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Poetry by Shigé Clark

"Let the battered heart rejoice"

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family

Loving You

Loving You

Theme Week: Christmas – 2

Wrapped

White flecks fall
Painting the landscape pure,
While we wrap warm wool about our necks.
And parcels wrapped
In jolly red and shimmering silver,
Fold in joy with tender care.
Arms enfold,
Wrapping us in warmth,
Engulfing those we love to keep them close.
Lights soft twinkling,
Like crystal-spectrum stars, and all
Is magic, wrapped around the everyday.

– s. Clark

You Were There

You have been there. The fight has grown so long,
I have lost count of all my battles fought.
My blade is bloodied, and my flesh is torn.
This war that we call life has made me strong,
and each success has been so dearly bought
beneath the weight of struggle and of scorn.

Though there are many crowded at the line
to watch me win the race, you shared the road.
So in the times I fell and lost my heart,
or knelt with broken knees and twisted spine,
you reached to raise me, shouldering my load.
You walked the weary wasteland from the start.

And there are always those who claim the win,
who show up for the trophies made of gold,
but you have been there for the grueling climb.
You offered faithful words and cheering grin
through all the pain, the tears, the biting cold,
through hateful words that rained like acid slime.

So let them come and boast with puffing chests,
and let them list me in their accolades.
The straws they grasp are empty as the air.
For in the times the haggard line was pressed,
I found you at my shoulder in the glade.
Through hell, with all its heartache, you were there.

– s. Clark

Elvis

She would rather that
One loyal, loving soul
Who knew her facts and faults
Who knew her in the whole
Would kneel beside her grave
And weep upon the dirt
That all the pain borne there
Would be an honest hurt
Of one who truly loved her,
The girl within the ground,
And thought the world much sadder
If she were not around.
She would rather have that,
One true, and loving friend,
Than a thousand admirers
To cry over her end;
Than all the world’s fanatics
To call a sadder place
The world that tried to claim her,
But only knew her face.
For she would change one life
And make it truly more,
Rather than claim many,
And leave them as before.
Yes, she would choose a death
That many do not feel.
But for those few who know it,
Their grief, their love, is real.

– s. Clark

Unrepeatable

From the countless different features
Made for faces in this world,
Matched with all the different textures
Of our hair, from straw to curls,
There is just one combination
Falling purposely to place
That could bring them all together
To make your specific face.
And though you may share some features,
Mother’s eyes and father’s chin,
Like the way you got my smile
So we shared our silly grin,
All the pieces of your puzzle,
Shades and dimples, scrapes and scars,
Made a unique constellation
Out of all our common stars.
And it’s strange how the mosaic
Of expressions that were yours
Could leave such an empty echo
Where the pattern was before.
Though we came from the same palette,
You were made a work of art
That could never be repeated
Through the sum of painted parts.
And I can’t help but be broken
That through each familiar place,
I can pick out all your features
But I’ll never find your face.

– s. Clark

Thankful Heart

(I have written this piece in response to a request I received for a “poem of thanks” to celebrate the imminent Thanksgiving holiday. If you would like to submit a prompt, message me, and I will do my best to fill it!)

It ever is the simple thing,
The shining sun or roaring waves,
That marks a memory on our souls,
That silently and softly saves.
It is the child’s gleeful voice,
The soothing touch of friendship’s hand,
That lift us up from sorrow’s grip
And keep us walking through this land.
They are the small and happy times,
The praise that’s spoken, bold and real,
The laughter snatched by a quick wit,
The moments that we thrill to feel.
Within this world so wide and raw,
That can be filled with so much pain,
There is wonder and beauty here
That far outweighs the cost with gain.
The mountains raised to cleave the clouds,
Or bright and yawning fields of green,
The wood in winter, crisp and clear,
The countless hues of sky we’ve seen!
A steaming mug of cider, and
Food on the table, piping hot.
A fire in the chill of night,
A peaceful moment gently caught.
Your family close by your side,
Made up of those who give their care
Unthinking if it may return.
A place to live, a heart to share.
And though the grime of life will pull
Like quicksand, sinking you to death,
There is a hand that reaches passed
The darkness there to bring you breath.
And for these things, the rain of gifts
That shower on us from the start,
I fear I have but one return,
To offer up a thankful heart.

– s. Clark

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