Monday, January 23, 2012

Photograph by Maryka Gillis

A photograph of "Ecstasy" 
(a sculpture by Dan Das Mann and Karen Cusolito)
shot by Maryka Gillis while in San Francisco

The Mockingbird by Pauline Cruz

One day when I was five, my parents and I went for a walk in the nearby park.  It was a warm autumn day and the bright, colorful leaves were twirling in the breeze.  I was walking down the paved road, enjoying the day when suddenly, I heard a faint noise.  At first, I thought I was just hearing things, but then I heard it again.  Quickly, I followed the sound until I found its source; a small mockingbird who had broken its wing and was crying shrilly for help.  I gently cradled the poor bird in my cupped hands and ran to my parents.  We returned home and I helped nurse the mockingbird back to health.  When it was time to release it, I felt sad that it had to go.  However, I was pleased that the mockingbird was healthy and free again.  As time passed, I forgot about the mockingbird and my life went on.  Seven years after the mockingbird, my father died in a horrific car accident.  I sank into a deep depression and nothing could shake me out of it, not even the comfort my mother and my friends tried to give me.  One day, I was sitting in my room, staring blankly at the wall as the rain fell heavily against the windows when suddenly, I heard a tapping noise.  I looked and outside my window was a mockingbird, trying to find shelter from the heavy rainfall.  I walked over to the window and opened it and the little bird flew in swiftly, simultaneously shaking rainwater from its feathers.  At first, I was slightly irritated that the bird had slightly dampened me, but then I realized that the little mockingbird was flying towards me, unafraid.  Tentatively, I stuck out my pointer finger and the mockingbird landed gracefully on it.  A memory buried deep within my mind slowly surfaced as I examined the little bird.  Could this be the same bird I nursed back to health so long ago?” I thought.  Suddenly, the bird opened its beak and began to sing.  The melody was the most beautiful I had ever heard and it began to slowly lift my spirits.  The corners of my mouth slowly lifted and after what seemed like a century, I smiled for the first time in weeks.  I listened to the mockingbird’s song for a few more minutes and then I noticed that the rain had stopped.  The mockingbird seemed to notice too because it flew off my finger toward the window.  Reluctantly, I opened the window and the bird immediately flew off into the warm sunshine, never to be seen again.  All of a sudden, my mother walked in.  She noticed my smile and asked what had happened that had made me happy again.  I simply said, “An old friend came to visit.”           

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Gloucester by Brian Finlay and Perspective by Sarah Zuidema

Gloucester                                                                              Brian Finlay

Gloucester is the name of a city
But it is not a city,
It is a world
            And in this world dwell its people
            They are a mix of individuals
            There are good, there are bad
                        Artists, Poets, Fishermen, Drug Dealers, Killers, Rats
                        The likes of which you’ve seen before
                        In magazines, and art exhibits, and news reports that make you cry

It’s housed many kinds of each
Over the years
Same famous
Some not
            All maniacs in their own right
            Some maniacs in what they write

This island is home to great ones
Heroes and Thinkers
Men who work for glory
            For the name of their family
            And the acceptance of their trade brothers

They hang out in dingy, badly lit rooms
Smoking and exchanging tales of worthless women and drunken brawls

Maximus lived here,
            In Gloucester
He breathed his soul into the sea
And regretted nothing
            Except that he would live forever
Perspective                                                                       Sarah Zuidema

The air was brisk and cool,
The breeze filtered cleanly through the feathers,
While gleefully he observed the stark blue of the sky above,
and the water below.
The shore he fled was spotted orange and red with foliage,
as bright and burning as the sun.
He shivered under the shade of the wings,
Up he would go,
Beyond the chilly undercurrents of the sea's wind
To the welcoming rays of the sun.
The higher he flew, the more sun he felt on his back,
Strange, he thought, that the feathers should so quickly let in light.
In the distance he heard the shrieks of the birds and the yelps of
people on the shore,
How jealous they are of my flight.
He chuckled at the way the world leapt higher and higher to reach him.
It was overzealous to match his accomplishment,
But only he could reach the sun.

The faces blinked back at him from the sun,
and the sky gained life and texture as the world got closer.
The fisherman yanked a catch from among the clouds,
and the farmer collected the harvest he had grown among the fiery forest.
The commoners had stolen his prize,
they'd beat him too it.

He passed his father in his climb,
But wait,
His father was falling!
Rescue him?
He tried to fly to catch him,
but his wings would not let him dive.

The sky was much wetter than he had imagined,
Perhaps he had not fallen up.