Category Archives: The Arts

Multicultural Art and Poetry

FIRST FLIGHT – by Helga Kidder

. . . and in its shadow
we know one another

~ W. S. Merwin “The Rock”

Married one week, mid-air between
continents, hunger for anything new
quivered inside me like a leaf, unfurling.

The sky February blue.
Behind me a Black Forest village,
mother, and nosy neighbors.
In front of me a town in Tennessee
full of strangers speaking
in a strange language.
Continue reading FIRST FLIGHT – by Helga Kidder

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Book Review: When Hate Groups March Down Main Street – By David B. Grinberg

Hate groupsFBI Director Christopher Wray recently told Congress the following about hate groups: “A majority of the racially motivated violent extremist domestic terrorism is at the hands of white supremacists.”

Hate crimes increased by nearly 20% in 2017, according to the latest FBI data. The actual numbers are likely larger because many hate crimes go unreported or are misclassified for various reasons.

Another study on hate crimes among 30 big cities nationwide, by The Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, states the following: “Hate crimes rose 9 percent in major U.S. cities in 2018, for a fifth consecutive increase, to decade highs, as cities with increases outnumbered those with declines two to one. In contrast, crime overall in major cities has declined in both of the last two years.”

Continue reading Book Review: When Hate Groups March Down Main Street – By David B. Grinberg

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My Daughter’s Black Eye – by Marsha Mathews

she will not look at me
hurries through the living room
hand covering her face.

I go to her
see it

the eye
raw bruise

pink iris
distorted pupil

puffed almost shut
opening the truth

of her relationship
with her boyfriend.

who did this?

she shakes her head
shame spills

my fault

# # #

Poetry Editor’s Note: October is nationally recognized as Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Image credit: Photography by the staff of Black Celebrity Giving

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Outcry – by Marsha Mathews

The church with dirty elbows,
whitewashed knees
finally shuts its doors,
sucks in its steeple.
We watch it shrivel.
Bells sway in paroxysms,
chime mute blows.

The sanctuary stiffens.
Pews turn blue.
The altar moans.
No one’s left
to care
if the emeralds and purples
of the stained-glass Christ
weep shards of blood.

 

Image credit: Niki Feijen photograph of an abandoned church in the Netherlands

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Soldier’s Last Letter – by Wesley Sims

Soldier’s Last Letter - by Wesley SimsNearly unreadable now, paper wrinkled
as her hands, veins of ink blurred by tears.
But she had the words imprinted in her
mind to recall when memories surged.

She need not know that a fellow soldier
likely persuaded him, loaned him paper
to write an apology of sorts—I wish
I’d not enlisted,

yet she perceived his special gift,
a declaration of affection, the only way
he could voice it, I miss you all,
tell the children hello.

He mentioned shrapnel in his shoulder,
minor wound he claimed. She clutched
the letter to her heart, transmitted warmth
of her body, like a bird hovering her eggs,

as though, like a Holy Eucharist,
its ink might turn to blood, transform
the paper to pulsing tissue,
grow lungs and start to breathe,

become a living presence nurtured,
resting safe against her breast.

 

Image: A Letter from Pvt. Charles H. Austin, Civil War soldier

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Assembling our Time Capsule for Aliens – by Martin Kimeldorf

What would it mean to unlock the mysteries of both the visible and invisible dark night skies? In Matthew Bothwell’s article Monsters in the Dark, the Cambridge astronomer eloquently and patiently explains the invisible monster galaxies uncovered by the Hubble Space Craft’s long-exposure images. Relying on infrared light exposures, the new imagery penetrates the cosmic dust barriers to reveal in his words: a “vibrant cosmic powerhouses in the distant Universe” engaged in active star-making.

Bothwell admits that we don’t know why these massive galaxies even exist. The spiritual-cosmological questions that follow could sound like these: “What forces bring them into existence?” “Why do they die?” and most profoundly, “Why, or what purpose do they serve?” This busy star-nursery also fosters questions about our own existence back here on Earth and to what degree are we alone in the universe.

Continue reading Assembling our Time Capsule for Aliens – by Martin Kimeldorf

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