Cup of Water, Cup of Sky | CB 2014
We roamed beyond subdivisions
to this rain-brimming vacancy in some
city planner’s scheme. Not lovely,
but a version of heaven wet enough
to lure amorous toads whose eggs
we scooped into Folger’s cans.
Sloshed home, the rank goo
dripping a slithery trail.
We set them hatching in a fishbowl,
floated bits of boiled romaine.
This is a common story:
a patch of forest slashed in an afternoon,
a clearcut of nettles, salal, bracken.
Tiger lilies in their forgotten glade wrenched, ripped.
Lots flagged, foundations poured.
And then into the worm barrel
out back, growing less finny each day.
Finally springing high enough
they leapt beyond borders
into what remained of murmuring woods,
the decrescendo of frogsong
becoming the planet’s
Pond was first published in Cascadia Review in their June 2013 issue, the first of five of T. Clear's poems to appear in the journal over the course of a week - each one finely, tautly-wrought; each one differently atmospheric, graceful and gritty. These are poems in which noise is hushed and the earth's subtler music is allowed to come through.
In Holy Week, T writes
All was new or new to me
this one line a distillation or container for her ever-alert poet's eye, ear and heart. She writes into and out of our always-in-motion, oft chaotic, ever-renewing world.
Friend and fellow poet, Melissa Green, posted a comment on the Cascadia site that reiterates these qualities of T's sensibility and voice - "How wonderful to have a week’s worth of your poems available all at once. Congratulations! So many of your themes are familiar–apple picking, fishing with your father (so moving! the gifts of that day!), a Catholic Easter– but the details of your language color them as yours and no one else’s, and beautifully poignant."
In her Statement of Place on the Cascadia site, T writes, "I was born in Seattle and have lived joyfully in the Pacific Northwest for fifty-six years. In my travels to other landscapes across the planet, there is always the ache to return to this topography of foothills and craggy peaks, of saltwater and freshwater always in easy reach."
Michelle Elvy is this week's Tuesday Poem editor - and hub-sub editor for the coming three months. She has chosen this year's Takahe prize winning poem Uncoupling by Jac Jenkins -
"Ice clasps its thorny cloak with filigreed
brittle lace against my breast
bone. The pin sticks my skin when I inhale. . . "