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Poetry by Shigé Clark

"Let the battered heart rejoice"

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poets

“What is this storm cloud?” he asked,
“why does it all seem
overcast?” and how do I explain that
seven years ago, a boy died, and a giant,
bloody chunk of me
went with him. And when
Ahmaud Arbery was gunned down in the street
last year, I saw his face and felt it
all again. Ragtime plays
in the shuffle, and I hear its echoes
yelling that we haven’t budged since then,
and ask myself—if Breonna Taylor had been
my friend, would I settle
for budging? The judging comes
too slow. And corpses pile up
like fall leaves on a poison wind
because of people braying over a cloth mask,
and am I expected to laugh?
To let it all pass by me
like a vapor—like I am not
still flesh, and blood, and anger?
With children packed
into cages and airplanes, and frightened
men dying under runway wheels—to make no mention
of finding plastic in new rain
and newborn veins, until
every birth feels like a bated death?

We learned well—the first thing you do
when taking fire is find
cover and concealment—then
fire back. Don’t lift your head
too high, don’t drop your guard until
the threat is dead. Should I instead dance
in this hailstorm of lead?
A cup of tea while we wait
for the volley to abate? Isn’t this rather where
we dig trenches, and hold the line?
Should I say that I’m fine, like people aren’t dying
for the greed of us?
For the need of just
a sliver of humanity—but
vanity, vanity, all is dust, and I’m
tired of breathing it in. It’s been
the dark before the dawn
for far too long. Too much
waiting for a new song to begin, like
the whole record hasn’t come unhinged—and I
keep rising like the tides
are changing, just to be
bowled over by the waves again,
like all these crying souls aren’t chained
into my skin, weighing
me into the deep. Like there haven’t been
too many funerals. Like my own
sinew and bone haven’t long since turned
against me.

I believe joy
will return. I believe in more
than what I feel. But for now,
is it not enough to stand as hollow steel
and let the dust winds blow
through your limbs, and whistle low
their dirges through you? Is it sin
to let it all undo you? Even
Christ himself was pierced through,
and laid to rest. Did he not also grieve though he knew
resurrection was coming? And before he was raised,
did he not first take his time in the grave?

I will not come away, but let me be
the broken clay of earth
that I am. The war is real,
and for the love of Love, a wound has to close
before it can heal.

Growing in Graveyards

Growing in Graveyards

All Anew and Twice as Bold

All Anew and Twice as Bold

Unguarded Ground

Gold and Green

Gold from Green

Featured poet! Andrew Peterson

Eyes on my favorite lyricist, a man who should be known far and wide for his powerful way with words. Andrew Peterson is a glorious songwriter and poet, he has a way of capturing emotions that were too deep for anyone else to adequately touch.

In honor of #NationalPoetryMonth, here is his song “To All the Poets I Have Known”. I had to cut the chorus out to fit it into a picture for you all (shame on me, I know). So go check out the song here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9q1HIKpXIw
And check out Andrew Peterson’s youtube channel for many other beautiful songs:https://www.youtube.com/user/andrewpetersonmusic/videos

Andrew Peterson - To All the Poets

Limited Lines

Limited Lines

National Poetry Month!

Friends, I have been remiss!
I have been so busy that it is halfway through NATIONAL POETRY MONTH and I haven’t posted any poems!!!
Unacceptable. Rest assured, I HAVE been working on things for you! I have some poems and some songs, and in honor of National Poetry Month I will be posting something EVERY DAY for the rest of April! Some will be my work, some will feature lesser-known poets, and some will be classics from my favorite poets across time.
Keep a lookout for all the good things, starting TODAY!

 Shigé

Faces Known

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