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IT IS WITH A SENSE of privilege and gratitude that I welcome the reader to this issue of The Melic Review. Faith — or, in PC language, belief system — is nearly as hard to write about as love or money.

"Under it my genius is rebuked" — so C.S. Lewis, quoting Shakespeare, defines the Numinous: the fear- and awe-filled apprehension of an object or spirit whose existence is postulate and yet universally recognized. The writers herein have grappled with their Numinous dread, or, at the least, nibbled around the edges of it. In some instances I had difficulty determining whether a particular piece should be contained in the "Theme" or "Non-Theme" category — a fact which underscores how much the reality of our lives depends on faith of one sort or another.

From singularly imaginative Psalms to Murphy's witty but deeply felt Gestalten; from Erdman's simply lyrical work to Burford's chilling portrait of the "saved" (or is it the damned?) — each work here reveals a unique auto da fe. In the three-month submissions window, I was privileged to glimpse the spiritual musings of some of the finest writers on the Net. It therefore came as no surprise that, as a direct result of my editorship, I was reconciled with one "I had dreamed... had done [me] most bitter wrong ... yet I number him in the song...."

And so, gentle Reader, I invite your "Soul to clap hands and sing, and louder sing/For every tatter in its mortal dress" — to stretch your eye and ear beyond the sentient and the concrete, to explore with us the "bounds that soul can reach."

     — KMC