Selected Photos, Art, Poetry, and Special Category: The Harvest

by Mary Lynn Bahr


You met the contest winners on pages 8 and 9. Here are some of the fruits of their creative efforts. Which will prove to be the apple of your eye? We suggest you sample all of them. They’re good for you.

The Comforter

They say the fire falls swiftly,
Breaking adamant hearts, neatly
Dividing joints and marrow
For sterile reassembly.
Pure, molten personality
Will cool into new symmetry
As crimson years bleach into snow
And melt out of memory.
I kneel and cringe, expecting
Ecstasy and quickening,
Ambush by wrestling angels,
Annunciation that compels
Belief. Tonight only snow
Falls, half an inch, just enough.

When I Swam for the Dolphins

My mom could sleep all night
without waking
except when my ear
ached hard and hurt so
that I became a nightmare
to my brothers,
with a water-logged ear.
She stood up and made medicine,
while I lay down,
my head aching side up.
Bending she poured liquid drops
into my eardrum.
I waited for a pop
and the wet to dry
and it was over.
What she whispered was softer
than eardrops and better than a dream.

[photo] Photograph by Chad Lewis Mosher

[illustration] Art by Clayton F. Merrell

[illustration] Art by Marcia Williams

Daydreams

Strange,
I was walking home
from school, but now
I’m walking onto
an empty stage
where houselights dim
and a spotlight
shines down on me?
Or someone who resembles
me, thinner somehow and
more confident than I—
A dancer in satin white,
her sinewy silhouette
posed in perfect elegance.
The music starts,
slowly gathering strength,
and she leaps and pirouettes
into space and time.
Homeward bound,
I climb the stairs
to the porch
but just before entering,
I pause to address
the applauding audience
and take a bow.

advice on pride

yes, get rid of it!
but please,
don’t swallow your pride—
it will give you a terrible
stomachache.

[illustration] Art by Stephanie Morgan

When She Sleeps

She sits in her chair by the window.
The shallow napping of the elderly.
Her mouth hangs open,
and a faint snore rises from her.
Her grey hair is matted.
A smudge of dust is streaked over her cheek
from cleaning the cellar earlier that morning.
I go to the bathroom and find a small brush by the washbasin.
I try to step lightly
so the floorboards don’t creak,
I go back.
A red and green afghan is draped over her feet.
I pull it up to her shoulders,
and step behind her.
I kiss her on top of the grey mess,
and lightly brush out the snarls.

uncertain

—everything is so uncertain, he said.
—how can you be so sure, she replied.

[photo] Photograph by Eric Swenson

Electricity

Silence burns between us,
A charged underground cable
That stings when I approach it
And warns me from the shock
Of connection—
—In connection
There is current to illumine
And destroy. I retreat, afraid
The force of fusion
Will also split
My atom self.

[photo] Photograph by JoyAnne M. Moses

[illustration] Art by Hinarera Hunt

Interior Designing

As you
Scribble
Through your pencil-sketch life
Why won’t you
Stop
And view
Your Father’s painting?

[photos] Photography by Nicholas Dunlop

[illustration] Art by Lana Grover

[illustration] Art by Casey Alexander

[photo] Photograph by Aaron David Sweet

Falling Stars

I sat on the porch,
chin in my hands,
my eyes straining
at the starlit heavens.
“What are you up to princess?”
I heard my father say.
He ruffled the hair
of my forehead.
“I’m watching for a falling star,”
came the answer in a yawn.
Though late, he stayed to watch,
His arm around my shoulders.
Soon we spotted,
in a breathless moment,
the dazzle of tumbling light
in the blue-black sky.
“That star really fell
a long, long time ago;
More years than you can count,
said Dad, now astronomer.
“And you’ve just seen it
this very night.”
He smiled softly
And put me in to bed.
I marveled at the thought,
all the distance,
light-years of space,
that stretched around me.
Sometimes, even now,
I feel that small
And cry out impatiently
at the darkness,
“Where is the light,
the tumbling dazzle
that follows the faithful,
the acts of goodness?”
And my Father answers softly,
“Just pause, little one.
Feel the distance
that stretches through eternity.”

Simile

Sludge—
soiled snow
from the trampling
of feet
and days gone
by without sun.
Will fresh snow
fall gleaming white?
I have seen
that it is so—
Repentance is like snow.

[photo] Photograph by Melissa Marshall

[illustration] Art by Chantel Nuttall

[photo] Photograph by Morgan Murdock

[illustration] Art by Kristie Gibson

[photo] Photograph by Maren E. Younce

Bread and Fish

When we arrive at Zwingli Street
Number Thirty Four
at two-thirty P.M., Frau Lachman
watches us through her window,
one hand on the red curtains,
the other on a white flower
pot rim. She is curious, old,
cooking sauerkraut on the stove,
boiled potatoes skinned, steaming
on a plate, the smell flows
out all three windows
of her second story apartment.
She smiles when we come,
we represent the God
she has never heard about,
to bring back life in her,
to save her, to give bread and fish,
to look out the window by her side.

Willing Spirit

Last night I felt as though with fingertips
I might dispel the thick and pressing black,
Or gently move the veil of heaven back
With stirring sighs through slightly parted lips.
Did wonder keep me still? No, only fear.
I left suspenseful sweetly singing air,
But knew that someone stood and watched me there—
And if I called his name, he would appear.
This moment in the balance could not keep.
I, eager for the faith to carry on,
In drowsy supplication prayed—a yawn.
So, with this plea, I softly fell asleep.

the trap

ivory teeth
gleam
ebony claws
shine
it’s waiting
to catch me,
to trap me,
in its
merciless
clutches—
mouth open,
grinning—
help me!
—i don’t want to
practice the
piano

[illustration] Art by Stuart Grigg

David Diminished

lost light
that flickered
so brilliantly
just hours ago—
the embers gone
tame;
the ashes are
the residue of
that once
kindled flame
no generating heat,
no comfort
from the call
just ashes,
ashes,
even the mighty
can fall.

Gennesaret

They come to fish here every year
In mid-November when the lake
Savors the westing sun.
The beach has learned to wait for them
At sunset when the palm leaves sharpen
Stark against the molten sky.
Every year the same men come,
Three men who walk with covered heads
Together on the shore
And cast their nets into the sun,
While gilded waves break gold
Against their feet.

[photo] Photograph by Nancy Olsen

[photo] by Photograph by Cherilyn Ann Walley

[illustration] Art by Brett Rawlins

Special Category

Awards in the special category are given for creative projects not covered by the other contest categories. David McPhie did original compositions and arrangements of songs using a Roland D-10 keyboard and a sequencer program for a Commodore 64. Stuart Grigg created some computer-manipulated photography. Nathan J. McArthur composed an instrumental piece of music. Randy Smith wrote two computer games. Prince Bakare Abiodun R. wrote a full-length play.