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Poetry by Shigé Clark

"Let the battered heart rejoice"

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fear

Visitors

The visitors all come bearing selfishness,
but only Sorrow wears it royal
in the open like a robe.
He hunkers under the heavy cloak
saying it keeps out the cold,
and makes apologies—apologies for all the mud
it drags across my well-swept floors
and the jabbing pins within
that hold him together.
Oh, but he must, he must wear it,
and all is borne.
I set my hands out in a bowl, and we both bow.
The cloak is shed, the pins replaced
with thread, the floors are cleaned,
and the visitor sent on his way.
“Come again when you must.”

Rage is easier to greet,
but rarely receives entrance,
drunk as he comes
tilting into precious, porcelain peaces.
The door is bolted against him, so he hammers
ceaselessly throughout the day and night.
And since I have not learned his name,
I cannot sober him with reason
or soothe him with song.
“Water, water,” he cries,
and I give him wine in the shadows.
His furnace needs a river. But no,
that could rip the whole structure from its roots.
So I let him spew his flames on the threshold,
and those who mind the house wonder
at the flickering in the windows,
the bubbling and peeling of the walls,
and I tell them all is well, all is well,

as smoke billows beneath the door.
I sit frog-like and boiling, beside
the only one who made my halls his home.
Looming mass of muscle—I have fed him well.
I ask if I should let his brother in.
“No,” he whispers, as he ever does.
All visitors abide against his will.
It is he who cleans the floors,
and paints the walls, and pours the wine.
He who draws Rage in, and he who bars the door.
He who fills the room to bursting,
suffocating any who would stay.
But now wood splinters, heat spills through the cracks,
and he shambles toward the basement door.
Tomorrow will find him unburnt,
fingers coiled like silk-tongued snakes
around my ankles in the ashes.

– s. Clark

From the Deep

I wanted to do a rhyming poem for you next, since it’s been so long
but this is what my heart had
From the Deep.JPG

Drive

Drive.PNG

Call to Open Arms

Friends, in response to my previous post and in light of all that’s happening in the world right now, I offer you my humble reply.

Call to Open Arms

At Worry’s End

At Worry's End

Losing You

I am terrified
To lose the image of your face,
That only heartache will replace
Its contours in my mind.
I am raw with pain,
And reaching for your fading shape,
Praying that it will not escape
The fragile, fickle bind
That is memory.
Is there nothing cannot be lost?
Have I not paid whatever cost
Was set for loving you?
Please leave something here,
Some happy shred of who you were,
One thought to which I can refer
For all the love we knew.

– s. Clark

Coal

He held his dream so deeply that
the dream was wrapped in fear.
It burned so bright within him that
it hurt to hold it near.
He never spoke it, for the way
it trembled on his lip,
and would not leave the shore for fear
of sinking with the ship.
And so the dream lay burning in
the embers of his soul.
For fear of flame extinguished, he
was left with only coal.

– s. Clark

Theme Week: Bravery – 3

Faith and Fear

Faith is the crisp, clean water
That soothes your thirsting heart.
Fear is the potent poison
That pulls the soul apart.
One cannot stand the other,
They cannot live combined,
Toxins in cleansing water,
Or fear with faith in mind.
One drop of bitter poison
Will spoil all you drink,
Just as one fear you hold to
Can ruin how you think.
And just as cleansing water
Will wash a venom out,
So too can trust through hardship
Rush through, and cleanse your doubt.
You must choose one or other,
You cannot hold to both,
You’ll find you’re drinking poison
And cutting off your growth.
So drink your cleansing water
Completely on its own.
Faith is not true faith, until
You let it stand alone.

– s. Clark

Please

Please
don’t ever leave me.
You are the wind
that tosses my thoughts in a frenzy
and twirls joy-stained leaves through my life
You are the paint
that dyes my greying heart with dreams
and colors the blank canvas of my mind
You are the coat
that cuts off the chill of cruelty
and hugs warmth back into my bones
You are bubbles in chocolate milk
You are rollerblade runs in my jeans
You are the thread sewing me together
And could unravel everything, if you pull it
So please,
don’t ever leave me.

– s. Clark

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