Tuesday, February 18, 2014

TUESDAY POEM | Pond by T. Clear

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
                          inexorable hum.

                          T. Clear

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." 

Please visit the Cascadia Review website to enjoy more of T's poems and click on the quill below for this week's Tuesday Poems

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. . . "

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

TUESDAY POEM | Ithaca by Constantine P. Cavafy

Es Vedras, Ibiza - home, legend suggests, to the sirens who tried to lure Odysseus from his ship. . .  


                       When you set out for Ithaka
                       ask that your way be long,
                       full of adventure, full of instruction.
                       The Laistrygonians and the Cyclops,
                       angry Poseidon - do not fear them:
                       such as these you will never find
                       as long as your thought is lofty, as long as a rare
                       emotion touch your spirit and your body.
                       The Laistrygonians and the Cyclops,
                       angry Poseidon - you will not meet them
                       unless you carry them in your soul,
                       unless your soul raise them up before you.

                       Ask that your way be long.
                       At many a Summer dawn to enter
                       with what gratitude, what joy -
                       ports seen for the first time;
                       to stop at Phoenician trading centres,
                       and to buy good merchandise,
                       mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
                       and sensuous perfumes of every kind,
                       sensuous perfumes as lavishly as you can;
                       to visit many Egyptian cities,
                       to gather stores of knowledge from the learned.

                       Have Ithaka always in your mind.
                       Your arrival there is what you are destined for.
                       But don't in the least hurry the journey.
                       Better it last for years,
                       so that when you reach the island you are old,
                       rich with all you have gained on the way,
                       not expecting Ithaka to give you wealth.
                       Ithaka gave you a splendid journey.
                       Without her you would not have set out.
                       She hasn't anything else to give you.

                       And if you find her poor, Ithaka hasn't deceived you.
                       So wise you have become, of such experience,
                       that already you'll have understood what these Ithakas mean. 

We decided to keep last week's poem Bogong Moth by Joe Dolce up for another week over on our Tuesday Poem hub. Do visit the TP blog to read Joe's poem and explore the sidebar on the left-handside of the page for a rich repertoire of international poets and consistently fine poetry. 

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

TUESDAY POEM | The Soldier & The Poet by CB and Elizabeth Brooke-Carr

High on the peninsula hills directly opposite my house stands a lone soldier. A welcome part of my everyday landscape, I have wondered often about him and his - as far as I know - untold story. In early 2009, a poem arrived, landing on the page as if the soldier had called it forth, as if he had turned his face to my window and was listening. 

A month or two ago, my friend Elizabeth sent me a letter. "I'm not sure how to tell you this," she said, "but the soldier has written a reply to his poet. . . "

"Every love poem is also a peace poem."
Kevin Clements | National Centre for Peace & Conflict Studies, University of Otago  

This week's editor on the Tuesday Poem hub - with our second post of the new year - is Jennifer Compton. 
Jen has chosen Bogong Moth by Joe Dolce. The second stanza of this heart-stopping poem reads. . . 

                                                            I look up from my book
                                                            accepting the immortal,
                                                            fatal dance
                                                            of life and light,
                                                            like Icarus’s father
                                                            resigned to watch
                                                            his flying boy
                                                            hurl against brilliance.

To read Joe's poem and Jen's zippy commentary, please click on the quill.

A belated HAPPY NEW YEAR to us all. 

(I've been a distracted blog writer and reader this past month and more; immersed in various projects prompting the building and rebuilding of a website or two - exciting things are in the wings, the details of which will follow. . . )