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The Metropolitan of Wallace Street by Arthur Turfa

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The Metropolitan of Wallace Street

by

Arthur Turfa

 A few Baltic households remained,

Interspersed throughout the barrio:

Bodegas and the Roberto Clemente Center

Between churches built by Russians,

Swedes, and Lithuanians two generations ago.

 

Re-gentrification rolled slowly from the west

Around the Art Museum, heading

Block by block toward North Broad,

Adding another ingredient to the mix.

 

In the 1600 block of Wallace Street

Gold-blazoned letters and Slavic cross

Announced the Holy Resurrection Cathedral

Inside the red-brick row house next to the

Vacant lot and music-blaring bodega.

 

From what once was a living room

The Divine Liturgy was served weekly to

Family and anyone who wandered in.

Metropolitan Trevor, Archbishop of Wallace Street

And renegade non-canonical Orthodox

Held forth with bargain-basement vestments,

A button-festooned miter and minimalistic icons

 

Late evening, humid or frigid, he walked

The nearby streets, consoling the

Derelict and drugged,

Pressing five dollar bills into hands,

Offering brief words of consolation,

A shooting star over a desperate earth.

 

During daylight standing with

Those who tried to temper abuse and

Ravages of urban living and

Herding the far-flung cats of

His nebulous jurisdiction.

 

On my last visit, again pleading with me to

Follow his course in any way I chose,

Standing with him at the altar for

The first and last time

Presiding over a dwindling flock on

A sweltering August morning.

 

When newsletters and notes no longer to

The Land of Enchantment came

I called to learn why, never expecting to

Hear how cancer short-circuited

Career and family to oblivion.

Halfway-reconciled to all he loved,

And to the God whose light nonetheless

Shone through the fully-human

Yet touched by the divine,

Metropolitan of Wallace Street

Asked for a cigar and soon

Passed from one life to the next.

 

Bio: Arthur Turfa lives in the South Carolina Midlands, but his poetry contains influences of his native Pennsylvania, California, Germany (where he has also lived), as well as other places. His first book of poetry. “Times and Places, Reflected”, will be released in the Spring of 2015 by eLectio Publishing.   Published in theMunyori Literary Journal and South Carolina English Teacher, he also maintains a personal blog, Some Poetry at aturfa.blogspot.com, and is an Owner at Words on Fire on Google+

Poetic Statement: Essentially I think Wordsworth had it right, although I do not always find long-lasting tranquility. Something or someone grabs a hold of me, and lingers until I recapture the moment, the glimpse, or the time from my life. My poetry attempts to include the reader into what I experienced, rather than telling the reader all about it or me. At times I strive for a sense of closure, at others I want to preserve something (more as a Symbolist than an Imagist). Whom do I read; Eliot, Auden, Rilke (in the original), Frost, Updike, Shakespeare, Bukowski, and others.Language that sings is more important that language that rhymes.

Take It All Away

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Take It All Away

by

Rebecca Corshia

There you give me freedom but I don’t need it anymore,
Fake. You are illusionary,
Transcendence into a block of coal,
Cloaks black as a kettle burnt from the evening
Mocking strive for design, not neglect.
Intellect calls for us a great deal of patience.

Away to take the train there lays a great bank of gravel
Trying to crawl away the bird lies dead and is buried
By its lover.
The strength of the people is amiss and there is not one to care
Under-covering the blank dilemmas is a horrible task.
Great is the one who calls for us to be better
Then we shrink and hover and stretch
Until there is a great young tent concealing
Our insecurities and strengths.
The flounder is jealous.

I call upon the ancient powers to create within me a pure heart.
A sin upon a sin, how can one be alive, free, and naked?
Naked, we crawl as a great whale laughs in our faces,
Stress, coward, real, raw, sex, creation is nothing.
There is a law that condemns those who feel
The call and play dead.

Bio:
My name is Becky Corshia. I am entering my junior year at Gordon College Wenham, MA studying Psychology. I was part of a research study on power posing that won the Undergraduate Research Symposium in the Social Sciences Category. My interests lie within the fields of clinical psychology and counseling. I involve myself in researching human behavior, teaching roles, educational reform, cross-cultural situations, and promoting awareness about mental health issues. I write stream-of-conscious poetry and prose to process my own thoughts and emotions.