Editor’s note: This past year has certainly been a disturbing and difficult one for the world—manifest destiny, political and religious demagogues, global warming, icons run amuck, humanity’s continued refusal to accept otherness….

On a personal note, I was saddened by the death of Nell Maiden, a good friend and such a fine poet. Her passing, for all who knew her, creates a void that can’t truly be measured. Loss is universal, and dealing with its reach, as Elizabeth Bishop so famously noted, never seems to improve with practice. But I do know that because of the poetry Nell leaves behind, we will never lose her breath.

Nell Maiden
( 1941 - 2003 )
Something to Believe In

There’s crooked grace up there
where diamonds burn to powder,
and perfection is an ellipse,

where algebraic formulae
spun to the millionth power
grow grace notes,

where negative numbers
circling infinity reach
and wrap past positive,

where scientific canons
galvanized in meteor showers
slue and short-circuit,

where geometric planes explode
to frenzy and motion magnified
echoes forever through convex halls,

where black-and-white gospel
loosed to that star-splayed
field exults at possibility.

Originally appearing in Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review

Reprinted in Reflections in a Clockshop, by Nell Maiden (Sow’s Ear Press, 1996)

Maiden's other work in Blue Fifth Review may be found in the Archives: Winter 2001 Issue and Summer 2002 Issue.

I - Trinkets in a Closed Drawer
II - A Wrinkle in the Trees
III - Becoming a Fish
IV - Closer to the Cosmos

Featured Poet - Eleni Sikelianos
Sikelianos Feature, Page 2

Current Issue - Summer 2003