Summer 2020

I shall face my future and accept,
like the waterfall returning to its duty.
I shall remain beautiful, like the red,
red rose . . .

These words of our amazing feature poet, Tahira Rehman, speak with such hope and beauty to the present and future that we all face. The poets of this, our Summer 2020 Issue, and creators of all sorts have chosen to make art of these times -- this, I would submit, is the duty of the artist. We worry, we strive, we rage, we weep, we harrow hell demanding resurrection – and then, like Tahira’s waterfall, we return to our duty as artists. With abandon we plunge over the edges and do not hedge our landing.  We create art. And in that, we and all we engage remain beautiful, regardless the roar of beauty’s opposite all around us.

May souls be lit.

And one such soul belonged to my father, Albert J. Berard, to whom this issue is dedicated. Dad was a D-Day vet, having survived Omaha Beach as a sailor forced ashore with only a handgun. His service was definitional for him and left its mark across his spectrum. Always the consummate Frenchman, he was thrilled to be named a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor.

Dad could be a difficult man, but never difficult to love. He was a dedicated husband to his great love, my Mom (of blessed memory),  adoptive father to me, birthfather to my brother, and foster-father to my sister, and in all cases he loved with a devotion, a brashness, and a tenacity born under fire and carried across the landscape of his life like a supply kit of the heart.

Dad died of Covid 19 on April 27th; he was 95. Like a waterfall returning to its duty, he returned to my mother, once again robbing an enemy of defeating his life.

Marchon, marchon!

Home is the sailor, home from the sea.

A Dedication to Albert J. Berard