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

 

Maths

by Chloë James

I pad through bars
of yellow light and dark,
softly up and up
the iron escape,
four floors to a lead-
lined window in heavy door
where I count three brass numbers
that equal your space,
a spatial equation without variables
over the finger-smudged knob.
A slide of light clicks under the frame:
you’re home.

 

Chloe James earned her BA in English at BYU in April 2005. She
presented her original poetry portfolio at the National Undergraduate
Literature Conference (WSU, 2005) and was one of three students
chosen to present individual creative work for the English Department
Reading Series (BYU, 2004). Chloe enjoys photography, oil painting,
and the solitary drive to Southern Utah. This is her first appearance
in Inscape.

Spam Haiku

by Megan Graves

You wink one eye at
me and Spam falls from my spoon,
splatting on my plate.

 

Megan Graves is an English major at BYU who enjoys long walks
on the beach and potted meat products.

 

Cool Drink in a Hot Tub

by Aaron Robert Allen

Jazz-man with the
Crazy hands,
Play that trumpet loud.
Jazz-man with the
Crazy hands,
Bigtwentiessmile
Grinnin’allthewhile,
Play that trumpet loud.
Jazz-man with the
Crazy hands
Play that trumpet loud!
So loud,
Aintnochoicebut
Beingglad.

Piano-man with the
Slender hands,
Stroke that baby smooth.
Piano-man with the
Slender hands,
Fingerslikefleas
Jumpin’ivorykeys,
Stroke that baby smooth.
Piano-man with the
Slender hands,
Stroke that baby smooth!
So smooth,
Tipyouadolla’whenI
Findtha’groove.

Bass-man with the
Chubby hands,
Pluck that momma deep.
Bass-man with the
Chubby hands,
Turnedupcollar
Andatipdownhat,
Pluck that momma deep.
Bass-man with the
Chubby hands
Pluck that momma deep!
So deep,
Thebeatleavesamarkon
Thesolesofmyfeet.

 

Aaron Robert Allen is currently wandering the country in a state of
self-indulgent bliss. He would like to thank Charleton Heston and his
parents for giving him a literary name. His future endeavors include writing the great American novel, short story, and a poetry collection – and parting the Red Sea.

Eleven Years Ago September

by Ashley Christensen

Age ten, in our front yard after the storm,
tree roots grasped the cotton sky.
Brother stood at the edge of the swollen hole,
213 trees fell in our city that day,
we touched the defeated friend
lying useless in wet grass.
Small sister watched through the screen door.
Mother was working,
father still working
straight through the storm.
As dust settled into the corners of our earth,
three kids made dinner
and swept the remnants from the porch.

Two weeks later
mother brought home a sister
in daffodil.
We went on.
The four of us.
Minus the tree.

 

Ashley Christensen writes poetry and likes trees. Sometimes she likes to write poetry in trees.

Tell Me about India

by Annette C. Boehm

fair and dirty as birds
poured out by their monsoon
& out of the stairs came
a man with four legs:
half a man short of two
or now less than a man
as he stumbled toward
to make us rent a room
we tiptoedly fled
the street of sleep
                               -ing bodies

Annette C. Boehm studies creative writing and psychology at BYU.
Her poems and short fiction have appeared in Germany, England, and
the U.S. She recently adopted an adorable kitten.