Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Christine Skarbek: A journey into self or what Auschwitz can do to the soul

I saw the cell where the Jesuit priest Maximilian Kolbe starved to near death as he attended to nine others, all Jews. He was later executed. The space isn’t bigger than my walk-in closet.

February 10, 2021 · 4 Comments

Paul Christensen: Snow

Ghosts wear snow in the early morning hours and walk around like debutants at a ball. The wind lifts the hems of their long dresses and there is nothing beneath but a few dog tracks. How lonely it must be to be dead.

February 7, 2021 · 2 Comments

Ursula K. Le Guin: About Anger

Anger points powerfully to the denial of rights, but the exercise of rights can’t live and thrive on anger. It lives and thrives on the dogged pursuit of justice.

January 30, 2021 · 3 Comments

Cecily Sailer & Jim Tuttle: A Tale of Two Karens

They are political polar opposites, but through Braver Angels, they’re forging a path toward productive conversations, and even friendship.

January 26, 2021 · 3 Comments

Paul Christensen: The Bluest Sky

He knew the rotting nature of poverty and the dull, disintegrating poison of lost hope. He had some of the dark anger of Walt Whitman, who could charm a winter tree back into bloom with his dreams and turn on his heels and find despair tearing at the entrails of the ordinary man.

January 21, 2021 · 3 Comments

Paul Christensen: The Muse of Memory

Nothing stirs but the wind that rattles rain gutters and pulls on the hinges of blistered shutters. A pair of boots has been left out on a patio of gray flagstones, the mud still clinging to their heels like forgotten promises.

January 3, 2021 · 5 Comments

Beth Peyton: Writing Prompt # 3 | Rhododendrons and Kangaroos

Pick up three objects from a shelf, or a mantel, or your kitchen counter and describe them in detail. Why did you choose them? What stories do they contain?

January 2, 2021 · 3 Comments

Valerie Bacharach: Gratitude Journal

I was sure that I had failed my mother, unable to keep her in her home, as I had once promised.

December 29, 2020 · 6 Comments

Gerry LaFemina: Frisbee

Remember how effortlessly those guys caught it behind their backs or else by tapping it first from underneath so it paused in place and spun like a galaxy.

December 29, 2020 · 2 Comments

Most Popular Vox Populi Posts of 2020

Happy browsing!

December 26, 2020 · 6 Comments

Charles Davidson: Bannocks (Loaves) of Bread

Fifty-five years ago, I spent a memorable week on the tiny island of Iona off the west coast of Scotland, the site to which St. Columba came from Ireland in A.D. 563, to inaugurate the Christian mission to northern Britain.

December 25, 2020 · 10 Comments

Linda Parsons: Visitations

Everything seems to glow richer before first frost, a last hurrah before the ghostly breath passes over.

December 22, 2020 · 11 Comments

Rebecca Gordon: It’s Almost Twenty Years Since 9/11

Perhaps the horrors of 2020—the fires and hurricanes, Trump’s vicious attacks on democracy, the death, sickness, and economic dislocation caused by Covid-19—can force a real conversation about national security in 2021. Maybe this time we can finally ask whether trying to prop up a dying empire actually makes us—or indeed the world—any safer.

December 18, 2020 · 1 Comment

Olivia Pace: Policing keeps us safe? It’s a myth. Here’s why.

When you peel back the facade, police and military perpetuate violence on a personal and professional level.

December 17, 2020 · 1 Comment

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