His face is serious, sad,
as he raises his hand in warning
to the stunned guards,
tumbled at his feet.
“Touch me not,” he says
in a voice full of impossible
distance, a cold echo
from a deep well
dark and damp as the grave.
The armored men look up
confused at his sudden
apparition, their faces caught
in expressions we recognize,
their features those
of ordinary men. Above them,
above the stone lid of his coffin,
the resurrected Christ floats,
unearthed and unearthly
his feet not planted anywhere
but hanging straight
from the pale body, so thin
it seems fleshless, weightless,
still marked by the wounds
of crucifixion, but bloodless,
strange, alive in some way
unnatural, his triumph
an outlaw grace, a miracle
whose simple touch could burn
the living down to bone.
Mary McCarthy is a retired RN who has had a lifelong love of writing, literature and art, that makes ekphrastic a particular favorite. She finds these writing challenges are particularly good at bringing out new and surprising poems, full of unexpected surprises. A frequent contributor to The Ekphrastic Review she has work also in many journals and anthologies, including The Plague Papers, edited by Robbi Nester, and The Ekphrastic World, edited by Lorette C. Luzajic.
Cleaning the Sepulchre
No one likes to leave their dear one in a sepulchre where others have lain. Even here, in a tomb with the lid unopened. The spiritual body of the man who had rested here has risen, they say, in red rag glory.
For barely two days since rioting throngs jeered around the cross and his bloody feet, for two days since the mourners were almost trampled at his sad crucifixion spectacle, the body lay here. Me, I never attend that barbarity.
More important is what remains within the dark stone interiors—the stains, the stink. It is through cleaning that I get to know those who inhabited these death spaces.
This man, the rumours go, raised Lazarus entombed four days to life. It was my father who cleaned that tomb after the corpse, stiff with putrefaction and swaddling, stumbled into daylight. No one talks about Lazarus’s next life, if you can call it that, after a four-day death.
I know this man’s spirit through the blood congealed, the fluids expelled through the weave of the muslin. This man, once a baby also swaddled, was visited by royalty seeking him under a blazing star. Frankincense and myrrh, they brought the infant. Despite all the years, their faint medicinal scents infused the rock and rose up to me as I shoved aside the lid that he had resurrected through.
Now I scrub and sluice this place. Let in the daily air.
Fran Turner grew up on a farm in the most southerly area of Canada but fell in love with Toronto, her home. She has worked in nursing, shiatsu massage and cancer advocacy and has taught in her own Aikido dojo. New to writing, her short fiction has appeared in Dodging the Rain and Adelaide Magazine. She loves experimenting with flash fiction.
Dear Great Spirit,
I don’t know who or what you are, but still I need guidance from time to time, and you are the one I pray to. Is it really prayer, though, if I don’t think of you as either god or angel? If my words are not holy or sacred, but ordinary questions to which I have no answers, or ordinary dilemmas I can’t seem to solve? And if, really, it’s your mother I picture, not you, holding my hand?
Your spirit is not far away in a luminous heaven, but a presence, always all around me—neither gentle nor severe--listening, observing from everywhere to everything.
Your spirit does not judge the importance of my concerns, even though my life is tangled up in trivia. And if my words result in nothing else, I can feel them being absorbed by the waves of energy that make up the universe, becoming part of it—acknowledged, heard, transformed, made real.
I neither serve nor worship you, but remain instead, in continued chaos,
A resident of New York City, Kerfe Roig enjoys transforming words and images into something new. Follow her explorations on her blogs, https://methodtwomadness.wordpress.com/ (which she does with her friend Nina), and https://kblog.blog/, and see more of her work on her website http://kerferoig.com/
The Art of Reverence
Impossible to disbelieve,
You're seen by three of four
as Son the Father chose to grieve
and resurrect for more...
...in death than in the trodden dust
where fear by faith was quelled
as signs performed became the trust
in minds that had beheld...
...and in the minds Your message swayed
by parables retold
and by example You conveyed
as moral shield to hold...
...against the danger things possessed
become to transient soul
in time so brief to be addressed
comprising earthly role...
...and in the eyes of turning face
at well of water drawn
where ethnic fear dismissed the Grace
they dared not look upon...
...yet felt in misting moist surprise
the thirst that You had quenched
of soul so parched from hate's despise
You left in kindness drenched...
...and in the eyes that faced afraid
the consequence of sin
and those with stones to be conveyed
by hands unjust within...
...who lived to hear "Go home, repent
and be with God alone
becoming message I have sent
by guilt that you atone"...
...and in the eyes that gave though poor
the most that they could give
content with having little more
than Grace in which to live...
...and in the eyes of those You spurned
with guilt beheld in hand
at temple tables overturned
to have them understand...
...and in the eyes whose hands were laid
for silver pieces gained
assuring You were thus betrayed
to captors and restrained...
...and in the chants of "Crucify!"
from those You would forgive
for homage paid to rule of lie
as will by which to live...
...and in the eyes that had to see
the holes that nails had made
and where the wound would have to be
from pierce of torture's blade...
...as doubt became by trembling touch
the Hope though never seen
that countless hearts would have to clutch
on which their souls could lean...
...and in the voice that thrice denied
the kingdom of Your name,
and yet would be the stone implied
of churches we became...
...that letters would immortalize
as risen body seen
becoming apostolic soul
Your death would reconvene...
...where art would later render views
that sacrifice would bind
to Grace of peace You left to choose
in eyes no longer blind...
...to Light, opposing shadows cast,
becoming evil's bane
as Truth by hallowed vestige passed
denial would profane.
Portly Bard: Old man. Ekphrastic fan.
Prefers to craft with sole intent
of verse becoming complement...
...and by such homage being lent...
ideally also compliment.
Not closed in by a boulder in a cave,
but from a closed coffin of elm,
We condemned him,
for refusing to go to battle.
A coward who cared not to fight
for his homeland to maintain power
and hoard the riches of the world.
We were the ones willing:
To risk our lives.
To follow orders.
To be the heroes.
To be the martyrs.
While we lie on the battlefield
of the blood red sky,
our bodies ripped open and
shredded with wounds of war
Unhealed wounds of
Hell haunting us for eternity
for those lives we
destroyed so violently,
in a blood-thirsty trance;
From the Earth.
We don’t remember…
This man shines
Blood on his
from his side.
He calls to us,
“Do not be afraid
For I am with you
“My peace I give you.”
Can be yours
“And serve the world
We gape in
The sun begins to rise.
Our breath returns.
And we now
Our blood now shining;
While not bingeing on her new favourite writer’s works, Lisa Molina can be found working with students with special needs, writing, singing, playing the piano, or marveling at nature with her family. She has lived in Austin, Texas since earning her BFA at the University of Texas. Her poetry can be found in several literary journals, including The Ekphrastic Review, Beyond Words Magazine, Trouvaille Review, Ancient Paths Literary Journal, Down in the Dirt, and soon to be featured in Amethyst Review and Peeking Cat.
The disciples desperate. The redeemer dead. Israel lost.
They had been mistaken. How they’d fallen for his lie.
Jesus, the Messiah. They felt cheated and abandoned.
But he'd told them he would return. He'd told them that he was
the redeemer of souls not nations. On the road to Emmaus
they accepted, shaking, that he was back in flesh and blood.
He even asked Thomas to put his hand in his wounds.
Women had returned from Jesus’ tomb, found it empty.
The body gone. There were rumours.
"The disciples came while we were asleep and took the body."
His benefactor, Joseph of Arimathea, had been responsible for the burial;
some said he healed his badly broken body. There’d been a pulse.
Scholars don’t agree about the timing. “Expressions like ‘three days’
and ‘40 days’ are imprecise in the Bible,” Borg said. For the evangelists,
“three days” means “a short period of time.”
In this fourteenth century painting an emaciated Jesus
floats over an impossible coffin. The wounds clearly marked in red.
Red repeated as a visual reminder of spilled blood.
One depiction of a story told to us for over 2000 years.
Some try and count the days, years. Others will believe we’ll rise
again one day in all our misery, pain, flesh, and bone. Then there are
those who take the story and move it in their heart. We can be sure
of only one truth: let your old self die. The new you is waiting.
Rose Mary Boehm
A German-born UK national, Rose Mary Boehm lives in Lima, Peru. Author of two novels, one full-length poetry collection and two chapbooks, her work has been widely published in mostly US poetry journals. Her latest full-length poetry MS, The Rain Girl, has been published by Chaffinch Press in August 2020. Read more: https://www.rose-mary-boehm-poet.com/
The king is dead!
Long live the king!
The crown of thorns,
the cut to the heart
in the end
there was no end.
Lynn White lives in north Wales. Her work is influenced by issues of social justice and events, places and people she has known or imagined. She is especially interested in exploring the boundaries of dream, fantasy and reality. She was shortlisted in the Theatre Cloud 'War Poetry for Today' competition and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and a Rhysling Award. Her poetry has appeared in many publications including: Apogee, Firewords, Vagabond Press, Gyroscope Review and So It Goes Journal. Find Lynn at: https://lynnwhitepoetry.blogspot.com and https://www.facebook.com///www.facebook.com/Lynn-White-Poetry-1603675983213077/
After I found my mother Easter Sunday; after she had attempted suicide with sleeping pills; after I saw the humpbacked gibbous moon in the purple night sky; after cliff swallows built mud nests; pigtailed ten year old, war refugee from Budapest; after I prayed, fearing my mother would die; after I washed the concrete kitchen floor with water, painted cerulean the chairs; after the red brick house was separated by steel doors, foundation with a roofless hall, steep staircases; after yellow forsythia, pussy willows grew in a bomb crater: after everything, we stood there, you ask: Why do you write about swallows and mud nests?
Ilona Martonfi is a poet, editor, curator, advocate and activist. Author of four poetry books, the most recent collection is Salt Bride (Inanna, 2019). Forthcoming, The Tempest (Inanna, 2022). Writes in journals, anthologies, and seven chapbooks. Her poem “Dachau on a Rainy Day” was nominated for the 2018 Pushcart Prize. Founder and Curator of Visual Arts Centre Reading Series and Argo Bookshop Reading Series. QWF 2010 Community Award.
Resurrection for the Non-Believer
Religion best serves the believer
Education, memorize books of the bible
Sit up straight, listen to the sermon; bow your head
Understanding of God alludes conscious thought
Resurrection of Jesus defies death
Rebirth – born again of spirit, of body
Evangelists boast all-knowing paths to salvation
Celebration of Easter, Christ- not a chocolate bunny
The Easter bonnet I wore as a child lays crushed in a box
I resist blind faith; I’m from Missouri – show me
Overhead, helicopter egg-drop entices children
Non-believers resurrection; Mother Earth renews life
Julie A. Dickson
Julie A. Dickson is a semi-retired home health worker, assisting elderly with telling their stories and providing companionship. Her poetry reflects experience in aging, teen issues, bullying, nature and environment. Publications including Poetry Quarterly, The Avocet, Page & Spine and the Harvard Press have supported her work. Full length books are available on Amazon. Dickson spends her free time writing near water and reading aloud to her two rescued feral cats.
Hired to guard the tomb
of one who had lost the battle
to remain alive
soldiers fall, amazed, terrified,
when the granite slab
pressed down hard, sealed,
proves useless to contain him.
They saw him dead, broken,
helped push the slab
over Him, yet with the dawn
this Christ emerged.
Do not the dead stay dead?
Is not this the ultimate battle
that all will lose?
Yet this man rose above his grave,
On their vigil they witness
His rising, a feat beyond all understanding.
They find no comfort
in his raised hand of peace--
peace is not their ken,
death is their profession.
Amazed and terrified, they note
where blood had flowed
from flesh torn by thorn, nails, sword
a red, red robe now covered Him.
He is a new soldier in a war
they could never win--
He battled and defeated death itself.
His armor, a golden halo
His lance a golden light,
of everlasting life.
Joan Leotta plays with words on page and stage, and yes, she is a believer in the defeat of death by Christ on behalf of all of us. Her poems often feature hope, love, food, family , and strong women.
He Shattered the Box
My God doesn’t live in a box.
A grave could not hold Him.
My God can spill blood
and still live.
My God can take pain,
and mold it into beauty.
My God can step on water,
tread the snake head,
command the wind.
Even government officials
But you and I,
delighted in His coming….
and His overcoming.
My God shattered the box
of my past
into dust and tiny shards.
My God knew my name….
and still invited me to follow.
I don’t fall prostrate
on cold stone to kiss His grave.
He is not there.
Diana Newquist Parson
Diana Newquist Parson is a retired teacher, who enjoys sleeping late, blogging sporadically at https://glorybug.wordpress.com/, and traveling with her husband. She is mother of one, grandmother of three, and has no living pets. She sometimes walks around, talking to herself as she tries out the sound of words, and she has been published a few times. Diana doesn’t know how to swim, is a mediocre cook, and hates to dust. Otherwise she is fairly normal.
Jesus stands tall, halo shining, the holes from the nails the Romans pounded into his hands and feet, bleed onto the coffin he rises from. The Romans surrounding him, kneel, begging for forgiveness.
“Forgive me, for I know not what I do,” the soldier before him says.
Jesus gently touches the soldier’s head. “You are forgiven, my son. Go and spread the word that I have risen.”
The other soldiers stunned at the sight of this man who is supposed to be dead, stare at him astounded. Not knowing what to do, they follow their fellow Roman.
The red and white robes that Jesus died in, slightly slide down his shoulder as he steps from the coffin and slowly walks into the sunlight to greet his disciples waiting for his return.
Lisa M. Scuderi-Burkimsher
Lisa M. Scuderi-Burkimsher has been writing since 2010 and has had many micro-flash fiction stories published. In 2018 her book Shorts for the Short Story Enthusiasts, was published and The Importance of Being Short, in 2019. She currently resides on Long Island, New York with her husband Richard and dogs Lucy and Breanna.
It is a red sky, bloody red;
derived from it, the mantle
wraps the divine sense in scarlet,
underlined with palm green;
the stars are gold made –
their hue – quarried from his halo;
the Golgotha rocks are muted dark –
theirs is a ghostly deathly mark.
He cancelled it and has risen from it:
stepping over its obsolete lid,
bestowing blessing, cross in hand,
and taking that larger-than-life gait
that only a novice toddler does
and a god on the rise.
The artist, the master of Trebon,
must have yearned badly for benediction
as he placed the divine
on his own focal point,
unlike others where he stirs up,
dashes above, or stands jubilant
on the high grave plinth.
This rising, so down to earth,
let the painter’s pained heart
leap symmetrically upfront
into Jesus’ open wound
imparting, thus, the mortal love
on the proper perspective;
he – remaining on this pivotal spot
with his live reddening brush .
Ekaterina Dimitrova lives in London. She uses the publication name Ekaterina Dukas. A graduate in Philology and Philosophy, she is interested in the history of arts, ideas, culture and universalism, going back to Sanskrit sources. Considering poetry as man’s alter ego, she is an avid explorer of the metric word. Former educationist, she is now a volunteer at Victoria and Albert museum and at The British Museum for the interactive program Hands On. Her poems have recently appeared on The Ekphrastic Review and Poetrywivenhoe. Previously, her research on the medieval manuscript The Gospels of Tsar Ivan Alexander was published by The British Library and subsequently awarded by questia digital library a position 9 in one of their periodical selections 16 of the best publications on illuminated manuscripts.
Up in the blue a flock of rosy sheep
moves to and fro across celestial fields,
chased by the breezes, climbs atop the steep-
sided sky-dome. Today the welkin yields
such riches, such profound abundant peace –
nothing exists but goodness. Why recall
a yester day, on which the sun did cease,
the sacrificial hour, when over all
the world light turned to night? So, I forget
the crucifixion darkness and—a fool--
assert my claim to Heaven. I regret
not my transgressions, care not for the cool
once hot with His blood slopes of Calvary –
I am so lost, dear God, help me…help me.
Sasha A. Palmer
Sasha A. Palmer is a Russian-born award-winning poet and translator, who currently lives in Baltimore, MD. Sasha’s poetry, translations and essays appeared in Writer’s Digest, Slovo/Word, Cardinal Points and elsewhere. Sasha has a thing for the word “amateur” and tries to follow the motto she has created: Live for the Love of it. Visit Sasha at www.sashaapalmer.com
Anastasis, Longing For Parousia
I had been there by the cross
I felt His departure
After waiting a lifetime
I wept with the others.
After 3 days, 3 nights
I witnessed the stone roll
I experienced His resurrection.
I looked up to touch
Blood trickled from His wounds
I saw Him walk free.
I believed what I saw.
I listened as He spoke
I hung on every word
Watched as He forgave
I heard Him proffer eternal life.
I long for His parousia
And know the day will come.
Alun Robert is a prolific creator of lyrical free verse. He has achieved success in poetry competitions across the British Isles and North America. His work has been published by many literary magazines, anthologies and webzines in the UK, Ireland, Italy, India, South Africa, Kenya, USA and Canada. Since 2018, he has been part of The Ekphrastic Review community particularly enjoying the fortnightly challenges. He is a member of the Federation of Writers Scotland for whom he was a Featured Writer in 2019.
Trebon Altarpiece : Resurrection
The men are always sleeping.
In the garden even your beloved disciples
bewildered, fearful, frightened,
golden halos too heavy
for mere mortals whose
droop on to dusty cloaks and chest
After the worst
when it is finished
the thin, punctured body rises
too light to lift
the tomb's heavy rings and lid,
He stands there,
their weapons useless in the holy glow
as if Jesus were only
a whisper of an idea
a holy airborne murmur
towards something more.
The heavenly breeze
lifts his proud standard
where your conscience should follow
where He will soon hear
the chorus of angels,
Not sink down past the useless scabbards
of feckless guards,
lodge in the loamy leaden earth
beneath the gold raiment
of the stars above.
Lucie Payne is a retired librarian who has spent the past 25 years encouraging others to write and is now taking her own advice and writing as much as she can.
la modone noire: The Black Madonna
"She guides through darkness to transformation."
The Story of The Black Madonna
There would be no regrets: he had climbed
the 216 steps to see Our Lady, to thank
whatever act of love had kept his hands
supple in old age -- he thanked the spring
weather for the rain to green the fields
for sheep, for sheep fat from their bodies
to rub on his weathering fingers; to bless
the stars that came out like a floating halo
for Our Lady before he climbed into
his cot-like bed moved, in winter,
near the fire, the cold less when he pulled
a thick woolen blanket over a body
so changed from his youth he was surprised
how youth came back when he took up his tools
at dawn, and watched Our Lady grow from wood
surrounded by sheep's tallow candles. After his breath
put out the candle's fire he touched the frazzled
wicks and rubbed the soot against the robes
to see if wood grain would show through,
all this before her face -- the small, appropriate smile
and the infant -- no more than a knob of wood
until his nature was defines although it was clear
he was cherished tucked against his mother's body.
Who would think of them he wondered, if the straw mattess
was burned, the room emptied of life when he went back
to Toulouse? The wind whispered as he annointed her
with black residue gathered when the candles whispered,
sputtered and slept; and he was sure he heard her whisper
as he dreamed her story, dreaming her into a life where he,
mortal, had to leave her, eternal in art protected by a new moon,
an omen painted in gold and hidden in the folds of her robe.
We had driven through the Loire Valley and pulled off the road when we saw a
sign for an underground-level village inhabited by the Troglodytes. In light coming
from an opening in the "roof" of a cave-like setting, a photography of a woman with
white hair was illuminated, set up on an easel so tourists could see her as she'd been
in the past, with a spinning wheel, spinning yarn. From her image in the Loire, we went
on to Perigord, where we passed a fabricated figure held against a cliff with ropes -- a
perpetual rock climber -- before we reached an informal museum with a room full of
sculptures. One, a Lamb, held a golden cross in the crook of his front leg, raised to hold
a sign of Christ. I had seen the Lamb before, among the symbols of the Masonic Order;
and years later, his image had flown down from the ceiling in my bedroom, a waking
dream at Easter, 2003, two days before my second grandson (named, appropriately,
Gabriel) was born. I'd come to love the image of "a little lamb" in William Blake's "Songs
of Innocence" (1789) an expression of God's will and the beauty of God's creation as it
was expressed by a visionary poet whose writing marked the beginning of The Romantic
Movement, a literary movement that gathered the emotional and esthetic parts of art as
they were found in nature. In Perigord, we entered a "department" in France known
for truffles -- and truffle pigs. The pig, it should be noted, is a symbol of The Great Mother,
Queen of the cosmos, in Egyptian mythology In Perigord, truffle pigs can locate
succulent truffles, fruit bodies that are a delicacy to enhance the flavor of French
cuisine, scenting them as they grow, sometimes three feet underground. Above ground,
after driving through the same enthralling rock landscape we were to find in
Rocamadour, we came to a small museum in Perigord where the "little lamb" was
displayed, surrounded by other sculptures, as if he, and the other works of art, had
been stored there without identification for future reference: what artisan had made the
lamb so our family would find him, a work of art, not grazing fields in France? Sheep and
lambs are seasonal -- transhumant -- scampering up formidable cliffs to reach spring
pastures. In Rocamadour, a town built on limestone cliffs, the Black Madonna sits in a
hollow of natural stone (or at least she did when we found her), her dark face and robes
accentuated by the streaked whiteness of natural limestone, pale gray and cream, veins
in rock reminiscent of grains in wood; nature's mark as trees grow, bent by the winds of
The Mistral farther south, and stone from the water-bed of the Dordogne River, thrust up-
ward to create a landscape for a woman who was not historically validated. Was it she
who stepped out from a boat in southern France bringing the mystery of legend? And
with it, a sorrow she hadn't wanted, to hear Christ's words, meant to prepare her for life
without him, calling on her to be strong in her belief, guided by her intuition of the deeper
meaning for his words, do not cling to me.
P. S. I wish we could all be Children of the King --
Czeslaw Milosz, "Elegy For Y.Z."
I could tell you we found a 14th century workshop,
historically preserved as it was built and hidden
at the bottom of limestone cliffs -- rocks with pockets
of foliage -- craggy hillsides in a landscape similar
to the topography illuminated in medieval Persian
manuscripts where figures are pictured wearing the colors
of sun and sea as they climb upward in ancient illustrations;
yet how different they are from the wood sculptor,
his character more like someone in a child's story
with Geppetto creating Pinocchio in a world
where everyone lies to protect the family secrets,
how the carver's hand interprets the truth of pilgrims
as they climb 216 steps to reach The Black Madonna;
and how a stone sculptor's hand carves Chinamen
as they climb a blue mountain in art with the individual
characteristics of nature -- its perfection an imperfection --
success and hardship -- a journey patterned by shades
of blueness -- empyrean tones in Yeats' late-in-life poem,
How blue was the twilight
when a woman who would be called The Black Madonna,
her identity hidden in the iconography of gravestones --
encoded and enigmatic -- tried to gather her deep blue cloak
around her to cover any discrepancies in the personal
details of her journey; how she never met a craftsman
or a boatman who listened to her description
of an artist, The Trebon Master a man who painted
an altarpiece with Christ who came back from the dead
in Bohemia; and when he came to life in spirit, he traveled
with her, even as the essence of his renewal would come
for centuries -- unchanging and ever-changing in nature --
a guide through wars and oppression and the promise
of love stories ancient and modern, deconstructed
in abstract shapes in a world rebuilt with art and passion.
Laurie Newendorp's recent book, When Dreams Were Poems, 2020, explores the relationship of art and poetry as it is repeated in differing time periods. Persian poetry was first illustrated with illuminated pages in the 14th century, the same century when the Trebon Master was creating his altarpiece in Czechoslovakia. The Byzantine Black Madonna, brought to a monastery in Czestochowa in the 14th century, is Poland's holiest and most important relic. The French Black Madonnas, including the 12th century Dordogne Black Madonna in Rocamadour, are related to Mary Magdalene in southern France where clues of her migration after Christ's Crucifixion are encoded in burial iconography.
Heretic Hymn: Easter
The sky still storms long after
you first think of rising
at nine a.m. Night is still
the ex-lover who keeps
returning, leaving her black
dress in the doorway.
Wind blows the trashcans over,
street littered now with the bones
of dead prophets.
Your therapist calls by ten
because you haven’t and can’t
go there. ‘It’s not enough to rise.’
You nod. Pause. The voice on the other
end asks if you’re there and you
don’t quite know the answer.
Fact is you don’t want to talk
in front of witnesses – it’s all blood
and alcohol. Then again, Night knows.
You rise. Crack a window.
The earth is giving off messages:
dust kicked up by the rain, a skunk
that passed through in the dark,
rain’s splashes pushing up from the walk.
Now the other end of the line’s gone
silent. You tell him about Night;
they’re already acquainted.
Everything rises. Even the things
you hated just moments ago. Let them,
says a voice that sounds like yours,
lifting, and you – lighter now.
D.A. Gray is the author of Contested Terrain (FutureCycle Press, 2017) and Overwatch (Grey Sparrow Press, 2011). His poems have appeared in The Sewanee Review, Grey Sparrow Journal, Appalachian Review, The Ekphrastic Review, Comstock Review, Still: The Journal and Wrath-Bearing Tree among others. He holds Masters Degrees from The Sewanee School of Letters and Texas A&M-Central Texas. A veteran, Gray now teaches, writes, and lives in Central Texas.