San Antonio's only literature and arts magazine
Voices de la Luna: A Quarterly Literature & Arts Magazine
Founded in 2008
Voices de la Luna's
by James R. Adair
I remember watching the TV screen with my family on a warm July afternoon fifty years ago as the Apollo 11 spacecraft landed on the moon. Then a few hours later, Neil Armstrong emerged from the capsule, followed a little later by Buzz Aldrin. As Armstrong planted his foot for the first time on the lunar soil, he said, “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” It was generally reported that he said “for man” rather than “for a man,” but Armstrong confirmed frequently over the years that his enunciation of “a” was just blended with the previous word. Indeed, the sentence only makes sense as a comparison of the act of an individual human with the great leap forward in human history that the moon landing represented. Even my eight-year-old mind sensed the immensity of the moment.
In this issue of Voices de la Luna we celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the first moon landing through poetry, prose, and image, starting with the cover page art by San Antonio street artist Mike Comp Arguello. We review a book written by NASA engineer Merlin Merritt, whose work on the moon missions influenced and inspired his faith in God. We also remember quintessential American poet Walt Whitman on the 200th anniversary of his birth with two essays—both of which include several excerpts of his poems—and we combine our Whitman and lunar threads by presenting several of Whitman’s poems about the moon and other celestial bodies. To quote Ronco founder Ron Popeil, “But wait, there’s more!” We also honor contemporary American poet, publisher, and bookstore owner Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who recently celebrated his 100th birthday.
In other news, our serial contributor Paul Juhasz finally ends his sojourn as a longsuffering Amazon picker, and his description of his final days at Amazon are as witty and acerbic as ever. We are fortunate to have Clifford Brooks, educator, author of two poetry collections and a chapbook, and founder of the Southern Collective Experience as our featured poet. For our featured interview, we don’t stray far from home, delving into the life and literary experiences of Voices co-founder and editor emeritus Mo H Saidi, who, rather than settling into an uneventful retirement, is embarking on a new literary venture. Our spotlight artist is Venessa “Nessie” Marie, a local San Antonian with a BFA in metals and jewelry design, who is currently focusing on creating works in watercolor.
Poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, art, music, architecture—even the beauty inherent in math, science, and the universe itself—all inspire and shape our lives in innumerable ways. They enhance our experiences and shape who we are as individuals and communities. We see the therapeutic value of creating poems in the poetry therapy section of each issue, and we also see the effect on those around us who are immersed in literature and the arts. Such a person was Harold Rodinsky, a retired professor of psychology who spent his retirement writing poetry, feeding stray cats, tending his garden, and serving as chair of the board of Voices de la Luna. This issue is in his memory.