Monday, September 28, 2009


In memory, Mark Benchley Anderson
September 28, 1956-November 21, 2003



You called me out for a sparrow

fallen from the Douglas fir,

the nest invisible in the endless web

of branch upon branch reeling above us.

And what comfort was I,

your earth-bound wife, nine months

pregnant, barely moving?

You lifted it into the warm cradle of your hands

and for a long moment we didn’t speak.

The child inside me shifted and turned —

a certain impatience, I suppose, to get on with things.

And then so gently you balanced the bird

on a low bough, out of reach of cats.

We knew it would not survive the night.


The City Light crew

has trimmed the upper branches,

sheared off most of one side

to keep us safe, they say, from a collision

of evergreen and wire. Now it stands

lop-sided, north-heavy.

In wind I fret over gusting limbs,

a shattering of glass and timber —

I keep watch over our sleeping children,

yet they wake and cry

to the rhododendron’s rasping

against storm windows.

My bones shiver

under cover, safe

from careening branches, from small birds

dropping into darkness.

--T. Clear, 1989

A Song For You (Live @ The Troubador, Los Angeles, CA) - Donny Hathaway


  1. I know this is a very personal post but I had to comment. This is very beautiful and I'm so teary-eyed for you.

    I LOVE the new look!

  2. Lovely images, T. I love the way you have with words. The song is wonderful, too. What a great post.