Each year the publishing house Taylor & O’Neill issues a call for photographs on a given theme, selects its favorite images, then invites writers to respond to them with poems or short prose passages. The final selections are then issued in an “Open to Interpretation” anthology, richly produced in a large format, cloth bound book.

This year’s theme, “Fading Light,” drew contributors from across the nation and four continents. Two poems by Robert Schultz are paired with two separate photographs in 2013’s Fading Light: Open to Interpretation. Schultz’s “The Summons” responds to a haunting photograph of a boy holding a smoking tree branch with lines about Bacchus, the Greek god of wine and ecstasy.


Who said the gods, though deep
In twilight, died? At dusk
In a field, far from town,
Far from streetlights, from mall
And even money’s howl,
Bacchus holds a three-pronged
Torch and waits for you. He
Leans against a stone that
Rolled from its hill beyond
The pines behind him long
Before your family tree
Took root. But he knows you–
Knows each hair on your head,
Knows the wisps on your arms
That rise at dusk when light
Fails and a breeze that feels
Like softest smoke makes live
Flesh rise, as if summoned.