The Owatonna Library

Submitted by Ronald E. Shields

A black bear rears up,
ponders the long ripple in the grass beyond,
the space of its wake in the grass behind.
A cold hard lamp comes on over the prairie.
Its echo shines through a window miles away.
The Lakota woman hands me a book
our fingers touch,
the footsteps of a thousand generations
pass beneath our feet.


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Photo credit: Late Afternoon Prairie – Carlynne Hershberger

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The Vita Brevis Team

“Ars longa, vita brevis" (art is long, life is short). This maxim so moved us that it seemed only right to title our online poetry magazine after it. It may seem curious that we chose Vita Brevis (life is short) as our title instead of Ars Longa (art is long). But this choice was more than appropriate; after all, the aim of our journal is to publish work that shows a keen awareness of not only art’s beauty and immortality but life’s toils and finiteness. We want to revive and nourish the rich existential literature that forms when art and the human endeavor collide.

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