Author Archives: abclarke

About abclarke

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

The Carpenter's Wedding Bed

Joinery is a balance of tensions:

Too much tension, and the construct collapses under the stress;

Too little tension, and the joints touch briefly then fall away.

In the beginning the hammering and the nailing helps, 

But in the long term the weight the bed carries

Provides the force that keeps it all in place.

Outside the Ring

“Why do you keep entering the ring?” they asked the aging boxer.

“Because outside the ring, the flowers that bloom are eaten by the deer that graze, and they are eaten by the wolves that hunt, and they are eaten from within by their fear of their young.

“Because outside the ring, in your cushioned offices and heated factories you are pummeled and ravaged by the fists of time until you are left bloodied and dead on the canvas of your life.

“Because outside the ring, the children who think they are not children play their dangerous games until one by one they are knocked to the ground by life.

“At least here I face the fist of fear with eyes open, gloriously aware of where I am, rather than get punched in the back of my head by the illusion that I am not in the ring.”

Boiling Frogs

If you try to put a frog
in a pot of boiling water
it will try to jump out
to save its life. 

If you put a frog
in a pot of cold water,
then slowly raise the temperature,
science has shown us
when the water gets too warm
the frog will also jump out. 

Frogs ain’t stupid. 

Why are we?

A frog sitting on the handle of a saucepan, which is sitting on an electric hob, which is glowing red.
By James LeeFormerIP at en.wikipedia – https://www.flickr.com/photos/jronaldlee/4579611880/Transferred from en.wikipedia by ronhjones, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18954704

The Spiritual Circus

We are all unstable; yet some of us balance better than others.

There is the strongman who stands upon the ground balancing;
And nothing (not wind, nor rain, nor sleet, nor snow) will make him move;
A thousand tiny muscles constantly adjusting inside;
While he smiles, immobile, before the onslaught.

There is the child playing with motion;
Mother gently holding hands;
Who swings from side to side until he holds the spot;
And their laughter makes him fall.

There are the lovers, hands interchanged;
One swaying left and the other swaying right;
As they learn that balance together
Is easier than balance alone.

And then there are the dancers, 
Who flow the instability from extreme to extreme, 
Swaying to some beat they hear and we see,
And we cannot look away.

True beauty though, 
True beauty,
Comes in the circus. 
As the dancers hold the lovers
Who hold the children
Who hold the strong men
Who hold the dancers;
As the music courses and
A rhythm takes hold 
That hides the imperfections;
We strum strum strum
In beat beat beat
To the sway sway sway;
And balance together
With music from nowhere
Turns instability to art.

pinwheel

Three Lives of Trees

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.

Image result for thick oak forest

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 no time
But this time.

Oh the killing time
May come in time;
Yet 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.