Southern Cross Review

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

Number 110, Janury - February 2017

"Brown Girl After the Bath"

Archibald John Motley, Junior (October 7, 1891, New Orleans, Louisiana – January 16, 1981, Chicago, Illinois) was an African-American visual artist. He studied painting at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago during the 1910s, graduating in 1918. He is most famous for his colorful chronicling of the African-American experience during the 1920s and 1930s, and is considered one of the major contributors to the Harlem Renaissance, or the New Negro Movement, a time in which African-American art reached new heights not just in New York but across America - its local expression is referred to as the Chicago Black Renaissance. The Renaissance marked a period of a flourishing and renewed black psyche. There was a newfound appreciation of black artistic and aesthetic culture. Consequently, many black artists felt a moral obligation to create works that would perpetuate a positive representation of black people. During this time, Alain Locke coined the idea of the “New Negro,” which was very focused on creating progressive and uplifting images of blacks within society. The synthesis of black representation and visual culture drove the basis of Motley's work as "a means of affirming racial respect and race pride.” His use of color and notable fixation on skin-tone, demonstrated his artistic portrayal of blackness as being multidimensional. Motley himself was of mixed race, and often felt unsettled about his own racial identity. Thus, his art often demonstrated the complexities and multifaceted nature of black culture and life.

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The Imposter Magi / Los Reyes Impostores by Frank Thomas Smith

A boy from the village ran into our yard at lunchtime on the fifth of January and announced at the top of his lungs that the Three Kings were coming to the schoolhouse that night at nine o’clock. That’s how news in Las Chacras is announced – by word of mouth. I remembered that a neighbor had asked for a donation to buy sweets and balloons a few days before. Making enquiries on the main road, I found out that the Kings were scheduled to begin their descent to the school from the almacén at nine o’clock, which meant that they would more likely begin at nine-thirty and arrive at ten... /
Al mediodía del 5 de enero un chico del pueblo entró corriendo a nuestro patio y anunció a voz en cuello que los tres Reyes Magos llegaban a la escuela esa noche a las nueve. Así es como se transmiten las noticias en Las Charcas –de boca en boca. Recordé entonces que, unos días antes, un vecino me había pedido una contribución para comprar golosinas y globos. Preguntando en el camino principal, averigüé que a las nueve los Reyes tenían programado iniciar su descenso desde el almacén hacia la escuela, lo que significaba que más probablemente saldrían a las nueve y media y llegarían a las diez... continue reading / continuar

Morning After To-Do List by Michael Moore

1. Take over the Democratic Party and return it to the people. They have failed us miserably.
2. Fire all pundits, predictors, pollsters and anyone else in the media who had a narrative they wouldn’t let go of and refused to listen to or acknowledge what was really going on. Those same bloviators will now tell us we must “heal the divide” and “come together.” They will pull more hooey like that out of their ass in the days to come. Turn them off. Continue reading

The Most Dangerous Country on Earth - The Election that Changed Everything by Tom Englehardt

For decades, Washington had a habit of using the Central Intelligence Agency to deep-six governments of the people, by the people, and for the people that weren’t to its taste and replacing them with governments of the [take your choice: military junta, shah, autocrat, dictator] across the planet.  There was the infamous 1953 CIA- and British-organized coup that toppled the democratic Iranian government of Mohammad Mosadegh and put the Shah (and his secret police, the SAVAK) in power.  There was the 1954 CIA coup against the government of Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala that installed the military dictatorship of Carlos Castillo Armas; there was the CIA’s move to make Ngo Dinh Diem the head of South Vietnam, also in 1954, and the CIA-Belgian plot to assassinate the Congo’s first elected prime minister, Patrice Lumumba, in 1961 that led, in the end, to the military dictatorship of Mobutu Sese Seko; there was the 1964 CIA-backed military coup in Brazil that overthrew elected president Jango Goulart and brought to power a military junta; and, of course, the first 9/11 (September 11, 1973) when the democratically elected socialist president of Chile, Salvador Allende, was overthrown and killed in a U.S.-backed military coup. Well, you get the idea... Continue reading

The English Teacher by Frank Thomas Smith

The reason I accepted Larry Lawrence's offer to teach English to the Chief of Police was that I was broke. After a period of hyperinflation that toppled an honest but hopelessly inept President, the new one (not so honest but equally inept) appointed Harvard educated Carmine Caramelo to the economy portfolio. The first thing he did was peg the peso to the U.S. dollar at a one-to-one exchange rate -- for eternity according to him -- thus confounding my plans for a comfortable early retirement in a country where the dollar had been king since General San Martín crossed the Andes and the women were as lovely as a September morn. Hyper-inflation was licked, the dollar dethroned and, despite the Economy Minister's promises to the contrary, everyone except the rich woke up poorer, especially the poor. My purchasing power was reduced to roughly that of a peon's. No one, however, dared question the fixed exchange rate for fear of being thought unpatriotic and in favor of inflation... Continue reading


Reincarnation and Karma - Lecture Four by Rudolf Steiner

    The lecture yesterday dealt with questions of karma, and the endeavour was made to speak of them in such a way that they appear to us to be linked with inner processes in the soul, with something that is within our reach. It was said that certain tentative measures can be taken and that in this way a conviction of the truth of the law of karma may be awakened. If such questions are introduced again and again into our studies, this is because it is necessary to realize with increasing clarity how Anthroposophy, in the genuine sense of the word, is related to life itself and to the whole evolution of man. There is no doubt that at least an approximately adequate idea can be formed of the change that will gradually and inevitably take place in all human life if a considerable number of people are convinced of the truths upon which studies such as those of yesterday are based. By steeping themselves in such truths, people's attitude to life will be quite different and life itself will change in consequence... Continue reading

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

Karmic Relations, Volume IV, Lecture 4 by Rudolf Steiner

If we wish our human thought and action to be permeated once more by spiritual life, it will be necessary to receive again in full earnestness such conceptions of the spiritual world as have passed through our souls in these last lectures. For many centuries these conceptions have in reality been lacking to mankind and notably to civilised mankind. Looking back into various epochs of human history we shall find how in earlier ages human action upon earth was everywhere connected with what was taking place in the super-sensible realm. It is not that consciousness of the super-sensible — a certain abstract consciousness of it — has been lacking to the greater part of mankind in recent times. No, but the courage has been lacking to attach the concrete deeds and happenings in the earthly sphere to the equally real forms of life and movement in spiritual worlds... Continue reading


Rootless in Patagonia (Toothless in Brooklyn) ) by Frank Thomas Smith

For anyone who gets to be over eighty
certain questions arise unbidden.
They (the eighties) are dead statistically,
Life and health insurance aren't interested,
Credit cards keep their distance, preferring,
like Mephisto, rosy-cheeked lads and lassies.

Mephisto shuffles center-stage
ready his scythe to unerring swipe
at the unsuspected moment ripe.
But, you'll say, the old are dead to destiny due,
karma is something to be borne smilingly.
including birth and death, pure and simply... Continue reading

Consejos de Martín Fierro a sus hijos - Martín Fierro's Advice to His Sons by José Hernández

Un padre que da consejos
Más que padre es un amigo
Ansi, como tales digo
Que vivan con precaución:
Naides sabe en qué rincón
Se oculta el que es su enemigo.../
A father who gives advice
More than father is a friend;
Your ears to me a moment lend,
Be careful nights as well as days:
No one knows in which dark place
An enemy he'll have to fend.
Continue reading.

To be continued... by Frank Thomas Smith

Pablo led a life at home
Never left to seek or roam.
Pedro led a different life,
Coming and going, often in strife.
Pablo, unsurprisingly,
Died unrepentently.
Pedro, though often inconsistent,
Never doubted for an instant
That when his time also came
His fate and Pablo's would be the same... Continue reading.

Que nada se sabe / Where nada is known by Jorge Luis Borges

La luna ignora que es tranquila y clara
Y ni siquiera sabe que es la luna;
La arena, que es la arena. No habrá una
Cosa que sepa que su forma es rara.
Las piezas de marfil son tan ajenas
Al abstracto ajedrez como la mano
Que las rige.../
The moon knows not that it's calm and clear
And doesn't even know that it's the moon;
The sand, that it's the sand. Nothing in truth
Knows its form is unique and queer.
The ivory pieces are just as far
From abstract chess as is the hand
That moves them... Continue reading

In All Directons by Mike Helsher

Have you ever wished to touch a star?
Look to the end of your finger
While pointing toward a clear night sky,
And it almost feels like a possibility.
But the stars are touching us:
Their eons old photons
Touch the retina in the back of our eyes,
Whenever we look up at them...
Continue reading

In the Name of Love by Kimberly Potter Kendrick

She closes her eyes
Denial deeply embedded
Young wife and mother
She’s strong; invincible
Those things won’t happen to her
In the name of love.
A life-altering mistake
Enduring consequences she must
Not yet capable of forgiving herself
He’s reluctant to exonerate
No comprehension of the freedom
In the name of love... Continue reading

You can find us under the Southern Cross in the Traslasierra Valley, Province of Córdoba, Argentina. Visitors always welcome. Just follow the sign that reads: La Cruz del Sur.

Frank Thomas Smith, Editor

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