The Tower Journal

Angels and Anarchists

Shepard Street Press
ISBN # 978-0-615-70361-9
111 pages

Purchase this book from:
Shepard Street Press
111 Gloucester Street
Arlington, MA 02475

This collection of poems, published after the death of Mary R. Rice, as a memorial, provides poems that grapple with the sinfulness and courage of humans as well as the sheer ecstasy of natural blessings.

The poem "Good Friday 2002, Boston" juxtaposes appeals to God for mercy alongside the shouts of protestors who feel the Catholic church has forsaken them.  Here is an excerpt, the final stanza:

Around the cathedral a circle
and more are here than inside
For whom do we ask mercy
and why

The poem "Angels" presents the fiat of the Blessed Virgin Mary, as an occurence all of us wish to imitate, if only we could trust the invisible good messengers:

This was an annunciation, and a query.
The angel telling Mary, Queen of Heaven
this time, or about to be, queen

indeed of the angels: You're up,
here's your destiny. Will you go for it?
And don't we all wish for such

a messenger, impeccable however
embellished, saying:  Hello, here's your future,
Trust it if you dare.  

Too, Rice is a poet philosopher.  Her poems about nature capture contemplation.


Numb, the rose
bush waits winter.

Spring brings pruning
each stalk cut
to a nub

leaves gone like
the flowers before.
But the roots

reach out, gather
in, sap rises
new stalks grow

new leaves and
large perfect roses. 

This collection of poetry, Angels and Anarchists, is like the rose bush.  Perennial.  It will blossom again.

—Mary  Ann Sullivan

The Tower Journal
Spring/Summer 2014