magnificat – the visitation
madonna visits –
her lyrics like nightingales'
juilliard musicians note:
glissando steps to heaven
Patrick G. Metoyer
Mary's visit to Elizabeth invokes an operatic scene in which Mary delivers her Magnificat aria. Cherubim and Seraphim, perhaps, provide the chorus in a Bach sacred cantata or Mozart vespers.
When he is not engaged in visual arts, Colorado resident Patrick G. Metoyer enjoys reciting and performing his creative writings. His poetry and prose in the past few years have been featured in Grand Valley Magazine. Recent submissions are forthcoming online in 2016 at gnarledoak.org and deadmule.com.
Nazareth, how the narrow streets
teemed with merchants, a display of
ladies’ undergarments, emerald, apricot
bras, and camel leather wallets.
Buckets heaped with cinnamon, saffron,
and frankincense. Seven gleaming buses in
a row, yellow, purple, blue, white, spilling with
pilgrims. Red spray paint mars the side of
one bus, Israel, terrorist state! A swastika
The locals go about their business. Bustling
from one errand to another, shopping. Herbs and
onions, aubergines as purple as wine. A tumble of
dark women wrapped in white gauze, all the way
from Ethiopia. Happy laughter. In the courtyard
of the Church of the Annunciation, they sing.
Many voices. Familiar praises. The mosaics
as beautiful as music. Pale blue tiles and seashells,
the sun is glitter on glass.
A lemon tree, yellow ornaments close enough to reach.
She said yes! a minister tells her flock.
A Canadian flag
on the lapel of one with head bowed.
Mary said, who me, how me, and
yes. She said, here I am.
She said yes.
Inside, sanctuary. A group of Indians praying.
I sit with them for a moment. I do not know
their language, but I know the words.
Thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven.
I think about the incarnation. About a young
Jewish girl. How she stood in this place, two thousand
years before I got here. I have never
had courage. Bravado, it’s not the same thing.
Hail Mary, full of grace.
I prayed too. For the whole year
I knew I was coming here, I prayed. Not
Lord, here I am. Rather, Lord, help
There was no answer.
And he hardens whom he wants to harden.
Still waiting to believe,
still wanting to believe,
I was afraid I would feel nothing coming here.
But I feel everything. Fear, and joy. Fury,
and longing. Welcome, and left behind.
There are miles of sky and salt and sand. There are
almonds, there are green olives, glistening
at breakfast, briny in my mouth as
the Dead Sea. There are sheep, and shepherds,
cattle on a thousand hills. Everything is holy.
Lorette C. Luzajic
A visual artist and writer, Lorette C. Luzajic is also the editor of Ekphrastic. She is the author of over ten books, including Funny Stories About Depression, Truck and other thoughts on art, Kilodney Does Shakespeare, Fascinating Artists, Fascinating Writers, and Weird Monologues for a Rainy Life. Her poetry collections are The Astronaut's Wife, and Solace. Visit her at www.ideafountain.ca.
The Rebuke of Adam and Eve
God is suspended in air
By five angels, babies really,
As he extends a castigating hand
To his creations just before
Banning them from his sight.
Adam shrugs, hands indicating Eve
Who on one knee points
Directly to the snake.
Domenichino paints an anxious
Lamb in the lower right corner
Next to a lion growing fierce.
In the upper left corner
Golden apples shine from the tree
Of the knowledge of good and evil
The pair, splendid in their nakedness,
Unaware of future travail.
Joseph Lisowski has taught at several colleges and universities, most notably, Duquesne University, Point Park College, The University of the Virgin Islands (St. Thomas serves as the setting for his 3 published detective fiction novels), J.Sargeant Reynolds Community College, and Elizabeth City State University. Among his many awards and grants, he received the UNC Board of Governors Teacher of the Year award (2013-2014). Individual works in magazines and journals are too numerous to mention, but he has had 21 chapbooks of poetry published.
not yet exposed
not yet imbued with
not yet tainted
by global warming
responds to infant's
pushes him back
from the birth canal
three weeks before
his time has
Patrick G. Metoyer
The young wife of a young Iraq War veteran had this unexpected experience – which must have been emotionally on par with her husband's combat situation. The assertive medical response prevented a premature delivery and inspired the Yuletide poem “impatient.”
When he is not engaged in visual arts, Colorado resident Patrick G. Metoyer may spin a yarn or two with his pen. He enjoys reciting and performing his creative writings. His poetry and prose in the past few years have been featured in Grand Valley Magazine. Recent submissions are forthcoming at gnarledoak.org and deadmule.com.
after Kara Walker
The first one happened fast: in ancient Greece
a man about to leave for war stood against
the alabaster wall of his lover’s courtyard at noon.
She traced the shape of his shadow
with coal, careful to capture the bony essence: arced nose, cowlick.
What with the sun moving like a chariot, she had to trap it all.
And they are cheap! Thus, silhouette, from Etienne de Silhouette,
money minister in Paris, who urged cuts and prudence even in love--
the trick was to keep your tiny knife honed and to keep contrast.
And so, a delicate eyelash, a strong chin, a wigged man, sideways.
And silhouette, from the Basque, meaning abundance of hole or of cave.
And anyone with a knife could make a cave cheaply, on paper,
on the dusty layer of a shell. Anyone could make a hole.
An artist in NYC covered a whole room of white walls with silhouettes.
She used her X-Acto and cut skinny girls, gawky, with braids
scalloped and curved like the horns of beasts; she shaped
the noose from the tree like the braids. She cut eyelets
along the hem of a woman in a petticoat so the white
showed through the black paper and I bet she saved those
comma-shaped chads to glue around the baby dropping
from a knobby-kneed girl to make it look wet and fresh.
Jennifer Martelli’s chapbook, Apostrophe, was published in 2011. Most recently, her poetry has appeared in Wherewithal, Up the Staircase Quarterly, Rogue Agent, and The Yellow Chair Review. Her reviews have appeared in Glint, Arsenic Lobster, The Mom Egg and Drunken Boat. She is a recipient of the Massachusetts Cultural Council Grant in Poetry, a Pushcart and Best of the Net Nominee and works as an associate editor for The Compassion Project. She lives in Marblehead, Massachusetts with her family. www.jennifermartelli.com
Picasso’s Blue Guitarist
We weren’t a great match as college roommates.
We both knew the Chicago Art Institute,
winds off the lake, and sweat in summers.
Other than that
in those days wherever I lived, an orange and red rug followed me,
a rug I hooked as a would-be sunshine. The rug fuzzed.
A curled Blue Guitarist poster followed her.
My boyfriend lobbed ripe oranges through the window
to my desk and upset some nights whistling for me.
She kept a bottle of Glenlivet under the skirts of her bed
and wore cowboy boots. We managed to get along.
I never said a word against the bent old man that hung
in our bedroom. I like blue.
I imprinted on that old man that year.
My father almost died. I drifted
toward graduate school without conviction,
arched under the gravity of being me.
I knew how his neck came to hook.
Did he pluck a twang I could hear? Never.
See how his legs fold,
X marks the groin, genitals
covered in guitar, hints of a black abyss
delving into his manhood.
His bones of remnant hands
never threatened me
and never promised hope.
I threw out the ratty rug one day.
I have come to know the guitarist.
Tricia Knoll is an Oregon poet. Her chapbook Urban Wild is out from Finishing Line Press. Her new book Ocean's Laughter about a small town on the northern Oregon coast (Aldrich Press) is now available. Website: triciaknoll.com
Ken Fermoyle has been writing haiku and pairing them with his own photography. He is almost 89 and new to writing poetry, but has published thousands of articles during six decades of newspaper work. His passion for photography has been with him since childhood. Today Ken is legally blind, but continues to work with the help of computer technology and hyper-enlarged fonts. He is writing a children's chapter book and hopes to put together a collection of his haiku and photos.
Novus Ordo Seclorum
They say Michelangelo lay on his back
To point God’s index finger across the chapel ceiling.
A common misconception—he stood and bent awkwardly
And wrote sonnets about back pain.
The colours sing of strong arms, of Rome’s new lineage,
Muscles taut from shoulder to wrist.
Silent Sibyls. Chin on palm. Fleshy fingers marking the page. Smudged ink.
Putti rolling around all overgrown after a hearty meal.
Prophets with writer’s block—nothing heavenly in this.
To people the sky, Michelangelo
Painted over the stars.
Olivia J. Kiers
Olivia J. Kiers is an editorial assistant with Art New England magazine, and lives near Boston, MA. She holds a master's in the history of art and architecture from Boston University, and an undergraduate degree in French and fine arts from the University of Virginia. Her poetry and photography have been published in Literary Laundry, Local Tea, Glass, Garden, The Virginia Literary Review, and a forthcoming issue of Gyroscope Review. To view examples of her artwork, please visit okayart.wordpress.com.
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