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Poetry by Shigé Clark

"Let the battered heart rejoice"

Tag

sadness

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

Fingerprints

Fingerprints

One Name

One Name

Husk

Hey guys.
I hope you have been doing better than I have. I apologize for not having posted in so long. I wanted to write something positive and uplifting for you all, something to encourage you and give you hope. And I have faith I’ll get back to that place. But that’s not where I’ve been, and I don’t want to be insincere with you.
So thank you for your patience, and while we wait for that spark to return, here is something for you now. Because maybe some of you out there are here with me now, and maybe we can work our way back together.
 
Always yours,
Shigé

Husk

I pretend.

i-pretend

It Suffices

It Suffices

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

Ashen

Her heart has become hollow,
Punctured, and all the love that filled it
Drained. The spear that pierced her killed it,
The rest of her to follow.
She wants to share compassion,
But she is a dried-up vineyard,
Dust. She keeps on digging inward,
But finds her soul is ashen.

– s. Clark

Missile Launch

One flick of a finger
Launched a missile
That blew us all to hell.
Critical implosion
At the center of our souls
Left a crater in our lives.
Collateral damage beyond calculation,
Fires of fear scattered throughout
The shrapnel of our dreams.
Standing amidst such
Mutually assured destruction,
We have no water and no tools
To put out each other’s fires,
Or rebuild each other’s hearts.
Too busy preserving
What little we have left standing.
The damage you’ve dealt
Is world-shattering.
How could you pull the trigger?

– s. Clark

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