2014 Print Edition

Not fit enough to wander the wild woods or separate my wouldn’ts from my shoulds, what can I say? Not spry enough to scamper on a deck or fend a tall sloop from a leeward wreck, I steer my way. No longer lean or lithe enough to climb a groaning glacier out in Mountain Time, here I shall stay. So: . . . . 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 come not to . . . . 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 poets’ . . . . 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 »