From the Editor
From the first lines to the last, this edition of Saint Katherine Review is about living in the tension between the already and the not yet, the promise and the fulfillment, between the call and the response. Mischa Willet in our opening poem, Another Advent, calls for ‘the Primavera, evergreen hope’ to ‘get here,’ to ‘come crack the frozen / branch-ends.’ And our last poem in this volume, ‘Prayer’ by CK Dawson, returns to that call: ‘come out from those hidden places. / It is your world and you know them best. / I’ll reach for you, and reach for you again / through the unlit light, / through the lighted night.’ In between, our poets and authors explore the extraordinary saints, missionaries, parents, and partners that share and shine in the tension of a revealed light and a still present darkness.
We are honoured, as well, to feature the poems here of Yuan Changming, who points us to the need to be present and our selves in the already and not yet of our life. We are also introduced to the lives and hearts of extraordinary women in this volume: Therese of Lisieux, Fay Edgerton, Gladys Alward, and a woman of remarkable strength in the magical-realist short fiction of Laura Arciniega, among others. These women and the living natural world evoked throughout this volume show us that even if the darkness, the injustice, the suffering, and the challenges of this world are still everywhere with us, the light and the beauty in life are also everywhere present and filling all things.
We learn that the tension between these two realities is where we belong, and that we all embody the earthly and the heavenly. Indeed, as Travis Scholl writes in What Time the Star, we are only the growing wheat, ‘looming a future / as bread, a new body, / this doughy life / sustaining life.’ We are not yet the bread, but we are the grains growing in promise of it.
ANDREW LAURENCE Graney
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The Scent of Heather
written by Paul Ilechko
My brother appeared at my door one night.
He’d been dead for many years. I’ve come to apologize,
he said, for dying too soon.
He had brought the odor of heather with him,
as if he had been spending time on the moors.
It permeated my kitchen with a subtle perfume.
I feel much better now, he said.
He took his flesh in both hands, pulling it open.
Look, he said, new liver, new kidneys, same old heart.
He sat down. How about a cup of tea?
After he was gone, I was unsure if it had all been a dream,
though the scent of heather still lingered.
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