This short story is a re-print from the Ancient Paths archives. It was previously published in Issue 4 (Spring 2000). Mr. Wilson
by Edward Leschke Old Mister Wilson and his wife lived next door to us. He’d been there forever. Even Mom couldn’t remember anyone else there and Mom was pretty old. I started to go over to Mister Wilson when I was five and watch him in his garage. He’d make chairs, tables, cabinets, rocking horses. All kinds of stuff out of wood. He even made me a
Nicholas Samaras was born in England and has lived on the island of Patamos, in Wales, Switzerland, Austria, Yugoslavia, Jerusalem, and America. As a consequence, he describes himself as writing “from a place of permanent exile.” Nicholas writes, he says, “to rescue” and “to make things more real.” The son of a Greek Orthodox bishop and theologian, Nicholas was awarded the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award in 1991 for his first book of poetry, Hands of the Saddlemaker. I had
This poem previously appeared in Issue 7 (Fall 2001) of Ancient Paths. After the Marvelous Healing
by Walt McDonald Luke 5:25 His fists shook, his bent legs bound
with cloth, hemp ropes around
both bandaged feet – a local cripple
begging kept alive. And now this simple
insult like a threat, a twisted joke
Take up your bed and walk,
blasphemy like a whip
on the poor man’s back. Here,
we scolded to save him
from blind faith worse than stripes. Years later, stiff and fe
This poem was the third-place winner in Ancient Paths literary magazine’s “Poems for Books” Contest. Sister
by Marion Rosser I want to be Mary, sitting enthralled at the feet
of the Master,
absorbing the words
of wisdom and love --
I am Martha,
grumbling in the kitchen.
I know well that
with the perfumed feet
will need some supper
and a place to sleep. #AncientPathsarchive #AncientPathspoems #contest
This poem was the first-place winner in Ancient Paths literary magazine’s “Poem for Books Contest.” Beautiful Beloved
by Linda Lee McDonald Beautiful beloved, when I first met you,
my back was wedged against a closet door
trying to keep the monsters inside and in my hand, for luck, was a penny.
I thought it was a dollar
or a thousand dollars
or all of the dollars I would ever need
in my whole expensive life. But,
it was really just a penny. A green penny --
only a v
This poem was first published in Issue 15 (2009) of Ancient Paths literary magazine. The Last Breakfast by Anne Sheldon The black spine of the dory barely wavers against the red east.
He can count his seven friends —
Nathanael’s skinny elbows at an angle
with the lifted oars;
Peter poised to dive into the net;
and John — pointing at the sky as if
to rhapsodize the bloody dawn. It’s cold. The pebbles hurt his feet.
He’ll miss his feet
and miss their hurting, too,
This poem was first published in Issue 14 (2007) of Ancient Paths literary magazine. Blessings
by Taylor Graham Last night the horses stood
huddled under the great black oak,
their breath steaming, each nostril
a damp hibiscus opening in the dark.
Now through the window, I see
that same oak shivering
black-trunked in the not-quite dawn. And now, the sun comes
shimmering through the branches.
Even the stoutest, oldest
tree flings wide its light-
struck leaves, i
This poem was first published in Issue 14 (2007) of Ancient Paths literary magazine and is now part of the archives. A Guide for the Perplexed by Fredrick Zydek When you can't trust logic or the art of memory,
it's time to step past meditation and move into
the condition of faith. You must make choices
even if fear oozes from every pore and the path winds uphill all the way. The problem of pain must be ignored and the circles of sorrow, which
seem to emanate from the bo
This poem was first published in Issue 14 (2007) of Ancient Paths literary magazine. After His Fall
by Ruth Linea Whitney The serpent draws his skin
between the waters and the woods,
and so keeps clear of the Lord God’s
footsteps, the knowing heart
he hates. Late, late:
this song calls up his grief
for the old life,
his tall striding days
among the leaves of morning.
From the sedge, he sees
each ripple chasing bread
upon the waters rushing past:
his freedom. He s
Carol A. Oberg, a mother of two grown children, retired to live on Gooseneck Lake in the middle of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where she works in her own “writing studio.” There she continues her calling to write both short stories and poetry and devours a vast array of reading material, “almost everything,” she says, “I can get my hands on.” Carol was selected as one of the featured poets for issue 16 of Ancient Paths. Below, we share her poem “Making a Mess of Your Life.” Y
The following poem was first published in Issue 12 (2004) of Ancient Paths literary magazine. Statue in the Garden
by Newton Miner “Here is noon home, here is but wildernesse.” - Chaucer, Trouthe Daily we drown in moral atrophy. Maturity, it seems, is what we learn
from the smooth face of deceit at every turn.
Blight and brambles of love infect TV.
Theft, abandon, gunfire soil the street.
Where are the certainties for which we yearn?
The trek is still through wilderness
This poem was first published in Issue 11 (Fall 2003) of Ancient Paths literary magazine. The Trouble with Prophets by Karen Thorpe Of course we are all paralyzed:
we knew that from the start; we heard
the spine snap but thought only:
I have not broken far enough,
I have not freed that other electricity
of Your Voice burning up my spinal cord. But even if we were silent, we are doomed.
Someone is bound to recognize us as
renegade spies in a crowd of sheep.
The following poem was first published in Issue 13 (2005) of Ancient Paths literary magazine. Grass Beside the Church of St. Francis Xavier
(Night — Before a Late Summer Storm)
by Arthur Powers (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) This, too, must resist passing storm, bleak night,
summer grass beneath
a battlement, kissed by winds that twist
small roots aright.
This, too, must sheath
tiny blades beside a pale stone buttress
rising, wide and white,
stone into b
Paul David Adkins writes poetry, he says, “partly to record my experiences, and partly to see how finely I can tune language to say exactly what I want in the fewest words possible.” Over the years, Paul’s poetry has appeared in a variety of publications, including Chattahoochee Review, Caveat Lector, Rock & Sling, Crab Creek Review, and, of course, my own Ancient Paths. I first encountered Paul’s work when I published his poem “Marriage of the Prophet” in Issue 12 (2004) of
Enjoy this selection from the archives of Ancient Paths literary magazine. This poem was first published in Issue 10 (Spring 2003). Moses on Sinai and Nebo
by Alan P. Church VI Exodus 32:7 Striding down Mt. Sinai how could I know That all your commandments would come to this?
Even as the Israelites gathered ‘round
The golden calf, it was I who broke the law:
It was not in righteous anger that I
Threw down the diptych,
This poem was first published in Issue 9 (Fall 2002) of Ancient Paths literary magazine. Gardeners
by Lynn F. Behnke Silly gardeners, Scratching at the planet
With their pitted tools,
Sketching furrows on a dusty crust
And risking labor’s harvest
On the wanderings of a bee! Are we just as foolish, dear,
Pressing gifts of time and touch
Among each other’s days,
Daring season after season
To reach farther past
Our sheltered seeds of “me”? Not foolish, love, but faithfu
First published in Issue 9 (Fall 2002) of Ancient Paths literary magazine, "Fairtyales and Dustballs" was a 2002 Pushcart Prize nominee. Fairytales and Dustballs
by M.J. King Sometimes the light hits the sky
like moonbeams scattering fairy dust.
Sometimes, but not very often,
we look up and take time to notice.
I wanted to slay dragons and save princes,
but instead I wash clothes, again!
I listen to bored people create tragedies,
always searching for those fairytales.
The following poem was first published in Issue 7 (Fall 2001) of Ancient Paths literary magazine. The Liberator
by Kenneth O' Keefe Struggling he thrust into the dust his sturdy staff,
Dragging himself up the stark and stony mountain,
Tearing his skinned hands and knees to bloody chaff.
His exhausted face poured sweat like a fountain,
While his heaving breath fanned flames in his chest.
Though pain radiated through his whole body,
His thoughts were not on himself, but