34 PHI KAPPA PHI FORUM
The poems featured in this issue of the
Phi Kappa Phi Forum are:
“Breakwater” by Dr. Jack B. Bedell, professor
of English and coordinator of creative
writing at Southeastern Louisiana University,
where he also edits Louisiana Literature and
directs the Louisiana Literature Press.
“The Great Reviser” by Arnold Johnston of
Kalamazoo and South Haven, Michigan.
He is the author of two poetry chapbooks,
plays, fiction, and nonfiction. He and wife
Debby were formerly Arts & Entertainment
columnists for the Forum. Johnston was
chairman of the English department
and taught for many years at Western
CALLING ALL POETS The
poetry contest is open to Society members,
published or unpublished. Submissions
must be under 40 lines and must reflect
the theme of the edition. Entry deadline
for the summer edition on sports is March
18, 2016. Other themes for 2016 are
information and migration. Email your
entries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kim Theodore. She is survived
by her daughters Dorothea
Louise and Penelope Louise; and
several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She died Nov. 17.
WAYNE STILES (University of
Tennessee), 74, was a recruiting
coordinator under head football
coach Bill Battle and also coached at
Ole Miss and several high schools.
A native of Carter, Tennessee, Stiles
also served in the U.S. Army and
was a 1970 honors graduate from
Tennessee. He is survived by his
wife, Nancy, and four children. He
died Oct. 20 in Kodak, Tennessee.
I’m the Big Lake, mishigami,
The great reviser.
Along the shore each morning
There’s a line of water-worn pebbles till
Hell won’t have them:
Quartz and tiger-striped agate, blue chert
pretending to be agate,
Leland Blue Slag pretending to be
But often exposing itself with a hole
Siderite masquerading as pebble,
With lightning patterns of calcite in
Petoskey Stones with their subtext of
fossilized coral cells,
Unakite with its streaks of green and pink,
Horn coral trumpeting at one end but
always making its point,
Like a Paleolithic sonnet,
Petrified wood, Charlevoix Stone with its
little Favositic eyes—
No, wait, I say, I meant it to be
Or Stink Stone, cratered like an asteroid—
Moonstone—well, feldspar—not to be
confused with quartz,
A green and bubbly chunk of
Crinoids in necklacefuls of little rings,
And hosts of other fossils only scholars
As I throw them up from my
All along the Third Coast;
Multicolored pebbles, yes, real pebbles,
worn to smoothness
By rubbing around in the bottom of my
Before I reduce them to grains of sand.
And beach glass: the various bottle browns
Bud, Labatt’s, Heineken, Newcastle,
Leinenkugel, they’re all here,
But I transform their cliché into smooth
little opaque jewels.
The frosted white of old gin and
Boodle’s, Bombay, Tanqueray, Beefeater,
Grey Goose, Absolut, and Stoli,
Scotch and bourbon, too,
J & B, Dewar’s, Johnnie Walker, and the
whole parade of single malts.
I sing the seltzer blues, too, Bromo
With Milk of Magnesia on the side,
And the rare and delicate amethyst of old
Driftwood, of course, delicate and skeletal
Or thick and sodden,
Moss and weed, drinking straws, the cups
they came in,
Condoms, hypodermics, beach toys, dying
bees and ladybugs.
And farther out, kayaks, canoes,
Cabin cruisers, fishing boats, freighters,
And their leavings, cargoes and crews.
And far beyond the shipping lanes,
Full fathom fifty,
Who knows what’s there in my depths
To be revised tomorrow morning?
The long line of the shore, the metrics of
Alliteration of the waves,
Beauty and dross, connections churning
Out of all I am.
THE GREAT REVISER
BY WILLIAM ARNOLD “ARNIE” JOHNSTON