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Starting With a Sentence by Aidan Hart

Truth is truth wherever it is found, In light-struck windowed hands of opal glass, In pebbles left in homage on a grave, In fingers shelling mounds of lady peas, In radiance that roosts inside the soul, In paint, in words, in whirling steps, in steel, In “rings of fire” as infant heads are . . . . Continue Reading »

The Morning After Angels

The morning after angelsSt. Joseph sanded wood,Nailed smooth boards at right angles,And though the crib was rude, It was a vast improvement On donkey’s feeding trough; The craftsmanship was excellent Though the design was rough. St. Joseph made a promise To keep God safe from harm; At the coming . . . . Continue Reading »

Collect for the First Sunday in Advent

’Tis the year’s midnight, and it is the day’s,Lucy’s, who scarce seven hours herself unmasks.— John Donne, “A Nocturnal upon St. Lucy’s Day,Being the Shortest Day” Afternoons end early, in December. When the day dissolves in night, remember Lucy, who took on the night, embodied . . . . Continue Reading »

Nolde’s “Heilige Nacht” (1912)

Mary’s long white armslift the baby high above her head.He is seated in her palms, a pose precarious—his head droops, an eerie portent of the cross. Through the open doorway shepherds mosey closer with their crooks. The mule slobbers grain from the trough. Blue shadows ring Joseph’s eyes. . . . . Continue Reading »

Christmas Party

One more dead party, and, off to the sideAmong the knick-knacks and the curios,In a blue blazer you assume the poseOf one whose patterned noose is loosely tied,Of one belonging here, one clearly meantFor artificial lights and merriment. The revelers, snug in their ugly sweaters, Swill booze and . . . . Continue Reading »

Beneath the Glass

An arching bridge that spans a crystal streamAttracts attention. People tend to pause,To gaze beneath the surface and to dreamTheir silent dreams: a knight without a cause;A painter who has put away her brush;An old philosopher. The waters rushUnceasingly across the sun-flecked bedOf sunken leaves, . . . . Continue Reading »

August Into Autumn

August is the silent time.Caroline Dormon, Bird Talk (1969) It happens every year almost the same And always late in August when we pause Just long enough to see what time has done,Sly changes nearly imperceptible Moment to moment holding us at lastWhile molting birds gone quiet watch the . . . . Continue Reading »

Letters

I read R. R. Reno’s charitable words on Karl Barth with great interest (“Karl Barth,” May) and would like to offer my own remarks as a ­supplement. At the Protestant Theologicum in Tübingen (1974–5), I spent a year sharing an office with Reno’s mentor, Ronald Thiemann. Ron’s background . . . . Continue Reading »

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