Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Poem Tuesday

Blogger friend Claire Beynon at Icelines

has started posting a poem every Tuesday,

along with numerous other poets, and I've

decided to tag along. Thought I'd start

with something topical:


Barely ten, I bolted from Rose Chintz china

and linen, dinner still barely warm.

My pink coat, made over from another April,

another sister, lay rumpled beside white

patent leather and gloves soft as a rabbit’s ear.

The woods were green with four o’clock April light

and hardly a wind rippled the hazelnuts,

the nettles just beginning to line my path.

I ran and leapt over logs and ferns

until I reached the enormous maple

behind Rupert’s broken barn. I climbed

and swayed in the thinning branches,

stretched as far as that tree would allow

and sang as loudly as I can remember:

Jesus Christ is risen’ today, a-a-a-a-a-le-e-lu-u-jah.

Our triumphant holy day, a-a-a-a-a-le-e-lu-u-jah.

There was not a soul in sight

that green and billowing afternoon

from my bluejay’s perch above the world.

And no organ padded the velvet air,

no plaster saints, no crucifix.

I sang until I trembled with hoarseness

and felt the wind gone from my lungs.

Then silently I slipped branch by sturdy branch

to the earth. Took the long way home --

through the deserted orchard, past the filbert grove,

up a slow hill to my house.

Copyright, T. Clear

Originally appeared in Manzanita Quarterly


  1. Hi T.Clear - so glad you're doing this, too! The great thing about us all being spread around the globe is that each day is something like 37 hours long! This gives us plenty of time to post poems and to travel North and South. Lovely.

    Your crisp, clear poem is a wonderful portrait of you (and your eyes on the world) at 'barely ten.' So many detailed observations! You were a poet then, too, of course...

    You are uncovering a new (to me in the South) landscape - flickers, a day or two ago. Today, I will be looking up filbert groves. The two go together, yes?

  2. Thanks, Claire. It's an old poem -- perhaps from the late 1970's.

  3. very nice, I love your poetry!

  4. How beautifully! you have captured, re-entered, that peculiar state of young girl exuberance: of being alone, in the outdoors, and singing something appropriate to the entire universe.

    I used to do that!

    I also sang to the cows and to the pigs. Entire epics. About THEM!

    Love, C.

  5. Beautifully told--it seems only kids can sing like that!

  6. Great! You successfully became a small innocent girl in the poem.

  7. "I sang until I trembled with hoarseness and felt the wind gone from my lungs."

    I love those moments from childhood like this, forever captured in my mind. Wonderful Easter memory, T.

  8. How lucky some of us are to have moments of ecstasy as children--those 'hallelujahs' in whatever tongue we sing them give us a place for the pearl to grow, in all the salt water of our hearts, our tears, our lives. Lovely.