Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Claudine Nash's Poems about Water and Drought

Water and drought can be powerful metaphors, as poet/psychologist Claudine Nash shows us this evening.

The Stream

Bend 1

You are sitting in a drought,
wounded and needful. Dry.
You offer yourself a burr
and shard of glass. When
you open your mouth, out
slips a pebble.

Bend 2 

You are sitting in a drought,
parched. Needful. You think
"my poor wounded one,"
but then a coarse stream
of "shoulds" spills from
your  lips. You spit out
a shell.

Bend 3

You are sitting in a drought,
dry and needful. Silent.
You slip a hand over this
tender heart of your own

and out pours a stream.

A Beautiful Rain

You feel like a drought, yes,

but the soil does not crack
with your footsteps

nor do your bare feet
kick up dust.

Your breath does not draw
water from the dirt

or cause words
to crumble between
your teeth.

There is earth in you, yes,

but not sand. Not rock,
not desert, nothing sharp
or arid. Your edges

breathe and bend.
You pulse

in all the right

There is a pool in your
heart, deep and sustaining.

Nothing has withered,
no one will drown here

or shrivel to bone.

There is storm
in your veins, yes,
but not a dry gust.

It is a beautiful rain, and 
somewhere beneath it,

a field of wild grass and
tulips is spinning itself
to life.

(Previously published in The Poeming Pigeon: Poems from the Garden)

Sometimes Before It Storms

Sometimes before
it storms,

I pack a satchel
of peaches and
call myself  Beloved.

I say such things as
“Beloved, you need
water” or “My beloved,
let’s go to the sea.”

I do not fret the mist,

it is a beach after all
and moisture is inherent
in the process. Besides,

a good peach always
pleases me.

I am content to let
the waves have their way
with my breath
until my lungs fall

and rise with their

I become
my own term of
endearment then
breathe myself
to life.

Dear, you
give me such grief
for disappearing
into the ocean,

but tell me,

without this,

how else could
I ever offer you
any fruit?

(Previously published in Peacock Journal)

Claudine Nash is an award-winning poet whose collections include The Wild Essential (Aldrich Press, forthcoming), Parts per Trillion (Aldrich Press, 2016) and The Problem with Loving Ghosts  (Finishing Line Press, 2014). Her poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and has appeared in numerous publications including Asimov’s Science Fiction, BlazeVOX, Cloudbank and Haight Ashbury Literary Journal among others. She is also a practicing psychologist. www.claudinenashpoetry.com.

Miles Davis' "Amandla" makes me think of the desert:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=To4OhHDbVPM

"Catembe" is also from Amandla, a late album by Miles Davis.

As is "Mr. Pastorius": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_hdF6VEDJ4

I'll finish with a live version of his "Human Nature":  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZ5E4Jo3lpU


  1. Painful and then they became a balm to my desert.

  2. Water has its say ... & we don't know the half of it?
    I say this prompted by the words I've read here ...