May 24, 2013

Let’s see…this week we’ve got resilience, dark comedic social commentary, the final installment of a lovely poem, and of course, Tom Jones to round us out. 

Report Card Comments from the Far North (from Miss Royston, Grade Five/Six Class)

by Jennifer Manuel, from Listerature Vol. 2 – Little Fiction

Read by Xe Sands


Xe  writes…

From the creative powerhouse of Little Fiction, comes a second piece from Listerature Vol. 1, this time featuring the commentary of an elementary school teacher in the “far north.”

This week’s selection is a one-two punch. Sure, there is a hint of dark comedy here, but in the context of several societal tragedies. The state of public education in many parts of our country. Parenting skills that seem too close to Trainspotting.

And maybe you won’t hear the comedy at all – maybe it isn’t even there, really. Maybe it is just our discomfort at the realities presented that creates the urge to distance ourselves with embarrassed laughter.



I Am Not Dustby Diane Havens

Read by Diane Havens

Diane writes…

This has been a year of too many reminders of my own mortality. And I began considering the old song “Dust in the Wind” and the Ash Wednesday humbler “Remember, man, that thou art dust and into dust thou shalt return.”

I, however, don’t look at it that way. So I wrote this poem.

I am not dust

one day I will look
on the ocean
my birth bed
and sleeping
let the tide consume me

I am not dust
and to it
I shall not return

I am water
salty warm
healing life giving

ever moving
covering the earth
with massive lapping hands
in concert with the moon
its rhythmic constant roaring song

you are wrong
I am not dust
not dry and dirty
nor ashen grey
scattered by wind
and trodden under feet

I will not rot
instead evaporate
only to rain on another plane



A short poem triptych from Lunar Eclipse, by Peter Davey

Read by Sonia Vilim

Sonia writes…

Peter´s reflections on a birding walk in the natural reserve Pannel Valley, a gloomy meeting of the river and the sea, finally returnig to the breadbasket of the Hampshire Downs. Recorded with permission from the author.

Pannel Valley

oceans of fragmites
waves of stalks surging
into plumes
rocketing in brief bright formations
and the sky
blue and gulls
flurrying like sudden
snowstorms, and the marsh-harrier among them, veering, lumbering
on huge
sombre wings


a shattered window rattles in the wind
where gulls rise
above the dead water and the dead sand
dead land
the city murmuring
across the sea, exhales its columns curling
to the clouds
the earth burns
one ship
specked upon the blue

Returning to the Hampshire Downs

All smells of rain
the wire grass, clouds
rearing in the west
one sweep of skyline rough with stalks
with thisleheads
rise upward
spiral, soaring, calling
glide away
slight curves across the hills
the rim of land
outshines the sky

Image: Courtesy of Peter Davey


Mammon and the Archer, by O. Henry

Read by Wyntner Woody

Wyntner  writes…

A short story from O. Henry’s collection of stories, The Four Million, published by Doubleday, Page & Co. New York in 1906.


Anthony Rockwall, retired proprietor of the Eureka Soaps manufactory, crochety, loving,
pragmatic and thoroughly in his son’s camp

Richard Rockwall, his son, recently graduated from college, and still wet behind the ears, but honest and decent

Aunt Ellen, Anthony’s sister, a bit worn at the edges, but still girlish when it comes to Love

Miss Lantry, the apple of Richard’s eye

Kelly, an Irish”fixer” with street smarts


Anthony Rockwall’s residence on 5th Avenue



Tom Jones – Book 4, Chapter 12, by Henry Fielding

Read by Mark Turetsky

Mark  writes…

Book 4 Chapter 12 of Tom Jones.

This is part of an ongoing project in which I will record and post one chapter per week of Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones over the course of four years.

In this chapter, we learn just how profoundly Tom’s indiscretion with Molly has hurt Sophia. The answer is: profoundly. Fielding compares Sophia’s love for Tom to a physical disease (in agreement with Stoical philosophy), and suggests that she falls into a relapse every time she sees Tom. She finally resolves to leave her father’s house and live with her aunt, but something happens which stops her. The chapter ends on a cliffhanger, which will be resolved in next week’s chapter.

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