Southern Cross Review

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

Number 96, September - October 2014


Victor Meirelles de Lima (August 18, 1832 - February 22, 1903) was a 19th-century painter. He studied art in Paris but painted most of his works in and about his native Brazil. His religious and military paintings helped him become one of the most popular and celebrated Brazilian painters. His "The first Mass in Brazil" was the first Brazilian painting to be accepted in the Salons of Paris and is one of the most well known paintings in his native country, being reproduced in every book of History for elementary schools.

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Editor's Page

Welcome to our fifteenth anniversary issue. For the SCR history buffs, here's what we looked like way-back-then: September-October, 1999

The Karma of the Malaysia Airlines victims by Frank Thomas Smith

The two crashes of Malaysia Airlines aircraft awaken thoughts about life and death and about karma and predestination. Also, inevitably, about the world's – or the gods' – injustice. “If God were good, how could he let such evil unjust things happen?” We'll get back to that later. Two airplanes crashed one after the other. We don't yet know why the first one went down and possibly never will. The second one was shot down over Ukraine, probably by separatists supported by Russia.
Continue reading


A World of Hurt by JP Miller

Here I am taking point on a “Recon” while the walking sandbags behind me stare upwards at nothing in particular except the goddamn sun. A sniper with an AK and a couple of RPGs were reported in this area, just south of Baghdad proper, by some butter bar. The whole situation steamrolls into a hunt for ghostly insurgents and a hunt for a weapons cache by the Colonel who is aching to get his star. So, they wake me up from a perfectly good fuck dream and say they need a forward observer to call in the Kiowas, Arty and Apaches. And I’m so short that I can taste the disgusting MAC flight chow. I’ve got eight days and a wake up till I board that freedom bird and get back to the world. I should be in the “green zone” jerking off, but I’m the only 13Foxtrot on TDY with these “boots” and the officers are all trigger happy since the “surge” began. Continue reading

Pinocchio and the Great Metaphorical Plot by Gaither Stewart

I am bizarre. No more and no less than my characters. I know that about myself. Who gets into his car with no special place to go and decides on the spot to drive to Istanbul? Where I smoke a water pipe, eat a slice of kebab, turn the car around and start back to Italiya, along the way picking up and dropping off hitchhikers through Greece and Macedonia and bits of Serbia and lots of Croatia. Who else in this whole city goes down to the banks of the River Tiber to lunch with a nomadic family of Roma, offering his hosts a few dozen crème cupcakes delicately packaged in a shiny golden wrap? Already as a kid I was bizarre—like when I went barefoot in the mountain winter cold just to experience what pneumonia was. Bizarreness is nothing new to me... Continue reading

Honey Time by O. Spaniel Murray

Blue florets of borage dangled along the path that wound from the gate to the back door. Worker bees bloated with pollen took busy steps up the anthers or drank at the raindrops resting in the flower's bell. Even in cool weather there was always a small cloud of bees outside of the corner shed, drunk on the smell of honey, their black and gold frames hovering in the air, heavy with industry. The flywire door was kept open with a broken brick. Archie was either inside tending to the woodstove and sipping tea or else in the shed fixing frames or cleaning fumeboards with the underside of his capping knife. Most times I was there with my best friend Dorkel Faisalbad, a chubby Turk, skipping Phys. Ed. again and stealing his father's cigarettes... Continue reading

Children's Corner

A Journey to the Stars by Frank Thomas Smith

One evening Nicky and his little sister Caroline were sitting in the meadow near their home at the edge of the forest. The sky overhead was like a cape of black silk encrusted with brilliant jewels.
"How many stars are there in the sky, Nicky", Caroline asked.
"A lot."
"Yes, I can see that, but how many?" she insisted.
"Billions. Nobody knows."
"Let's count them."
Nicky laughed. "Fine, you count them and tell me how many there are."
"Let's see." Caroline stood up to be closer to the stars and began to count: "One, two, three, four, fi...Oh no, I already counted that one."... Continue reading

This Old Man - Life in the Nineties by Rogel Angell

Check me out. The top two knuckles of my left hand look as if I’d been worked over by the K.G.B. No, it’s more as if I’d been a catcher for the Hall of Fame pitcher Candy Cummings, the inventor of the curveball, who retired from the game in 1877. To put this another way, if I pointed that hand at you like a pistol and fired at your nose, the bullet would nail you in the left knee. Arthritis. Now, still facing you, if I cover my left, or better, eye with one hand, what I see is a blurry encircling version of the ceiling and floor and walls or windows to our right and left but no sign of your face or head: nothing in the middle. But cheer up: if I reverse things and cover my right eye, there you are, back again. If I take my hand away and look at you with both eyes, the empty hole disappears and you’re in 3-D, and actually looking pretty terrific today. Macular degeneration.
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Goethe - or - The Writer by Ralph Waldo Emerson

I find a provision in the constitution of the world for the writer, or secretary, who is to report the doings of the miraculous spirit of life that everywhere throbs and works. His office is a reception of the facts into the mind, and then a selection of the eminent and characteristic experiences. Nature will be reported. All things are engaged in writing their history. The planet, the pebble, goes attended by its shadow. The rolling rock leaves its scratches on the mountain; the river its channel in the soil; the animal its bones in the stratum; the fern and leaf their modest epitaph in the coal. The falling drop makes its sculpture in the sand or the stone.
Continue reading

Romina se animó a tener otro futuro por Mariana Otero

Romina sueña con dar clases en una escuela de campo, aunque aún le falta completar las prácticas en la escuela Rivadavia.
“Yo criticaba, decía mirá lo que hacen, hasta que me tocó estar en el aula y es muy difícil. Pero creo que si uno le pone mucho sentimiento, pasión a lo que hace, se puede”, sostiene, en relación a las observaciones que ya realizó en escuelas. “Ahí me empecé a dar cuenta que era lo mio y a imaginarme en el aula haciendo cosas con los alumnos. Todo lo que se hizo conmigo es lo que no quiero hacer. Tengo claro el docente que no quiero ser”, plantea. Continuar

Current Events
As a Man-Made Famine Looms, Christmas Comes Early to South Sudan by Nick Turse

Juba, South Sudan -- The soft glow of the dancing white lights is a dead giveaway.  It’s Christmas in July at the U.S. Embassy compound.  Behind high walls topped with fierce-looking metal impediments meant to discourage climbers, there’s a party under way. Close your eyes and you could be at a stateside summer barbeque or an office holiday party.  Even with them open, the local realities of dirt roads and dirty water, civil war, mass graves, and nightly shoot-to-kill curfews seem foreign. Continue


Esoteric Lessons for the First Class of the School for Spiritual Science at the Goetheanum - Volume Three, Lesson two by Rudolf Steiner

...We have seen how the person who follows these words coming to him from all the things of the world and from all the events of the world, feels the desire to leave the majestic, illustrious sensory world and enter into the world beyond the yawning abyss of being, which at first confronts the human soul as black, night-cloaked darkness. But the hope exists that in order to truly solve the riddle of humanity, what shines in light for outer life, what is radiant there, must become dark in order for the light which is in that other world, in which one's own self finds its being, comes from what at first appears as black, night-cloaked cosmic darkness... ... Continue

Volume Three, Lesson Three
My dear sisters and brothers, we will again begin by letting our souls hear the words that human beings – if they have ears to hear them – can hear from all the Beings of the surrounding world, which they could hear in the past, can hear in the present and will hear in the future, which allow them to envision the need for self-knowledge – that constantly comes to them from the entire universe – which is the true bridge to what the human being needs for his thinking, for his willing, for his working in the world if he wishes to be human in the true sense of the word... Continue

Karmic Relations, Volume II, Lecture Sixteen by Rudolf Steiner

The day before yesterday I tried to picture for you the cosmic drama wherein human beings are shown in their relation to Beings of the spiritual world, so that one can see how there stems from this relationship not only the working out of karma, but also the living out of karma during physical life on earth. To-day I should like to turn to a thought touched upon in that lecture. I said that the present period in human evolution confronts anyone who has the knowledge of Initiation-Science with problems of world-karma in the deepest sense of the words. And before proceeding to consider how knowledge of karma is acquired, we will study its world-historic aspects, which in the nature of things must closely concern the whole of civilised humanity at the present time... Continue


Prologue in Heaven, from "Faust" by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The Lord, the Heavenly Hosts, later Mephistopheles.
The Archangels step forward.


The sun resounds as once of old
In loving spheres of motley song,
Predestined is its journey bold,
Ripening as it flows along.
Its sight the angels new strength gives,
Though none can fathom how its done;
The inconceivable still lives
In glory as when the days were one. Continue

Across the Bridge by Stephen Hawks

I saw a crab wash up,
Another dart away into his hole,
Sure the beast was stalking prey.
These are no ordinary things;
There are no ordinary things
And when there seem to be
I think this stranger than before... Continue

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Frank Thomas Smith, Editor
JoAnn Schwarz, Associate Editor
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