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Poetry by Shigé Clark

"Let the battered heart rejoice"

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poetry

to my weary warriors

A little poetic doodle for today:

I wish the world was softer for you. I wish
It touched you with feathered fingertips
And didn’t twist its fist into your chest like
One at war – when I know
That you don’t want to fight,
That you would talk it out if
Anyone would listen. I would lift
This burden from your shoulders
If I could. I would warm the colder
Corners of this house with all the light
That doesn’t shine outside.
I would hide you, if the choice were mine.
I would guide you to align
Yourself with peace, and protect you
From the harm. I would warn you away
From all that grieves you, keep you
From the fray, and ever sheltered
From the world that needs you.

Though He Slay Me

The hackberry chars, but will not burn.
It turns its back, defiant to the fire.
It won’t be lost to ember and to ash,
it lasts beyond the pyre.
It will be itself, and nothing less –
if greyed and shriveled from its form.
It says that living wood is best
and will not be reborn.

The birch erupts to instant flame
and fumes – it burns a golden bright
and is consumed. It flings itself
in flakes against the night
and breathes full to its core. The pain
of crumbling is barely more
than life, and for
all its ash and ember, it is nothing less
than light.

Grateful (from Hutchmoot: Homebound)

For those who’ve asked for it, here’s my poem Grateful that I wrote during Hutchmoot: Homebound.


I am grateful. 
Darkness pulls at the edge of my cloak, and
I am grateful to stand 
in the smoke. I am able 
to laugh as I choke 
under scorched skies. 
Milky eyes leave streaks 
through dust tracks on my cheeks, ash 
rains down around me in the streets,
Father, the world is on fire. 
I raise my hands higher 
in the flames,
I am more than dust, and rust, and pain. 
I am grateful

for the strain
of music running through the veins
of earth. For the birth
of new joy in a hurricane
of woes. For those 
who raise their horns 
to split the night asunder. For thorns
shoved into willing brows and the thunder
of hooves on battle plains. For those who bow
under the weight and laugh beside me. 
For the dark that could not hide me,
and the dawn that always rises in the east. 
For the feast to come, 
that’s starting here
with table scraps of grace
and the light of shattered gold on every face.

Every trace of truth, it matters 
and it breaks 
into the battered body 
like a song. I am wrecked, 
and sore, 
and long to rest. 
But more, and more, and more, and best,
I am grateful.


If you’d like to hear the poem in it’s spoken-word form, you can watch it here on the Rabbit Room blog.

Love is This

He said love resides in memory.
I suppose
it can exist in afterglows,
in glass-pressed pictures tinted rose,
and how the heart holds
the mark of a strike
far longer than our simple skin,
how it can keep a moment sinking in.

I guess the scents and touches
linger after.
The tumbling of your laughter
across the grass, the past—fast-fading
flash of light—
the weight of you inside my arms,
our foreheads pressed together,
how you
never shrank from adoration
or ever met my kiss with indignation.

I suppose it has some merit,
all the dreams
we stuff inside each other, straining seams
and scribble-scripting words into the reams
of all our stories, to make some sense
of things that fail and fall from present tense.

I guess love cares for memories,
if even one
can carry them until the road is done,
can bear them underneath the heat, and run
the race—perhaps alone.
Too often it all falls to one to own.

But I have watched how memory
gathers rust,
how time can grind its finer points to dust,
and leave it brittle under winter’s gust.
And I think more, by now, that love is this:
the thing soft-sighing when the memories twist
and decompose to sorrow,
“Yet, you will find me here again tomorrow.”

Living Gray

Some Gray Lives

Shards of Stained Glass

Shards of Stained Glass

Rechristening

Shape the Earth

Advent

Advent

So Far, Yet Still

So Far

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