At Nepaug Reservoir

by Matt Mosman

There’s a whole town at the bottom
of Nepaug Reservoir,
Entombed in gold-and-green glass
Without the decency of a shroud.
The prayerful steeple that threads its way
toward the surface
Reminds me that under the gold-in-June water
Was once a town intensely human;
Bell and barroom, courthouse and cathouse,
living as I am living.
I built a town one windy afternoon
at the Cape,
Filling tin soup cans and bean cans
Of various sizes with damp sand,
Molding some of it myself, shoring the place up
with walls and dikes.
I woke to find it leveled by the tide,
Seawater and baby crabs still filling the moat;
I was young and wept, but understood. It was nature
taking its own.
It couldn’t have been like that
for them at Nepaug.
They must have stood for days
Where I now stand; mourning for
Barn, church, school, home—built lifetimes ago
for lives to come.
Seething, they must have watched
As the work of their hands (better than sand castles)
Filled to its gills; to the window, to the roof,
then gone.
Or was it, to them, nature again,
taking its own?
As when an aging relative finally passes on, and there is
No malice—only comforting phrases spoken in serious tones
Among those who knew her well. In a week
she is forgotten.
Did they turn their backs with new vision,
Seeing their town as I see it now—
A handful of old buildings
rotting underwater?

Firestorms

by Wade Bentley

The fire storms came on Sewing Day, with all
The mumbling women scratching at their quilts
Or chasing children, caught between the frames.
The heavy-hatted, steel-toed men on stilts

Of stone above pubescent towns, had laughed
Their usual curses to the godless skies
And ate a wilting sandwich in the sun.
The priests had polished brass and heard the lies

Of hunching men and women all the long
And cloistered hours when God had left alone
The darkened shrines. And when the silver birds
That roared like dogs of Hell had lightly flown,

They left their bloody droppings in the clouds.
The winds were nothing to the fires, the hell-
Whipped flames had licked the bloodless bones
Among the crumpled homes, where none could tell

The smoking man which way to point his hand-
Held sight to find the shortest way to die.
And God forgive the woman for a fool
That turned her blackened back against the sky

To breast a child in hopes of coming cool.
And when the boys and girls the priests and dogs
Are circling ashes in the breeze, the Cloud
Moves off to sniff the rising green of trees

And kiss the cheeks of children in the crowd.

Wade Bentley graduated from BYU in English this August and is now a graduate student in
English.

Summer 1982

Table of Contents

Poetry
Firestorms by Wade Bentley
Attic Lights by Wade Bentley
Other Things by Wade Bentley
Chickens at the Fair by Michael Mack
Pounder’s Beach by Diane Moore
Starless Night by Ann Best
World War I: Past Poets by Michael Rutter

Fiction & Plays
Digger: Scene Seven by Robert Lauer
Playing the Game: Scene Five by Eric Samuelsen
Cathedral in the Desert by Wayne Sandholtz
Out of the Blue by Warren Icke

Nonfiction
Gadamer’s Theory of Openness: “Toward Hermaneutic Education” by Stacy Burton
Thankful Children by Cindy Hallen
The Payment by Billy Plunkett
Conditions in General by Pauline Mor
Harvest of the Pure Image by John Snyder

Illustrations

The Payment by Doug Himes
Out of the Blue by Alma Lee

Fall 1997

Poetry
Bonnie, the Foreman, Says What She’s Been Thinking by Gina Clark
Flying by Map by Shannon Castleton
Not Sinning as Much as People Needed Me to by Eric Freeze
Bathsheba’s Lament by Stephan Craig
Landscaping by Eric Freeze
The Lighthouse off Tillamook Head by Nathan Furr
Pt. Barrow, Alaska by Krista Halverson
Taking Grandmother to the Ladies’ Room by Gina Clark
Walking Home, Passing Strangers in Their House by Nathan Furr
Monday: Moon Poem by Gina Clark
Man Calls His Doctor to Discuss the Failing Economy by Krista Halverson
My Father, in White Hospital Sheets by Autumn Pettit
Appomatox Battleground Tour by Whitney Fox
Mishaps: A Catalog by Todd Samuelson

Fiction
Valerian Sleep by Shauna Marie Barnes
Defying the Spin of the Wheel by Jonathan Hart
Wile's Returns by Jacob Flint
Lightning Striking by Glenda Day
Stanley, the Tragic Visionary by Whitney Fox
Street Story by Krista Halverson
Wreck by Jason Lindquist

Nonfiction
On Dance by Jennifer Blight
Omaha’s Stage by Kim Howey