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Editor's Note

James R. Adair

The original version of the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, published in 1559, includes these lines which the minister asks the bride during the wedding ceremony: “Wilt thou have this man to thy wedded housband, to lyve together after Goddes ordynaunce in the holy estate of matrimony? wilt thou obey hym and serve him, love, honour, and kepe him … so long as ye bothe shal live?” To which the woman is supposed to answer, “I will.” Although few weddings today, at least in the Christian tradition, continue to include the language of obedience of the woman to the man, notions of female subservience to men (often accompanied by the idea of male superiority to women) in the context of the family persist in the modern world. Similarly, values traditionally associated with motherhood include such “feminine” qualities as gentleness, compassion, emotional sensitivity, and intuition. In this issue of Voices de la Luna, which focuses on mothers and their important role in families, you will encounter mothers who indeed embody these qualities. Others, however (or often the same mothers), are described as characterized primarily by other qualities, such as strength, intelligence, leadership, creativity, and insight.

Our featured poet is Tina Cane, a graduate of the Sorbonne (among other schools) and current Poet Laureate of Rhode Island. An educator as well as a poet, she frequently writes poems as a series of phrases spread across the page, a style praised by former Rhode Island Poet Laureate Rick Benjamin as suggesting both disconnection and connection at the same time.

In this issue we interview poetry therapist, Jungian analyst, mental health counselor, and Voices de la Luna co-founder James Brandenburg. His fascinating life has led him to live and work in Germany for many years, study in Switzerland, and become fluent in both German and Spanish, in addition to his native English. He talks about his work analyzing dreams, and he says of all the places he’s traveled perhaps the most intriguing is his journey into the unconscious.

Local poet and founder of the Sun Poet’s Society Rod Carlos Rodriguez tells us how he became interested in poetry and how his poetry—and even his name!—have changed over the years (we also include a poem about a name change; see if you can find it). Artist and San Antonio native Andrea Kraus-Lozano describes her discovery of profoundly talented women artists from earlier eras, many of whose works were downplayed by men who believed women were constitutionally incapable of producing great art. Boy, were they wrong!

We have poems and short stories, many of which deal with mothers, aspects of motherhood, and family experiences, both positive and negative. Join our authors as they immigrate to the New World, visit the 1939 World’s Fair, drive through the old Beacon Hill and Five Points neighborhoods of San Antonio, and carry ladybugs into the house. Ponder with them the harm humanity is inflicting on the planet (and on many of its most desperate inhabitants), the joys and sorrows of childhood and old age, and of course reflections about and by mothers. Enjoy!

 


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Themes for future issues
November 2019: Genre Bending
February 2020: Earth Day

Current Voices

 

Jamming

Tina Cane

I tried jamming the brand with my body but my body wasn’t enough it took my pre-existing family the one living poem I’ve made for me to be seen through the lens of the men at the helm and were it not for my family values a collateral self I keep safe in the cleavage of my brain I would remain invisible just jamming to Chic in my kitchen in a fanny pack and pregnant again but don’t judge the ’80s were good to me in their way aside from trickle down and crack cocaine it was a time of total freedom for which I keep reaching back any dose of nostalgia to defend against this savage present day vague ache of middle-age which I hear is an illness not an interlude in the music of time but my tune has always been a hook that if you can’t be free be a mystery pre-existence means life and brand loyalty is just proof of a love of disco

 

The Lighthouse from the Palo Duro Cabin

Claire Stevenson

 

Ruth Dean's Journey

Robert Allen

In what turned out to be the final year of our dear mother’s ninety years of life, one bright clear day she pestered me and you to take her on a journey round the town. Just one last time, she had to see each home where she had lived. We took off driving south through Beacon Hill. At Five Points, we turned west into a neighborhood I did not know. I think we ended up on Poplar Street, West Laurel, or a cross street with no trees. You say we drove much further south, turned east toward Jones Avenue, the brewery, near where the art museum stands today. Our memories are fogged. I only know there was no shade or new growth where we stopped. She pointed to the house she first called home. With her firm voice she reached out to its walls in a long embrace, telling lively tales about each aged window, door, and gable. For her, each room gave up a siren’s call. That was thirteen years ago. Neither one of us remembers anything she said. A life is like a geyser. When it stops, the details drift away on mist-borne drops.

 

PRR S1 Steam Locomotive

Displayed at the 1939 World's Fair

 

Love, Daddy

Carolyn Chatham

For years I marked your birth with cards from your father until one day you forgot to wait for the mail and I no longer signed his name Love Daddy The photo album grew thicker The children older The succession of pets appearing then disappearing like broken threads in our tapestry First grade second grade third grade We focused on important things like the sparrow’s trill The way the frogs sing at dusk Your hand on the bow of the violin The way the robin flies back and forth to feed his fledglings How to drown out black boots marching How to read the news without crying How to love a world so filled with pain How to keep on living though we waken dying How to be as true as stars and constant as the seasons though we bloom so briefly before the garden takes us Why red geraniums matter and white damask tablecloths and coffee with a friend Especially coffee with a friend What to do when the caller says he isn’t expected to live He’s in intensive care a self-inflicted gun wound The words bubble up unbidden The need to say how much he loved you How he cared How he couldn’t help the way he was They die like moths in my mouth In the end there is the child There is the mother as it has always ever been So I show you how the moon is pinning back the sky while we plan your high school graduation

 

Just Another Day in Kindergarten

Jane Moore

“She was so ferocious she scared Jeff, so of course I asked for a meeting with her and the principal.”

It was the voice of the skinniest of the three young women sitting at the other end of the small coffee shop, talking about kids and marriage. She looked vaguely familiar, but most people that age looked the same to me. They all had the same hair, same bland faces with no wrinkles and no expressions except big smiles or drooping sad mouths or gaping outraged mouths with furrowed brows. This one had short, very straight blond hair.

“I told the principal right off that the way she said, ‘Stop doing that,’ scared Jeff. I suggested if she felt she had to direct the child she should do it gently and not be so abrupt.”

Her head bent forward on “not so abrupt,” giving me a glimpse of what she would be like when she was forty, if she didn’t have any “work.”

“Did she agree?” This one had frizzy black hair and a notebook in which she kept jotting things down.

“She said she’d be meeting with the parents of the kid he was hitting over the head with a block. I was shocked when she said that. Jeffrey isn’t a violent child, and that’s what I told her.”

Damn, I suddenly realized she was talking about me. I’d spent one day, just one day, helping at the school where my youngest daughter worked. I encountered Jeff there. Jeff was used to having his own way; that was clear in my first interaction with him.…

 

New Creation

Deborah Keller-Rihn

 

 


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