S  Stephanie



"Cyclops" sculpture and photo by James Chase






Today, who will we be?  Those flailing

miniscule and foolish sailors caught

in winds and wars of the indifferent gods?

Or will we be the arrogant

Cyclops who seek no counsel

dishing out instead our own rough justice

to all those around us?  You see

how I came to this question don’t you?


I mean, those vans and busses

those shacks and skyscrapers alike, all gone under, splintered

and spread like so many broken toys

across a play-room floor—

and all this tantrum by just one

brown wave the size of Poseidon’s leg.

The tiny people calling and running

through those streets, their futures

and pasts kicked out of bounds

as swiftly and sure as a soccer ball.


And I mean, here, across the sea

the TV.  Its steady stream of song

for whitening our teeth, stockpiling

our money and taking our drugs

lulling us as sweetly as any lotus flower.



Yet those small glimpses we get

behind the scenes— those giants

magnificent on their mountains

magnificent in their independence

dishing out their democracy here

declaring their tough love of women there

delivering those passionate soliloquies

about the unborn and freedom

for all.  We see their one hollow

red eye reflecting, but reflecting

what?  Could it be our own desire

to bash in a few brains, eat a few sheep

and sailors of our own?  Look—

it seemed such a simple question—

today, who will we be?


        S Stephanie   (after Cyclops – sculpture by James Chase)

Copyright © 2011 S  Stephanie


  S Stephanie's poetry and book reviews have appeared in literary magazines such as Third Coast, Birmingham Poetry Review, Café Review, Literary Laundry, Rattle, The Southern Review and The Sun. She has two chapbooks: Throat was published in 2001 by Igneus Press and What the News Seemed To Say by 2009 by Pudding House. She holds an MFA in Writing from Vermont College. She co-edited the literary magazine, Crying Sky: Poetry & Conversation with her husband W.E. Butts 2005-2007. She teaches at the NH Institute of Art in Manchester, NH.  
James Chase is a 25 year old working artist from Manchester, NH. His work is a combination of digital and traditional drawings, photos, found object assemblages and sculpture. He is a graduate of The NH Institute of Art. His work can be viewed at www.neverfading.com.