Friday, August 24, 2018

The Summer Ends with Claudine Nash's Poetry

Tonight is the last entry before school starts, so I'd like to post Claudine Nash's poems, some of which draw on clothing imagery.  Of course, when some of us think about going back to school, we think about buying books, school supplies, and clothing.  Claudine's first two poems are especially appropriate tonight.  All three poems are from her new book, The Wild Essential.

A Kinder Suit

This year I want 
for nothing but 

a kinder cloth
to shield me against 
these blistering

I wish to shed 
the thoughts I wear 
as hair shirts, 

toss on layers 
of linen and 
soft knits, 
silks and lenient 

run my fingers 
along each thread 
then feel my mind 
breathe freely. 

By next season 
I will allow the wind
to loosen the beliefs 
that limit 
my movement, 

I will reach,

feel forgiveness 
wrap around me 
like skin.

Originally published in Scarlet Leaf Review

Silence Is the New Black

This morning 
I will dress 
myself neck 
to toe 
in silence 
then step into 
this field
to spin strands 
of still cattail
into a quietly 
patterned cloth.
I will wrap 
this fabric
around my mind 
like a turban
to swaddle
those fears that 
snap branches.
The lists that 
so sloppily spill 
noise on my 
will long last 
be hushed,
I will muffle 
the grievances 
that thunder 
under bone 
and scalp.
by thread, 
I will calm 
this tangle of 
until I hear 
nothing but 
then detect, 
rising into 
that space
where wind
meets breath, 
my voice.

Originally Published in Selfhoods: Varieties of Experiences


Baby, there’s more
moving through you 
than just the static 

You’ve got a symphony
swimming in those bones;
an act of wonder,
trying to work 
its way out.

Stop mumbling like 
your voice is nothing
but a still patch
of brambles and 
weeds. Baby, 

you’re a songbird
and this day’s sky
was meant for 
your music.

Come, stretch 
your neck and part 
your lips, Love.
Let the morning 

Originally published by Thirty West Publishing House – Broadside 

Hmm...I'm not surprised, but I see that Cassandra Wilson has
covered Van Morrison's "Tupelo Honey":  

Here is her version of "Sky and Sea (Blue in Green)":  

 Shifting gears because Ethan is reading, here is Frank Kimbrough's 

Mulgrew Miller, Woody Shaw, and others play on "Have You Met 

I'll finish with Miller's version of "Skylark":  


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