Guest-Editorial: Scott Thomas Outlar (Western Voices)

Scott Thomas Outlar
All the World Is a Stage

And the horses will gallop
and the cows will chew the cud
and the sheep will graze
(while being led astray)
and the vultures will perch
and the rats will scurry
and the turtles will shrink their heads
and the swine will bathe in their troughs
and the skunks will spray their scent
and the goats will gnaw on bones
and the wolves will hunt
and the foxes will maneuver with stealth
and the serpents will slither
and the salmon will swim
and the bulls will charge
and the frogs will hop
and the ravens will sing their refrains
and the owls will judge by night
and the ants will march after sugar
and the bees will buzz near the flowers
and the butterflies will flutter

and all the farm will play its part in kind
as both the shepherds
and the butchers watch over

The doves awakened early and began performing a raucous concert this morning. A hymnal to the sun. A symphonic meditation welcoming subtle hints of spring. They sense the signs as well as we. Shrouded in layers of cloth and fur, I joined their ecstatic ceremony, praising all forms of warmth in this world. Humming a psalm to the fire in your heart. I swore to never blink again, and I wasn’t just whistling Dixie.

All the secrets laced in your language, the hidden treasures of your verse, the diamonds in your cut, the crafty movements of your verbs … will no longer be occulted after crows are finished pecking apart the veil to reveal spilled vials.

Round two of the roaring twenties sent us spinning through a phase shift from the already obnoxious Age of Wuhan straight into Orwell’s fevered dream. The script keeps getting screwier, the acts more bizarre, the strings pulled behind the scenes more unhinged. But that’s all fine and dandy because we still have honesty and integrity on our side, right? Isn’t that art’s inherent purpose, after all? To seek out and enshrine the highest order of truth? Consult your conscience with care before answering because we all know that poetry is prone to whispering little white lies. But regardless, how fortunate are we to live in these interesting times when such a theory is being tested under the most extraordinary pressures? Commence counting lucky stars. 

It’s been an absolute pleasure serving as guest editor on this third annual western voices edition of Setu Mag. Thank you to Sunil Sharma and Anurag Sharma for the opportunity, and thank you to all the wonderful writers whose contributions made this issue possible. 

I’ve also been inspired of late while working along with Mihaela Melnic on our forthcoming collaborative book, Evermore (due out later this year through Concrete Mist Press). So please excuse my ruminations which may seem slightly obsessed with current conditions upon the farm. But, as they say, if the boot fits… 

Scott Thomas Outlar

Poetry: Western Voices (February 2021): Authors


  1. lovely ruminations...thanks for inviting me to be a part of this edition of Western Voices. Godspeed!

  2. What a beautiful poetic introductory invocation. Thank you so much for including me and especially please accept my gratitude for the work you, Sunil Sharma,and Anurag Sharma do for our world literary culture.


We welcome your comments related to the article and the topic being discussed. We expect the comments to be courteous, and respectful of the author and other commenters. Setu reserves the right to moderate, remove or reject comments that contain foul language, insult, hatred, personal information or indicate bad intention. The views expressed in comments reflect those of the commenter, not the official views of the Setu editorial board. प्रकाशित रचना से सम्बंधित शालीन सम्वाद का स्वागत है।