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Wish you were here...

Postcard from Rome A white pigeon flew from pillar to pillar as I, uncertain tourist, stepped inside the stone cathedral's cool darkness to hide away awhile. The stagnant air was stiller than the Virgin's breath over her lifeless son, his broken-marble body lying in her lap. Unable to stand, I took off my knapsack with all I owned and knelt. The Roman sun shot a shaft through George's stained-glass shield, dust swarming in the light, and like a vision I saw, crowded in an open coliseum, thousands screaming across a playing field, their cheers and chants rising in division - then I awoke in this vaulted mausoleum.

Stuart Coleman Summer camp-out The campfire sparkles, crackles, in the night And throws erratic shadows on the grass. We built it while the day still had some light And sat around it watching daylight pass. We had a snack of hot dogs (Just one more), And then made popcorn over glowing coals, And watched the big red sun from the lake's shore Sink to its fiery bed beyond the knolls. The wood smoke smell permeates our senses, Our faces fire flushed, shoulders damp with dew. Out here where there are not any fences, A constant stream of wildlife passes through. A camping weekend is a great release Returning to your soul a sense of peace.

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Eleanor Sue Culp Maine: the real scene On the Commons in Castine a monument leans its shadow dark with war dead names on grass perfect as children's unhurried expectant dreams of how the world is: summer will never pass to limbs going bare before bearing, inevitably, snow. In another direction grass runs to the home tourists eye: Robert Lowell's. They gawk and go to lunch on a sunlit deck where they may roam, a moment, corners of his life, or what they think was his life: chronicled slips into madness and marriages, the circle of untidiness always around him, drink - those false dramas. I say he sailed in carriages golden, angel-borne, beyond screaming black birds, beyond death and all dyings. I read that in graven words.

Geraldine C. Little

Scanners of Rapa Nui Remote out there in mid-Pacific seas Sits Easter Island. Archaeologists Historians and social scientists Have yet to plumb its deeper mysteries. Out there with serio-comic dignity Stone figures tilt, gazing with calm sight At jetliners in their stratospheric flight Or at clumps of tropic shrubbery.

Ever they stare at horizon and sky And ever they observe the combers pound The beach incessantly with hissing spray, And ever near them comes the ghostly cry Of phantom sculptors squatting on the ground Scanning heaven, seeing as much as they.

E.O. Staley

Margin There is a pathway at the edge of town that follows an ancient ridge above the sea; myrtles and junipers hold tenaciously this margin of the world; and farther down, after the tide rolls out, meadows of brown rockweed, small greens of finer filigree, and creatures sharing a watery coterie wait the incoming tide to claim its own.

And we who walk this path, though it be narrow, savor the best of ocean, earth, and sky - leaving the town for others to explore. Here is the best: that rapturous brave song sparrow above the sea gulls' pale insistent cry, the clean aroma of the living shore.

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Donald Bailey

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