Author Archives: abclarke

About abclarke

http://www.linkedin.com/in/ArtClarke

Three Lives of Trees

Image result for thick oak forest

Once I was the oak upon the hill, strong and resolute. As the winds came, I sheltered the sheep beneath my boughs, and with a low grumble stood still against the storm.

And a leaf fell.
And a twig snapped.
And a branch fell.
And my trunk cracked and I tumbled.

And so I thought, I must not be an oak – I pretended to be a palm. I learned to bend, to twist, to turn. In light winds the sheep still sheltered, but in the storms I yelled, “run you fools run!” Alone before the tempest I would dance, swing wildly, toss my body, my mind, my soul against the ground and air, and yell “I can withstand! I can withstand!”

And a fruit fell.
And a frond snapped.
And a branch fell.
And my trunk cracked and I tumbled.

And now? From an acorn I grow anew, but I grow amongst the palms, the sycamores and the ashes. The willows weep around me. The holly bushes snare lovers ‘neath their thorns. Our roots mix and our seeds mingle as the sheep graze beneath the canopy. So when the storms come my oakish torso will take my share as we raise our leaves to the heavens.

And the fruit shall grow.
And the leaves shall wave.
And the branches will soar
As our trunks worship the forest for our trees.

Dangerous Times

While we’re killing time,
Time is killing us.

And at times
I think it’s time
To end these times
To thwart that time.

But this time 
I’ll take the time
To note there is no time
But this time.

And while the killing time
May come in time,
This time
Is not that time.

IDIOMATIC GIRLS

KEEP HOPE ALIVE.
OTHERWISE THEY WILL NOT PAY THE RANSOM.

CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME
BY CHECKING HER E-MAIL.

PRAISE GLORY.
SHE GOT AN A.

PURSUE DESTINY,
AND SHE WILL FILE A RESTRAINING ORDER.

WEEP FOR JOY!
HER CAT GOT RUN OVER.

STAY STRONG IN FAITH.
IT’S MORE ENJOYABLE FOR HER.

Reaching

Bend towards light and follow the star,
Stretching and growing and reaching for far.
Turn petals and faces to reach the beyond,
Almost, yes almost, breaking earth’s bond.

And the dirt and the shit that covers your roots,
The worms and the beetles that ravage your fruit;
Find joy when you ponder amidst all your gloom
For their charitable gifts do power your bloom.

The Misanthrope’s Ball

Come, come to the Misanthrope’s ball,
Misandrists, misogynists lining the walls.

Glaring and staring and flaring and raring
To air out their hate with odious swearing.

Yet the secret I know is they’re all in the hall,
For lonely abhorrence is no fun at all.

Tapestries

We are but spools of thread
Of varying lengths,
Each our own color and heft,
Yet anchored to the yarn
We raveled from.

Our bobbin unwinds
As the path we walk
Lays down our filaments,
Winding around the others’,
Weaving the fabric of our lives.

Until one day
Our cylinder falls
From the canvas of our souls,
And we are left to ask
Have our actions sewn beauty?


Carpe Diem

Image result for hang gliding

I thought “carpe diem” meant
Seize the day
And wrest the world
To my whim
My will,
And my way.

Yet time
And time
And time again, 
I was blown back.

Now I know “carpe diem” means
Seize the day 
And hold on.
Lean my mind, 
And my soul
Into the world.

So like a hang-glider,
I soar
Or dive
As the world’s wind blows.

Triangulating the Truth

Image of a triangulation surveying system from the 1700s.

Each reference point,
from different angles,
improves our understanding
of the terrain.

I know this.
I understand this.

Yet when it comes to my soul,
I discard your perspective,
and your advice,

For surely
my scope alone
can understand the world.

Apocalypse Now

Let’s have an apocalypse now,
Let’s end it all.
Come on together,
Let’s have a ball.

Let’s destroy the fountains,
The gardens and flowers.
Let’s tear down our monuments,
Let’s kill all in power.

Let’s brew up a tempest,
Of fury and hate.
Let’s throw all we’ve built
Into hell’s open gape.

And then, oh my friends,
With apocalypse here,
Let’s notice the void,
And be alone with our fear.

The Rabbinical Mathematician


Taking your wrinkled hand in mine,
As our grandchildren play in the crèche,
I remember

How we argued about the Ketubah.
How you pushed.
How I prodded.
And how we agreed
No matter what angle life came at us
We should approach it together, as one.

I signed.
You signed.
And we multiplied.

I co-signed.
You co-signed.
And we multiplied.

Now our grandchildren bring us joy.
And no matter how life pushed,
No matter how life prodded,
I agree
No matter what angle life came at us
We approached it together, as one.

The old laws are the most beautiful.

Sign2(angle) + Co-Sign2(angle) = one.

Thoughts: #3

The secret to happiness is there is no secret to happiness,

And the path to happiness is the path you are on.

Accept these truths and you will find happiness,

But only once you stop looking for it.

Oh, my my

I am in the fight of my life
For my life
With my life.
And my mind cries
Find my tie,
Step off my chair,
Let go of everything,
And reach into nothing.

And you say we are in the fight of our lives,
For our lives
With our lives.
And our hearts cry
Find our ties,
Sit in our chairs,
Let go of everything,
And reach for each other.

Oh.
I see.
It’s not my life
I fight
But my my.
My my.
My my.

If I can just…

If I can make it to now
Things will be all right.
If I can focus on here
Not those things that might.

If I can make it to now,
Things will be all right,
Even if horror
Is clearly my plight.

If I can leave behind yesterday
Let past times be past.
If I can forget what must come,
No matter how fast.

If I can make it to now
And feel sadness inside.
If I can just let my grief
Be kind future’s guide.

If I can just make it here,
If I can just hold on now,
If I can just reach my hand out,
I’ll find arms that allow
A holding of comfort
Where tears can run long,
And when sewers are washed clean,
Keep hold firm and strong.

If I can make it to now,
And let go of escape,
The grey fog of sorrow
Shall slowly undrape,
And valleys of flowers
Fed strong by the dew
Will await present me
To finally break through.