Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Paul Christensen: The Waiting Game

I sometimes think of myself as Jody Tiflin, the boy from John Steinbeck’s story who longed to have his mare Nellie deliver a foal, the red pony, only to discover … Continue reading

April 14, 2019 · 1 Comment

Paul Christensen: The Vernal Equinox

I found three tiny crocus sprouts in the garden today. They were as innocent as a boy’s first pubic hair, tentative and shy, but determined to flow with time toward … Continue reading

March 24, 2019 · Leave a comment

Paul Christensen: January’s Two Faces

Nothing can make the soul shiver more than to look upon those tree-covered slopes with their icy diamonds shimmering on their skin. They are there to remind you that your mortality means nothing to them. They stand for the severity of time, the rules of the universe that have nothing to do with our petty lives.

January 13, 2019 · 1 Comment

Paul Christensen: The Dregs of October

I’m staring out of a large window onto a stone wall where an ancient grape vine hangs heavy with bunches of blue grapes. There’s no one to cut down these … Continue reading

October 28, 2018 · Leave a comment

Paul Christensen: After the Equinox

It’s fall here in southern France. The tourists have thinned out to a trickle of rubbernecks aiming their smart phones at almost anything green or shaggy with vines. They hardly … Continue reading

October 7, 2018 · Leave a comment

Paul Christensen: Wearing my corrective lenses

. Sometimes I find myself wandering out of a book into a rambling daydream, one that has neither a beginning nor an end, just a labyrinth of choices and minor … Continue reading

September 9, 2018 · Leave a comment

Paul Christensen: Feast Days

In Provence, we’ve just passed through August 15, one of the summer’s biggest festival days, the Assumption of Mary, the day in which Mary ascends into heaven escorted by a … Continue reading

August 22, 2018 · Leave a comment

Paul Christensen: Europe’s Heat Wave

Here’s what you give up in a heat wave here in southern France. You don’t leave the house much, since the paved streets can reach well above one hundred degrees … Continue reading

August 12, 2018 · Leave a comment

Paul Christensen: The Cedar Forest

There’s a cedar forest near where I live in the south of France, which sprawls across the slopes of a mountain otherwise covered in what the French call the garrigue. … Continue reading

July 29, 2018 · 7 Comments

Paul Christensen: The Caves We Come From

The old Calavon river, which is really a glorified arroyo here in southern France, is drying up. It hasn’t rained in two weeks and the weeds are dusty, the clay … Continue reading

July 1, 2018 · Leave a comment

Paul Christensen: The Need To Know Why

. I thought I wanted to become a philosopher when I went to college. I signed up for an introductory course and found myself sitting in a large hall with … Continue reading

May 20, 2018 · 1 Comment

Paul Christensen: A Ride in Gatsby’s Car

When it’s raining out, houses have a different sound. The door isn’t crisp when it shuts, it thuds softly, and it makes you feel connected to whoever is moving through … Continue reading

April 30, 2018 · 1 Comment

Paul Christensen: The Arrival of Spring

The crocus came up two days ago. I wondered how long it might take to get some sign that spring was on the way. There they are, tough little flowers … Continue reading

April 3, 2018 · 3 Comments

Paul Christensen: Reading Camus

            We live in strange times. The columnists and commentariat have run out of ways to milk horror and agony out of their visions, and … Continue reading

February 26, 2018 · 3 Comments

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