Southern Cross Review

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

Number 99, March - April 2015

"Nude with Cat"

Nie Hong was born in 1959 in Qing Dao city, China, and in 1978 he was invited to join the Chinese Government’s Air Force Military Performance Group as an exceptional artist. Mr. Nie graduated from art school of the People’s Army majoring in oil painting and currently works as a senior visual artist for Beijing Military Film Studio. Hong Nie is also a member of China Fine Art Community.

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Editor's Page

The Good American Sniper by Frank Thomas Smith

Sgt Taylor and I met in unusual circumstances. He had just lobbed a grenade into a bunker overlooking the Normandy beach but it was a dud so a kraut stuck his head out and saw Taylor huddled below with his eyes closed waiting for the blast. He aimed at Taylor with a pistol so I stood up and shot him from thirty yards away. The M1 rifle was a heavy unwieldy piece, but accurate as hell. When the German fell on top of him, Sgt Taylor saw me, realized what had happened and lobbed a second grenade into the bunker. It exploded so if there was anyone still inside they were meat. Then he rolled down the embankment towards me while I kept him covered just in case.
Thanks,” he said. I saw the stripes painted on his helmet, all six of them. “What's your company?” he yelled. “Able,” I yelled back. “Things got pretty screwed up on the beach. Guess I better see if I can find them.” I started to walk off in the half crouch everyone used.
"No wait.” Continue reading


Strangle the Parrot! by Jerry Mullins

Well, it was just about the biggest excitement this little town seen lately, that business about that damned parrot going and insulting people all over the place. Now sit here with me a minute and I’ll tell you about it. George the barber got this thing, this parrot, from God only knows where, maybe on one of his trips to Charleston or Pittsburgh or one of those big towns he always talks about going to for what he calls a little fun, but ends up half-complaining and half-bragging about getting rolled by some lady of the evening as we will say it and losing all his money and coming back broke. But that is another story for another time and I will try not to get off track here any more than I usually do. So anyway, George brings back this parrot and puts him in the corner of his shop right there next to the window to the street... Continue reading

Waiting for Love in Munich
by Victorino Cristito Briones

In July 2010, Jacob waited by the lake in Seefeld for Carla. They had agreed to meet at nine, but it was almost midnight. He looked at his watch and then checked messages in his phone. Nothing. He waited until 6 a.m., then gave up and drove back to Munich, resigned to the reality that she was not going to go away with him. He sent Carla a text message: “Tell me you’re all right.” He didn’t ask why she had changed her mind. That was how they had agreed to play it — no regrets or recriminations. Continue reading

No Road to Inverness by Gaither Stewart

Via Nazionale. The taxi battles its way up the steep avenue in the precarious right lane reserved for public vehicles. Blinding sunlight; afternoon traffic intense; their one lane in pitiful opposition to the mass of cars and buses careening chaotically downhill over the rest of the wide cobblestone avenue, ignoring the tight line of buses, taxis and official cars creeping warily against the current. During any interruption in the flow, a flood of downhill vehicles darts into the puny uphill lane and with difficulty returns to the downhill track. Their drivers scream uninterrupted curses at the traffic pirates speeding straight at them: “Mortacci tua figlio di puttana porca madonna che testa di cazzo.” Catch up with the bus ahead and dart back into its trail of black fumes. From behind them infuriated bus drivers accelerate and flash headlights pale in the afternoon sunshine and vainly honk their high decibel horns... Continue reading

Children's Corner

The Red-headed Pizza by Frank Thomas Smith

Romano, the red-headed pizza-parlor man, has already made at least a hundred pizzas this afternoon. Customers love his pizzas because of the technique he learned in Italy and his artistic touches. In Romano's opinion, a well-made pizza is a work of art. But today he has so much work that he makes one pizza after another almost automatically: cheese, napolitana, onion, salami etc., large, small and medium.
"One large cheese!" the waiter calls.
"Always the same," Romano sighs.
When he finishes shaping the dough and putting on the cheese and tomato sauce, he stops a moment, smiles, and instead of putting the olives any which way, he carefully places two of them at the same height. Then he puts another a bit lower between the first two. He cuts a piece of red pepper and places it below the third olive forming a smile on the face he has drawn on the pizza. Finally, he puts on two pieces of red pepper for the ears and a generous spoonful of tomato sauce over the forehead. He observes his work, laughs out loud and says, "Welcome, red-headed pizza," and places it in the oven with the long-handled, wooden shovel that pizza-makers use... Continue reading

La Pizza Pelirroja

Romano, el pizzero pelirrojo, ya había hecho por lo menos cien pizzas aquel mediodía. A la gente le gustan mucho sus pizzas, por la técnica que ha aprendido en Italia y debido a sus toques artísticos. En opinión de Romano, una pizza bien hecha es un obra de arte. Pero hoy tiene tanto trabajo que hace una pizza después de la otra casi automáticamente: muzarella, napolitana, humita, etc., grandes, chicas, con y sin fainá.
--¡Muzarella grande! --grita el mozo.
--Otra vez la misma --suspira Romano... Continuar


What Happens After Judgement Day by Joel A Wendt

In the dark of the night, when your back hurts (level 11.5 on a scale of 1 to 10), and you are waiting for the drugs (acetaminophen and oxycodone) to kick in, and after the battery-is-empty-alarm has gone off on the smoke detector, and you can't pry the damn thing of the wall, yet the only thing that works is a prayer to your recently deceased girl friend's mother who does manage to make the alarm behave and shut up (thank heaven for ghosts who like you), it's probably not a good idea to take out your credit card and go to looking to see what Peter Hamilton, William Gibson, and Richard Morgan have been up to... Continue reading

SCR Church Bulletins for Dummies by Anonymous

1. Bertha Belch, a missionary from Africa, will be speaking tonight at Calvary Methodist. Come hear Bertha Belch all the way from Africa.

2. Announcement in a church bulletin for a national PRAYER & FASTING Conference: "The cost for attending the Fasting & Prayer Conference includes meals."

3. The sermon this morning: "Jesus Walks on the Water."
The sermon tonight: "Searching for Jesus."

4. Our youth basketball team is back in action Wednesday at 8 PM in the recreation hall — Come out and watch us kill Christ the King.

5. Ladies, don't forget the rummage sale. It's a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Don't forget your husbands... Continue reading

Current Events
Is This Country [the U.S.] Crazy? by Ann Jones

Americans who live abroad -- more than six million of us worldwide (not counting those who work for the U.S. government) -- often face hard questions about our country from people we live among. Europeans, Asians, and Africans ask us to explain everything that baffles them about the increasingly odd and troubling conduct of the United States.  Polite people, normally reluctant to risk offending a guest, complain that America’s trigger-happiness, cutthroat free-marketeering, and “exceptionality” have gone on for too long to be considered just an adolescent phase. Which means that we Americans abroad are regularly asked to account for the behavior of our rebranded “homeland,” now conspicuously in decline and increasingly out of step with the rest of the world...Continue reading


An Important Reformation and Its Consequences for a Renaissance by Nathaniel Williams

I would like to state that my intention with this article is to present in brief, simple, and clear terms some issues that I find deserve heightened attention within the Anthroposophical Society. I have been involved in the Class and various circles of responsibility within the Society and School, and I have found it necessary to resign from one position and decline another. My conscience demanded that I share my reasons, and this essay is the result. I am writing both for those who are unfamiliar with the Society’s history and structure and for those who are very familiar with it... Continue reading

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

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

My dear sisters and brothers, the description of the spiritual path which leads from the sunny, light-filled world in which we live on earth appears on the other side of the yawning abyss of being at first as a gloomy, night-cloaked darkness. The path which leads us to where we become aware that, when we seek our own being in all that lives in the depths, flows in the air, all that creeps and flies, in all that our senses perceive in the majestic glow of the stars, in the powerful depths of universal space, in the immeasurably distant flow of time, that all that does not contain our being, the true source of our humanity, that it becomes gloomy when we look here for our humanity. ... Continue reading

The Johannine Question - From Fichte to Steiner by David W. Wood

One of the central concerns of the following text is to stimulate further reflections on how to make the field of Steiner studies more scientific. In an essay from two years ago I put forward a plaidoyer for a genuine historical-critical approach to the work of Rudolf Steiner. That is to say, I defended an approach to Steiner research that is not merely historical and critical in some kind of vague theory, but one that actively strives to adhere to this approach in practice, by taking into account the relevant historical documents and critically examining all the respective arguments. The present text is a companion piece to that essay: it is a plaidoyer for a close textual reading of Rudolf Steiner’s works in practice too.
Continue reading

Karmic Relations, Volume III, Lecture Three by Rudolf Steiner

We have seen how the study of karma, wherein the destiny of man is contained, leads us from the affairs of the farthest universe — from the worlds of the stars — down to the tenderest experiences of the human heart, inasmuch as the heart is an expression of all that man feels working upon him during life, — of all that happens to him in the whole nexus of earth-existence. When we try to arrive at our judgments through a deeper understanding of the karmic connections, we are driven again and again to look into these two domains of world-existence which lie so far removed from one another. Indeed we must say: Whatever else we may be studying, — be it Nature, or the more natural configuration of human evolution in history or in the life of nations — none of these leads us so high up into cosmic realms as the study of karma...
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The Southern Cross by Frank Thomas Smith

Gracefully the gaucho gallops through
The pampa's waving windswept grasses;
From time to time he strokes his beard,
Black as the eyes of the country's lasses.
Orion patiently makes its rounds,
Dripping dust in the River Plate,
While over the rancho, his destination,
The Southern Cross guards the gate. Continue reading

I Died for Beauty - and other poems by Emily Dickenson

I died for beauty - but was scarce
Adjusted in the Tomb
When One who died for Truth, was lain
In adjoining Room.

He questioned softly ‘Why I failed’ ?
‘For Beauty’ I replied -
‘And I - for Truth - Themself are One -
We Brethren, are’ - He said -

Continue reading

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Frank Thomas Smith, Editor
JoAnn Schwarz, Associate Editor
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