Southern Cross Review

Review of fiction, education, science, current events,
essays, book reviews, poetry and Anthroposophy

Number 109, November - December 2016

Editor's Page

True Tales / The Escape Route by Frank Thomas Smith

Look lieutenant, we’re part of the intelligence cadre of this operation. We briefed you guys day before yesterday. Weren’t you there? I mean you can’t interrogate us. Well, you could, but what’s the point? Besides, it’s late.
The young officer looked at Ted Jung and me with tired eyes. It was late. And what was the point? he must have been thinking.
He was in uniform, combat fatigues, with a colt 45 on his belt. Ted and I were in civvies, me covered by a Bogart trench coat and Ted a green German loden overcoat. Two grunts who could barely keep their eyes open were sitting on chairs on either side of the room with M1 rifles between their legs.
Okay, he said. I’m putting in the log that we captured two members of the local underground who confessed after a relatively short but hard interrogation; they also gave the names of other collaborators. How’s that sound?
Sounds good, I said... continue reading


Throwing in the Towel - What the Bankruptcy of White House Policy Means for the Israelis and Palestinians by Sandy Tolan

Washington has finally thrown in the towel on its long, tortured efforts to establish peace between Israel and the Palestinians. You won’t find any acknowledgement of this in the official record. Formally, the U.S. still supports a two-state solution to the conflict. But the Obama administration’s recent 10-year, $38-billion pledge to renew Israel’s arsenal of weaponry, while still ostensibly pursuing “peace,” makes clear just how bankrupt that policy is. For two decades, Israeli leaders and their neoconservative backers in this country, hell-bent on building and expanding settlements on Palestinian land, have worked to undermine America’s stated efforts -- and paid no price. Now, with that record weapons package, the U.S. has made it all too clear that they won’t have to. Ever... Continue reading

Innocence by Gaither Stewart

In his novel, The Idiot, Dostoevsky wrote that beauty can save the world, admitting however that “beauty is difficult to judge … and is a riddle.” I would humbly add that the writer’s world-saving beauty must be accompanied by a major measure of innocence, precisely the innocence of the novel’s hero, Prince Myshkin. The Prince’s physical flaw, his epilepsy which was also Dostoevsky’s affliction, can be overlooked; in the eyes of bourgeois society of then and now Myshkin’s deplorable flaw is his innocence. In his late twenties, the last four years of which he has spent in a Swiss sanatorium, Myshkin has preserved many of his childhood qualities: he is naïve, impractical, compassionate and kind, because of which most of the novel’s adult characters consider him an idiot. In reality, Dostoevsky did not have in mind the innocence synonymous with naiveté or inexperience, but instead the innocence of the clean hands of virtue and morality... Continue reading

Win, Lose or draw - Special Operations Command Details Dismal U.S. Military Record by Nick Turse

Winning: it’s written into the DNA of the U.S.A.  After all, what’s more American than football legend Vince Lombardi’s famous (if purloined) maxim: “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing”? Americans expect to be number one.  First Lady Michelle Obama recently called the United States the “greatest country on Earth.” (Take that, world public opinion, and your choice of Germany!) Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton went even further, touting America as “the greatest country that has ever been created.”  Her rival, Donald Trump, who for political gain badmouths the country that made him rich and famous, does so in the hope of returning America to supposedly halcyon days of unparalleled greatness.  He’s predicted that his presidency might lead to an actual winning overload.  “We're going to win so much,” he told supporters... Continue reading

Book Review
Christ Comes to Skopelos - Selected Poetry by Frank Thomas Smith, reviewed by Monique Sanchíz de Mihalitsianos

Christ Comes to Skopelos is a compilation of some of the poetry Frank Thomas Smith wrote in his journeys around the world. The book starts with the calling and coming of the Christ to Skopelos 'several years before his year / Two-thousand'. This introductory poem serves as the opening of the book and sets the tone for the following initial poems: A tone of reflection and observation. But this observation, which is mostly of people, is far from being morose or melancholic. Instead, these observations are filled both with empathy and quiet understanding. It’s almost as if the author himself, during these opening poems, was gifted with a sort of encompassing feeling for humankind… reminiscent of the Love, I suppose, the Christ feels for us, for all of humanity... Continue reading

The Stranger by J. D. Salinger

The maid at the apartment door was young and snippy and she had a part-time look about her. "Who'd ya wanna see?" she asked the young man hostilely. The young man said, "Mrs. Polk." He had told her four times over the squawky house phone whom he wanted to see. He should have come on a day when there wouldn't be any idiots to answer the house phones and doors. He should have come on a day when he didn't feel like gouging his eyes out, to rid himself of hay fever. He should have come - he shouldn't have come at all. He should have taken his sister Mattie straight to her beloved, greasy chop suey joint, then straight to a matinee, then straight to the train - without stopping once to take out his messy emotions, without forcing them on strangers. Hey! Maybe it wasn't to laugh like a moron, lie and leave... Continue reading

My Other me by Frank Thomas Smith

Vienna: it was my last meeting before mandatory retirement, something I myself had mandated. I had noticed that old people never want to let go; my father and his father were like that. My grandfather was still haunting the Board meetings at ninety. My father merely held onto the company's reins until 75, when I took over. Rationally I knew that I would also some day reach the age of mandatory retirement, but 65 seems as remote to thirty-year-olds as thirty does to teenagers. General Meetings are still always held in romantic foreign places. Considering that our head office and main manufacturing units are in Milwaukee, almost anywhere fits the description. This has the dual advantage of keeping everyone in a good mood and limiting the number of stockholders attending. I arrived a day early, wishing to renew my acquaintance with Vienna, a city very rich in history and beauty and blood and which never changes, at least outwardly... Continue reading


La casi olvidada idea de la sociedad trimembre por Frank Thomas Smith

El impulso para fundar la primera Escuela Waldorf en Alemania en el año 1919 surgió de la iniciativa de un empresario, colaborador de Rudolf Steiner, que quiso poner en práctica el concepto principal de la "sociedad trimembre": la libertad del sector cultural de la sociedad. No por nada fue denominada "Escuela Libre Waldorf". La palabra Waldorf proviene del nombre de la fábrica de cigarrillos de la cual era director el mencionado empresario. La intención original fue crear una escuela para los hijos de los obreros de la fábrica, aplicando las ideas pedagógicas de Steiner. A partir de esa primera escuela, comenzó a desarrollarse la educación Waldorf y se fundaron otras escuelas no sólo en Alemania sino también en Inglaterra, Holanda, Escandinavia, Suiza y Estados Unidos. Este desarrollo se vio interrumpido en Europa en la época del Tercer Reich, cuando las escuelas Waldorf fueron clausuradas por los nazis... Continuar

William Shakespeare by Rudolf Steiner

According to a remark by the famous writer Georg Brandes, we should include Shakespeare in the German classics. And if we consider the enormous influence Shakespeare has had on Goethe, schiller and the development of German literature in general since he was rediscovered in the middle of the eighteenth century, especially through Lessing, we must agree with that remark – especially in view of the excellent translations of his work by Schlegel and Tieck.  A legend has arisen about Shakespeare and whole libraries have been written about each of his works. Academics have given many interpretations of his plays, and finally a number of writers have decided that an uneducated actor could not have produced all the thoughts which they discovered in Shakespeare's works, and they became addicted to the hypothesis that not William Shakespeare, the actor of the Globe Theatre, could have written the plays which bear his name, but some other highly learned man, for example Lord Francis Bacon of Verulam... Continue reading

Reincarnation and Karma - Lecture Three by Rudolf Steiner

When we observe how life takes its course around us, how it throws its waves into our inner life, into everything we are destined to feel, to suffer or to delight in during our present existence on the earth, we can think of several groups or kinds of experiences. As regards our own faculties and talents, we find, to begin with, that when we succeed in something or other, we may say: being what we are, it is quite natural and understandable that we should succeed in this or that case. But certain failures, perhaps just those that must be called misfortune and calamity, may also become intelligible when viewed in the whole setting of our nature. Continue reading

"Apologia" concerning the publication of the the First Class Lessons: Apologia

Karmic Relations, Volume IV, Lecture 3 by Rudolf Steiner

We understand only the very smallest part of human history and of our own life if we consider it in its external aspect, I mean in that aspect which we see from the limited viewpoint of our earthly life between birth and death. It is impossible to comprehend the inner motives of history and life unless we turn our gaze to that spiritual background which underlies the outer, physical happenings. People do indeed describe as history the events that take place in the physical world, and they often say that this history represents causes and effects. Thus they will approach the events of the second decade of the 20th century, describing them as the effects of events in the first decade and so forth. Yet how is so great an illusion possible? It is as though we saw a running stream of water throwing waves up on to the surface and tried to explain each successive wave as the result of the preceding one, whereas the forces bringing forth the waves are really penetrating upwards from below... Continue reading

First Class Lessons - Volume Four - First Lesson in Prague By Rudolf Steiner

Since the Anthroposophical Society has been re-founded in a new form during the Christmas Conference, what had been given in the old Anthroposophical Society as esoteric instruction in various groups shall now stream into the School for Spiritual Science, which shall be a kind of center for the whole anthroposophical movement within the Anthroposophical Society. Naturally, according to the nature of its activities, this School will be centered at the Goetheanum in Dornach; and there we will strive more and more and will finally achieve the form which is sought: that it be expanded to reach all the friends who belong to the anthroposophical movement the world over who cannot come to Dornach. And what I will tell you today in this lesson and in the next esoteric class, my dear friends, will be spoken within this School for Spiritual Science. Continue reading


Desolation Row by Bob Dylan

They’re selling postcards of the hanging
They’re painting the passports brown
The beauty parlor is filled with sailors
The circus is in town
Here comes the blind commissioner
They’ve got him in a trance
One hand is tied to the tight-rope walker
The other is in his pants
And the riot squad they’re restless
They need somewhere to go
As Lady and I look out tonight
From Desolation Row... Continue reading

Jardines Lejanos/Distant Gardens by Juan Ramón Jiménez

...He visto en el agua honda             ...I have seen in the fountain's
de la fuente, una mujer                      deep water, a woman
desnuda... He visto en la fronda        naked...I have seen in the frond
otra mujer... Quise ver                         another woman...I wanted to see
cómo estaban los rosales                    how the rose bushes looked
a la lumbre de la luna,                         in the splendor of the moon
y encontré rosas carnales.                  and found carnal roses.
Quise ver el lago, y una                        I wanted to see the lake, and a
mujer huyó hacia la umbría.               woman fled toward the shadows.
Continue reading.

Renascence by Edna St. Vincent Millay

All I could see from where I stood
Was three long mountains and a wood;
I turned and looked another way,
And saw three islands in a bay.
So with my eyes I traced the line
Of the horizon, thin and fine,
Straight around till I was come
Back to where I stated from;
And all I saw from where I stood
Was three long mountains and a wood.
Continue reading

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Frank Thomas Smith, Editor

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