Hitherto’s 6th issue offers this poem as its editorial.

“You Have Mattered”

To hands that feel our brows and cook soup,
to voices that sing and tale,
to minds that write books living in our speech,
to arms that enfold,
we breathe your faces.

Our lives reply to questions you have asked,
and our questions are your challenge.

Sometimes in our talks your faces fall.
Sometimes in your homes we sit by windows,
drinking hot drinks from your kettles,
and the silence and the light
are so beautiful they hurt.
We have woken on your couches and your beds,
warmed by your lime-scented sheets.

We walk down moist, shaded paths

where you know which mushrooms have no poison,
and it is you who name the birds
and choose the sturdiest branches that we climb.

We run through mazes, hide and show our smiles
through leaf walls as you chase us,
tell us to run on
to the farther hill where lupines overwhelm.

We go, see your silhouettes retreat,
and weep a little.

A poem by Aj.Mariejoy San Buenaventura

Hitherto has released its 5th issue. Ms. Barbara Ekamp, Faculty Editor, notes in her essay how the poems in this issue contemplate the concept of death:

“One way to deal with death has not been mentioned in this rather depressing editorial—the role art plays in our staggering towards death. This edition’s poetry section takes a brave look at death. The poets do not shy away from horror and grief—instead they live through it to offer us the kind of hope which be found in the beauty of creativity.”

“Still Air and a Favorite Seat”

The search for peace occupies a great part of our lives. Peace has so many sources, and often it is hard to distinguish the mere distraction from the genuine healer. Therefore we try many things, learn new pursuits and read many books in an effort to know ourselves better, hoping that knowledge will show us the way to peace. Added to the challenge is the fact that peace has as many manifestations as there are individuals. You ask ten people about their methods for acquiring peace and you get ten different answers. This fluidity, though, is its most delightful quality, for isn’t it pleasing to know that your cup of peace is brewed from your own values and impulses?

For me, peace is a deep breath at the end of a work day. The glare of office lights mellow into warmer lamps at home, noises fade, conversations are forgotten, and there is only that still air and a favorite seat. It is also the relief after a telephone call prompted by worry. The voice on the other line assures me of safety, health, contentment, love. It is the waves of the sea washing my ankles in repeated affection, a witness of the greater being of which I am merely an atom. The water, tinted in fragrant colors by the setting sun, teaches a prayer.

Mariejoy San Buenaventura
Faculty Editor

Third Time Lucky

Hitherto’s third issue has “culture” as its theme. Here is what Essay Editor Ms. Barbara Ekamp has to say about it:

“From its humble beginning as a verb simply describing the cultivation of land to one of the most powerful weapons in discourse about racism, colonialism, feminism, liberation, oppression, open or traditional societies – culture has come a long way.

“Whether in the battle for more conservative and racially homogenous societies where one side uses an absurd reification when announcing the ‘death of multiculturalism’ or whether in the economically motivated branding of some countries as multicultural societies – the already difficult and ambiguous noun culture is further misused and over simplified.

Nonetheless, by coincidence this third issue of Hitherto is a selection of very different and very personal views of culture, of tradition and of identity – the identity of societies in transition, the identity of young writers and essayist growing up in a time where influences are not confined to traditional sources anymore.

“Take this issue as a journey to trace back how we became what we are. See how we name the forces that formed (and at times haunt) us.

Hopefully you can as well see the contributions in this edition as a plea for diversity.”

Second Time Around
The 2nd issue of Hitherto Online Literary Journal is now live. Mr. Mark Rodell, Fiction Editor, says:

“The interest in our journal, if measured by submissions, is growing. I believe readers will enjoy the new poems, essays, art work and short stories as the work continues to reflect diversity in style, content and cultural perspective. This diversity is key to the aspirations of Hitherto – aspirations to provide a place where writers and artists can have their work enjoyed, examined -ingested. And Hitherto also aspires to provide quality content for our readers, for without our readers our artists play to an empty hall.”

The word “hitherto” is defined by the Oxford Dictionary of English as “until now” or “until the point in time under discussion.

In her message, Ajarn Mariejoy San Buenaventura, the journal’s editor-in-chief, explains: “We chose this word to name our literary journal because it shows the movement of a narrative – the pauses, or pulses, in the flow of time that signal when change shines imminently; eyes glance back at the past even as the shoulder turns to nudge the future. Hithertos are the jolts of moments: victory, failure, a stammering confession, a first wrinkle across a nose bridge.”