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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 15: Sept. 2022
Prose Poem: 158 words
By Roy J. Beckemeyer

Purgatory

 

[Boatman harvesting moons from the sea]: Untitled digital art by Grandfailure
Untitled (digital illustration) © by “grandfailure” *

 

They float on an ocean of possibilities, draw a deep draft or bob lightly on a barely wet arc of fluorescent sphere, toss like the blond tresses of a flirtatious angel against the dark shoulder of the demon sea—these souls of un-damned sinners, their purgatory nearly at an end, their life light once again gleaming quietly, becoming more brilliant as they heal, floating higher and yearning for release. The fisher of souls poles his gondola, weaves and watches, gages, knows that certain sprightliness, that certain warmth of hue, that evidence of the soul’s wholehearted acceptance of every glimmer of God’s grace that marks a candidate ready. He pulls another newly redeemed soul nearby, lifts it into the boat, deems the night’s work finished, and makes his way for shore, hears a heavenly chorus beginning their song, the lighted spheres clustering around him growing brighter and brighter, his pole becoming, with each push, lighter and lighter.

 

 

* Publisher’s Note:

The untitled image above is used here under license acquired by the poet.

Roy J. Beckemeyer’s
Issue 15, September 2022

latest poetry collection is Mouth Brimming Over (Blue Cedar Press, 2019). Stage Whispers (Meadowlark Books, 2018) won the 2019 Nelson Poetry Book Award. Amanuensis Angel (Spartan Press, 2018) comprises ekphrastic poems inspired by modern artists’ depictions of angels. His first book, Music I Once Could Dance To (Coal City Press, 2014), was a 2015 Kansas Notable Book. He recently co-edited (with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg) Kansas Time+Place: An Anthology of Heartland Poetry (Little Balkans Press, 2017). His poetry has been nominated for Pushcart (2015 and 2020) and Best of the Net (2018) awards, and was selected for The Best Small Fictions 2019.

Beckemeyer serves on the editorial boards of Konza Journal and River City Poetry. A retired engineer and scientific journal editor, he is also a nature photographer who, in his spare time, researches the mechanics of insect flight and the Paleozoic insect fauna of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Alabama. He lives in Wichita, Kansas, where he and his wife recently celebrated their 60th anniversary.

Please visit author’s website for more information about his books, as well as links to interviews and readings (scroll down his About page for the link-list).

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

The Color of Blessings in MacQueen’s Quinterly (Issue 5, October 2020)

Featured Artist in KYSO Flash (Issue 12, Summer 2019); showcasing Beckemeyer’s poetry, prose poetry, and insect photography

Words for Snow, a prose poem in KYSO Flash (Issue 9, Spring 2018), which was selected for reprinting in The Best Small Fictions 2019

 
 
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