August 8, 2016 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Mike Maguire



Jill Crainshaw



Where the Sea Kisses the Sun



The politicians try to bottle what they’re selling,

put their label on it—Vintage 2016—a winning year,

liquid assets at market value prices.

But life’s most precious nectar won’t be bottled.

Its wild flow—aged, spirits distilled–

is where corked up messages

rise and fall on storm-surge waves,

seeking what they all promise—freedom.

Or is it truth?


Jim Johnson said it best

way back in election year 2000

while we picked green beans in his garden.

I strained to hear his wisdom

through the presumptive din in my ears.

He pointed heavenward:

“Pastor, if I could paint up there

all the grace I’ve known in my life,

I would need a bigger sky.”


I’m rowing out from the harbor now,

my own corked up bottle in the cargo hold.

While politicians pander on the shoreline,

I want to liberate its message

back into the sweet essence

of undomesticated waters

where the lip of the sea kisses the rising sun.









Push the Stop Button



Katelyn loves to dance.

Twice around the sun and

she is discovering

music and her body

and how the two are meant to be together.

We rode a Ferris wheel, Katelyn and I,

noses pressed to the window

of our swaying gondola.

“Three times around,”

says the red-garbed amusement attendant,

“unless you need to stop.

Push this button if you do.”

I study the stop button. Katelyn studies the view.

We sashay into the celestial ballroom

where Independence Day fireworks

twirl and turn.

Cars shrink.

Blue umbrella tops hide diners

as they eat “the world’s best burger.”

The second time around,

Katelyn points, wiggles, laughs.

She doesn’t know and I don’t either

that in three more rotations of the earth

a truck will careen through city crowds

in a place across the ocean just below us,

music decanting out of broken bodies

onto the street.

We crest the top and begin our descent.

I eye the stop button.

Katelyn loves to dance.










Jill Crainshaw

Jill Crainshaw is a professor at Wake Forest University School of Divinity and a Presbyterian minister (PCUSA). Her work has appeared in The New Verse News, Star 82 Reveiw, and Panoplyzine. She is frequent contributor to the Patheos blog, Unfundamentalist Christians. She blogs at drdeacondog.wordpress.com.


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