Bacopa Literary Review

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Friday, April 15, 2016

Bacopa Literary Review: Beātitūdō

by Editor-in-Chief Mary Bast

The term beatitude comes from the Latin noun beātitūdō which means happiness or blessedness. In Christian theology the Beatitudes are eight blessings that echo the ideals of mercy, spirituality, and compassion. Third Place Poetry winner in Bacopa Literary Review 2014, Jonathan Travelstead, has mercifully blessed us with a view of earth from an astronaut's perspective, where we see Beatitudes / scrawled in the mountaintops, where heartaches look beautiful and even war looks like a lover's quarrel.
What the Astronaut Said

    From a distance the world looks blue and green--Julie Gold

Goodbye, blue jaw-breaker.
From up/down here
your heartaches look beautiful.
Bodies pendulous from trees,
ripe as grapes.
Mirrored banks aching towards heaven.
Even war looks like a lover's quarrel,
two opposing bodies
twittering little red lights
across the ocean
while the sun like a fat kid
hides behind a billiard ball.
From this distance
I see Beatitudes
scrawled in the mountaintops:
You own nothing. Leave only footprints.
Now a fugitive to this petty world,
how could I return to it?
Goodbye, sea monkeys
in a blue sandwich bag.
Goodbye, fear of abandonment
and anger issues.
There is no economy here
and it's so quiet
I'm getting to know myself better.
Wish you were here.

Jonathan Travelstead served in the Air Force National Guard for six years as a firefighter and currently works as a full-time firefighter for the city of Murphysboro, and also as co-editor for Cobalt Review. Having finished his MFA at Southern Illinois University of Carbondale, he now works on an old dirt-bike he hopes will one day get him to the salt flats of Bolivia. Winner of the 2013 Cobalt Prize for his poem, "Trucker," Jonathan's many publications include Alexandria Quarterly, Autumn Sky Poetry DailyBaltimore Review, The Oneiric Moor,  Sixfold, and The Boiler. His first collection, How We Bury Our Dead, published by Cobalt Press, was released in March, 2015, and Conflict Tours is forthcoming in Spring of 2017.

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