Vol. II, Fall 2016
Literary Arts Magazine of Mount Aloysius College
Resonance is created based on submissions from Mount Aloysius students and vetted by a review board comprised of students, staff, and faculty. Housed by The Belltower student newspaper, Resonance can be found online at: belltower.mtaloy.edu/arts/
Rachel E. K. Cain ........................................................ 3, 5, 7, 10 Arielle Confer ................................................................. 6, 11, 12 Courtney Edmundson ............................... 1, 7, 8, 12, 13, 14, 15 Jennifer Hula ......................................................................... 5, 6 Alex Hyer ................................................................................... 5 Brenda Sanner .................................................................... 9, 10 Nathan Smith .............................................................. 3, 4, 6, 14
Faculty Advisors Jessica Jost-Costanzo Christopher Burlingame Student Review Board Cheyanne Marsh Samantha Aurandt Design Courtney Edmundson
Submissions The Resonance review board seeks: short fiction; short, creative nonfiction;poetry; photography; and photos of fine art each semester at mid-term. Submissions from any undergraduate or graduate student are welcome. Please send all submissions to: BellTowerArts@mtaloy.edu.
â€œResonance happens when your mind and heart come into sync.â€? - Ravindra Shukla, A Maverick Heart: Between Love and Life Front Cover: Courtney Edmundson, Vic, Photograph
Resonance | 3
The Dawning of a New Day Rachel E. K. Cain
Darkness falls over the land Weary souls await The dawning of the sun
The white hem of a martyr’s gown Graces the surface of the newly-fallen snow Opens the ears of men
Sunrise starts across the sky Ringing around the horizon Filling the world with Christmas Joy
Fierce frost fills the fields Winter blows a piercing wind About the faces of frozen men
Cardinal red sash Bright scarlet cloak Point to the triumph of a martyr’s crown
Golden sun makes its entrance A slit of heavenly light Changing a dull, faithless earth
Tramping of worn boots Crunch of frosty snow Chattering of hungry teeth
Softly melting the cold hearts Radiating, illuminating the love of Christ Candles aglow upon a young girl’s head
White-robed martyrs and Saints join the light Angels sing their Gloria’s A Newborn Babe reigns
Plodding through life A day’s duties to be done Alone in a mute world
Hungry souls satisfied Bread from a Saint’s outstretched hands Freeing catacombed mankind
Gliding over the snow So silent, yet drowns out all sounds A world arouses
Chilled, icy hearts thaw Awaken to the coming light of Christ Eyes of the soul are healed
Nathan Smith, Sun Rays over the Lake, Photograph
4 | Resonance
Seasons Nathan Smith
Spring, winter, summer and fall. I wish I could stop and collect them all. They’re here for a while and gone soon after. They’re full of tears and full of laughter. Summer brings thoughts of beaches and fun, but also of sadness when the day is done. Summer is gone with the blink of an eye The birds and bees must say good bye. They fly away to rest and to wait, but we know they’ll be back another day. The leaves soon fall and cover the ground as animals hide and there’s barely a sound. The world fills with color and begins to cool we know that winter is coming to rule. The wind blows harsh and the temperature drops as snow starts to fall and time simply stops. The world is covered in a blanket of white on a calm winter day, it’s a beautiful sight. The wind hits your coat and pierces through, but no winter’s to cold when I’m with you. We hold hands and wait til the snow is all gone and the birds come back to sing us a song. The flowers are blooming and birds start to sing. I’m so very happy that it’s finally spring. We run through puddles of mud and of rain. The season of life is worth all the pain. Any season that I’m here with you Is worth every minute on earth, times two.
Resonance | 5
An Intangible Reverie Rachel E. K. Cain
You can be so elusive at times I catch a glimpse in the corner of my eye, I see your reflection captivating But you vanish-I wonder if you are -A dream?
Left: Nathan Smith, Flower in the Woods, Photograph; Top: Jennifer Hula, Serenity, Photograph; Bottom: Alex Hyer, Flower Girl, Collage
One moment we’re holding hands Sharing a memory, never to be forgotten My hand grows cold- I realize you were Never truly there-I ponder if you are merely -A dream? Silently enjoying a classic work of literature I hear you read along, bringing Austen to life As I breathe in the fragrant rose bouquet The now empty room echoes- I ask if this is all -A dream? We can converse so easily, share a smile and a joke Skipping along to the beat of our heart’s music My heart then realizes, suddenly so weighty We haven’t met just yet-I wonder if it is all -A dream? Patiently, I’ll greet strangers as if they are you Smiling, seeing their inner grace and beauty Waiting, hoping, wishing, for that moment when I’ll meet you-truly then our dream will no longer be -A dream.
6 | Resonance
Gray Mouse Nathan Smith
The sky is dark the land is still The moon peeks over a distant hill An owl begins to screech in the night A lone wolf howls, bathed in moonlight The leaves rustle as the wind starts to blow The temperature drops the sky starts to snow The cat curls up in front of the fire The sounds from the forest resemble a choir They flow through the woods and into the house They even manage to stir the grey mouse He wakes in the night to play and to eat He walks past the fire and feels it’s great heat The cat is asleep, but he still has to worry For it may wake soon so he must hurry He sneaks out the door and into the grass He locates his friends and his family at last He runs and he plays til the sun starts to rise It’s time to get home before light fills the sky His night of fun has come to a close The sun is now up, but as he knows The sun will go down and the forest will wake The mice will all join and dance by the lake He knows he will once again go out and play, but he’ll have to wait through another long day.
Top: Arielle Confer, Myracin - Personal Commission, Watercolor Bottom: Jennifer Hula, White Sunshine, Photograph Right: Courtney Edmundson, Southwest Sunrise, Photograph
Resonance | 7
Polaroids Rachel E. K. Cain
Like a box filled with faded polaroids, Walking along these city streets-Flashes, memories of my past Smiling, laughing, carefree. Now my hairâ€™s longer-I stand tall beside the child of my past. She looks up at me, a twinkle in her eyes, And I realize some things never change. Running my fingers along the library book spines With a smile, I notice the Times Still on that round table, near the bay windows-The same librarians, delighting in their job. The radio plays some upbeat tune, The road humming along beneath my car wheels, Driving betwixt my childhood home And the place where Iâ€™ve spread my wings.
8 | Resonance
Sit and Watch Courtney Edmundson
“I’m scared,” Natalie whispered, doing her best to clutch Dan’s hand. She had gotten so weak over the past few months; she was hardly herself. Natalie’s once silky black hair had lost its luster--it fell limply to her shoulders--and her crystal eyes were lifeless. He sat beside her on the side of the bed, rubbing circles into her knuckles. “I know.” On Natalie’s left side, machines beeped and buzzed, measuring blood pressure, measuring oxygen levels, the little things that said she was still alive. On her right, a tower of IV bags and a small table. Her lunch hadn’t been touched. It had been weeks since Natalie had a decent appetite, and recently she had stopped eating completely. What she could eat, she saw again a few hours later, so she didn’t really see the point. Dan hadn’t argued. Natalie looked like hell and felt even worse. No reason he should exacerbate it. She reached for the cup of ice chips on the table. She was almost too weak to lift it to her lips. “I have so much I wanted to do.” Natalie smiled weakly. “I wanted to see your parents in Berkshire. I wanted to walk through your home town. I wanted to be a tourist in Paris, and... and Venice. I wanted to walk the Great Wall of China and swim the Great Barrier Reef. I wanted to get married.” She looked forlornly at the circlet of silver that was now three sizes too big for her finger. It wasn’t that long ago that it fit perfectly. Dan’s hand cupped Natalie’s cheek gently. Her once soft skin was now dry, and as he pulled away, a small clump of limp raven strands came with his hand. He tried to hide them, but she saw. Her eyes squeezed shut, and her chest rose heavily. She started to cough a moment later. Natalie could hardly breathe deeply any more. Seeing her like this, it broke Dan’s heart, but he knew that he would hurt worse not being by her side. So, he stayed in the room, sometimes sitting on the side of the bed, sometimes in the recliner the night nurse had brought in for him. Sometimes, when Natalie was having a good day, the doctors would let him lie in the bed with her. She would curl up into his chest, and he would feel his shirt start to dampen. Dan would hold her because he didn’t know what else to do. What could he do? What could he possibly do for the love of his life? He had been avoiding the thought for months. She was going to die. And there was nothing he could do about it but sit by her side and watch.
Brenda Sanner, Shine on You Crazy Diamond, Photograph
10 | Resonance
Listening for Aslanâ€™s Roar Rachel E. K. Cain
While on a pursuit for a muse It won't do to wanderFor it covers the footpath, Floods the footbridge. Holding onto the past, You might miss the sunset Before your blinded eyes. Staring bleakly into the future The forbidding clouds loom overhead unnoticed. While searching for treasure, Missing the fireflies flickering glow. Seeking the noble lion in this world, While the witch's winter grips every lamppost. Vying for power throughout the ages, Ignoring Cesarâ€™s bust crumbling on portal gates. Where is the truth if we seek falsehoodFor it is hidden from the naked eye. Cast pride from your heart's threshold, Usher in sweet, tender compassion. Look for the hidden paradoxical truth, There you will find the suffering imprisoned King
Brenda Sanner, Flight, Photograph
Arielle Confer, Garden of Simplicity, Watercolor
12 | Resonance
Bees Courtney Edmundson
“The thing you saw didn’t exist,” the man insisted again. Henry’s cheek stung. He could feel his lip bleeding, and he thought he could see a tiny crimson river at the corner of his eye. He couldn’t even tell if the man in front of him was, in fact, a man. That had been the first way they had tried to get him. But Henry knew better. First, it was the sounds—horrid and high pitched, then low and ominous, loud, louder, loudest—if he didn’t cooperate with them, they moved on to the actual torture. They had torn out three of his fingernails, but he hadn’t even responded. They had threatened to cut out his eyeballs, but he knew they wouldn’t. They would want him to look as close to normal as possible when they assimilated him back. When they saw the torture wouldn’t work, they tried to beat him senseful—Henry saw no sense in what they were trying to get him to say. The next step was complete and utter war on his senses and psyche. He knew he could survive the beatings, but he doubted he would be able to withstand the psychological trauma. He remembered little from before they had abducted him, a lot of vague knowledge of his morals and beliefs. He was against them. He was definitely aware of that. They had been able to shake him of his beliefs, but he remembered why he was there. He remembered it to the exact second. He had sneezed. Allergic to seemingly everything, it was nothing earth-shattering
for Henry. Making to throw the tissue out, something sharp had poked him in the thumb. He didn’t normally inspect what ejected itself from his nose, but curious as to what pricked him, Henry made an exception. What he saw had astounded him. A tiny rectangle the size of his pinky-nail, green and gold, sat in the slimy white cloth. After he cleaned it, Henry saw that it was a microchip—he could even see the tiny circuits on the hardboard. “It didn’t exist!” This time it was a whack to his naked abdomen. They had gotten more intense the longer he resisted their ideals. He had been taught well. The resistance had found him. Eden, they called themselves. Dedicated to bringing in sorry asses like Henry’s and teaching them the truth. He had learned so much. Combat, both physical and mental. He was disciplined. But he had learned the truth about them as well. They had lied to him his whole life. He had been taught to look up to them and respect them, but they had lied to him. Eden told him they had lied to everyone, not just him. There was no war. They had made it up to instill pride. There was an insurrection— Henry was a part of it—but they blew it out of proportion to create fear. For a while, Henry had lived in a blissful knowledge of the world. When he saw the paper every morning, he chuckled. The headlines were lies. The entire paper was a lie. Hell, the whole government was lying through their teeth about everything. It was all one
Arielle Confer, Actias Luna, Photograph
Resonance | 13
Courtney Edmundson, Fire Rock, Photograph
big lie. But he knew, and he could spot the lies easily. The news at seven. Lies. The news at eleven. Lies. The international broadcasts from England. Altered to fit the lies. The microchips, Henry had learned, were a way to make sure no one left. It would be easy for someone to hop the border to the south, and easier still to go north to the desolate tundra that used to be a prosperous country. They didn’t care much for border control anymore—they had annihilated their neighbors years ago. The chips told them if anyone left. GPS, they called it. Had to do with satellites. Henry didn’t doubt it. They had taken control of all the satellites long ago. The chips were apparently implanted at birth, which explained why Henry didn’t remember having it introduced to his nasal cavity. “Eden was a lie.” Another crack, this one to the small of his back. He was led to Eden on blind faith and a daring wish to change the world. He was led to that room for the same reasons. It had been too good to be true. One morning, Henry had woken up and the leader of Eden was in his bedroom with three government soldiers and two body guards. At first, he had been confused. Then, anger set in. Henry had since calmed down—he had been there a week, maybe more, he couldn’t quite recall—and now, he was determined. He wouldn’t let them in. He wouldn’t let them beat away what he knew to be true. He couldn’t. The man slammed the metal door behind him. Henry relaxed slightly. They had given up on him for now. He knew what came next, though, and dreaded it. He hated the thought of what they could possibly bring
upon him. Hell, they were a world superpower for a reason. When they felt their grasp on their title slipping back in 2050, they held on tight come hell or high water. They had mastered their economy by kidnapping and stealing. Torturing to get business secrets from the Asians and Europeans. They had even managed to take half of the UK by force. King Harry had cut off all supplies to them, but they didn’t care. They had him assassinated. Henry wondered what they would do first. Waterboarding was too medieval. Somewhere above, he heard a heavy grinding. Then, the air was filled with buzzing. He could tell the ventilation shafts were full. Slowly, his head lolled back, his eyes closed. As the buzzing grew closer, the only thing running through his mind was how deathly allergic he was. Henry hated bees.
14 | Resonance
Elle grimaced. “It’s the little things.” Pop! “Such as?” “You don’t chew, you pop.” As if to emphasize her point, another pink bulb bloomed from his lips. Elle groaned and got into her car. “I just think you’re makin’ a big mistake, is all.” Frustrated, Elle pulled the door from his hand, shutting her off from the pop! that followed. She couldn’t take it anymore. She couldn’t take him anymore. Her car hummed to life, and she threw it into reverse, backing out of the driveway as fast as she dared. She could feel herself already starting to snap. She had to get away from him and his stupid chewing. No, she thought, bemusedly, quoting Chicago—not chewing, popping. Once on the highway, she felt her frustrations beginning to ebb away. She glanced in the rearview mirror, catching a glimpse of the sole of the single winter boot in her backseat. She couldn’t remember how long the boot had been there, nor even how it got there, but she had no idea where its match was. She liked the boot there, even though Roger had protested her leaving it in the backseat. It was interesting. It had a story. The boot, at least in her mind, gave Elle’s Impala character. Elle continued to drive, stopping once at a rest stop along I-84 for gas and a drink. As she was digging for her wallet in the black hole of her purse—that’s what Roger called it, anyway—she came across a crumpled and folded piece of blue paper. It was a prescription of Roger’s she had lost and forgotten months ago. Antibiotics, she remembered, for the ear infection he had for what seemed like weeks. He wasn’t allowed to chew—no, pop—the whole time, Elle thought, handing the cashier a ten to pay for her Pepsi and pack of Marlboro Light 100s. As Elle walked out of the rest stop, she noticed the sky. For the first time, it seemed blue. Not the weird, dull shade of blue-grey it had been before she left Roger. No, this was blue blue, like the blue of those balloons you’d buy for a baby shower. Before, Elle had questioned whether she was doing the right thing. Now, she was sure. The world around her was brighter, the sky was proof. Walking back to her car, the only sound she could hear were the cars whizzing by on the interstate. No popping. Elle smiled at that. No popping ever again.
Nathan Smith, Kinzua Lake at Sunset, Photograph
Blue Courtney Edmundson
Elle sighed. If she had to put up with that noise any more, she was probably going to snap like that chick in that movie, Chicago. Pop! Then, a few seconds later, pop! “You sure ’bout this?” Roger questioned, blowing another pink bubble out of his mouth and slamming the trunk of her blue, ’98 Impala. The pink abomination sickened Elle. She nodded, unable to speak. She was afraid if she said anything more, the conversation would end with her soon-to-be ex-husband strangled in her driveway. Pop! He followed her to the driver’s door and opened it before she had a chance. “I wish you wouldn’t do this, babe. I don’t even know why you’re mad.” Pop!
Resonance | 15
Did you hear about Stephanie? Courtney Edmundson
For a company as big as Flaggers, it was a shock to know that the cafeteria sucked so much. It was small (there was barely enough room to walk between the tables), the food sucked (it was catered by the local vocational school), and it smelled (the janitors couldn’t be bothered to clean it properly). Nick sat at one of the tables in the middle of the room, eating the bologna and American cheese sandwich he brought from home silently, alone in the cafeteria, as always. He wasn’t alone, per se; three people sat with him, but Nick didn’t really like them, and he didn’t really want them there. “I swear, he’s like the devil or something,” a young secretary sitting directly behind him was saying to her blonde friend. “And the Johnson Projects aren’t going as well as Tom had hoped,” a greying accountant three seats down complained. “Did you hear about Stephanie?” The conversation between a red-head and a brunette Nick recognized as being secretaries in the legal department sitting at the table directly in front of Nick sparked his interest. Stephanie, his girlfriend of two and a half years, worked in the legal department. They had met one late evening when she had barged into Nick’s office asking about some booking issues. Nick, being the Purchasing Manager on the project in question, was her first choice. Two days later, Nick had sent her an email, boldly asking her out to dinner that evening. She had said yes, and two and a half years later, they were going strong. “No, why?” “She and John are having issues.” John was Stephanie’s paralegal, and she had been helping him to study for the bar exam for the past three months. Now, Nick had his suspicions of what she really did twice a week. He felt himself go pale. “You okay, man?” the accountant sitting across from him questioned. Nick couldn’t remember the guy’s name to save his life. The brunette gasped. “Oh, no! But they were such a happy couple!” “I know! They’ve been together a year! I thought they’d last
forever.” Nick’s heart turned to lead. He had gone to the jeweler’s last week. He shut his eyes, attempting to shut out their words. “And with the baby on the way. You woulda thought they’d have tried to work it out.” Nick’s stomach turned. He stood, leaving his lunch on the table where he had been sitting, and walked quickly out of the cafeteria. Courtney Edmundson, Flight, Photograph
First follow Nature, and your judgment frame By her just standard, which is still the same; Unerring Nature, still divinely bright, One clear, unchanged, and universal light, Life, force, and beauty must to all impart, At once the source, and end, and test of art. ~ Alexander Pope, from An Essay on Criticism