The Sacred

is when you knowthat shoveling the drivewayis a Catholic massand eating at Red Lobster is the same as receiving communion, that’s prayerand meditationa Yoga when taking a shower is baptism and going to the moviesis Mecca when reading the Torah is reading the New York Timesand going for a walk in the woods and having sex is celibacysmoking joints and tobacco and incenseand salmon on the grill in the backyard on Columbus Day or Veterans Daykilling deer for food and sport alike […]

As Benedictines

We see a single incandescent light beneath the pond,a flash at the bottom of four stemmed glasses, as if we were still in the Orleanais,where sins are garnished with clams and stewed in the finest vichyssoise. George Cassidy Payne is a poet from Rochester, NY. His work has been included in such publications as the Hazmat Review, Moria Poetry Journal, Chronogram Journal, Ampersand Literary Review, The […]

There is a Hush

There is a hushfrom the beginningof time, where youcan hear yourselfblink. It’s calledimmortality. The rumbling timbers. Those extinct tracks.  There is a hush, it is the sound of the desert parsleywithering and thewhimpers of hawksand eagles careeningtowards the earthrise. There is a hush, sunk into the chasms,bringing a curse thatcan never be lifted. George Cassidy Payne is a poet from […]

Grace Peak

Down where fingershold a windscourged turbulence,lurid and buriedin the fractures, your mountain graceblisters like iron smelted, and the mosaic of youreyes light all over.Wrapped in cold teardrops,below the grit of exiled scents, at your peak I feel astronomical, like Asimov’s balloons risingthrough a diaphanous fog. George Cassidy Payne is a poet from Rochester, NY. His work has been included in […]

Close to Timberline

Ascorbic acid tabletswon’t quench my thirst. I want the secret sourcesof the Hudson, log bridges,and vanished paths. Hydrating oil-in-lipstickwon’t cover my hunger.  I want countless warm pondswrapped in cold weather. A thin mist. The deep woods. I want freedom. No paper flowers.No fairy tale weddings.No cloned puppies. Just early snow ontumbled rocks, and the fountainheadof majestic streams. […]

Postcard from Raymond: “Monk’s Posture”

This image, shot by photographer Ding Zuhe and called, “Monk’s Posture,” won first prize in the China category for National Geographic’s 2017 photography contest. Here are six people, all in some form of sleep, lethargy, stupor, or unconsciousness. There are two women (the one in the foreground looks older), and four males: a child in […]