featured in the poetry forum November 24, 2022  :: 0 comments

sun shining
dances in leaves across
the white paper of
birch bark

distance is a mirage
only the mind sees

birds are shadows
darting through consciousness
like streaks of wind

each leaf turns an eye blinded
by sun

trail open to the marching of ants
black specks like moving
cells of a brain

the sky is wide open like
a mouth yawning

all movement owes
a debt to stillness

the sky as always
owns us.

editors note:

Stuck in a stroll, always sky in control. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum September 19, 2021  :: 0 comments


the moon is keeping watch
bolted onto the nightfall sky
wind carries the clouds
delicately past
like gray fragments torn away
by our brooding.


the clouds fall toward the horizon
dipping past the farthest treetops
like passion they are so immense
yet silent
leaving the absorbing sky behind
to fill with new longing.


warm day for an autumn
walk in the dense woods
screeching blue jays
sandhill cranes croaking
branches giving off their leaves
like teardrops
a few at a time
and then the cathartic calm
wind shushing the treetops
leaves pattering across the earth
in the sure direction of
a promise.

editors note:

A Fall with no landing only turns on turns in promising directions. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum September 9, 2020  :: 0 comments

time is busy making room
only for itself

as usual we are busy doing our best
to do ourselves in

even the rocks won’t survive our bombs

but for now we have some time

for now pick up this rock
hold it up to the sky

rocks are known to break
but never to heal

rocks have deep scars where
they spent their lives holding up
the world

their heaviness is an unfinished

we cannot blame the world
for being the world

we only have ourselves
for that

editors note:

No more rocks? No more us. None left to blame… – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum July 25, 2019  :: 0 comments

our exhaustion trapped
within us
like holding the weight of lead
in a closed hand
in the dark mist a train echoes
like the windblown rain
it moves in hums mixed
with hushes
its horn is sudden
like the voice of a giant
sounding over the top
of our heads
cracking in thunder to break our mirrors
it is the distance seeded in our eyes
staring out to the length of this bridge
that spans across to another country we
seldom think to visit.

editors note:

Trainspotting to transporting; a rare visitation from the blast of a horn. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum December 26, 2018  :: 0 comments

a city plow truck outside
tearing open the late morning
with an angle of snow pushed
to the side
and inside the house
a tin with a few Christmas cookies remaining
on the kitchen counter
the half-empty booze bottles
from the night before
wrapping paper torn and stuffed
into the trash full to the top
the laughter of young nieces
and the political banter of the adults
all done and quiet now
the house is a blanket tossed on
an unmade bed
all quiet but for the plow truck
and the faint snores of the terrier
on the couch
the tree seems more than empty
with lights unplugged
open space under it but for the
tomcat asleep there
we sit the two of us
aging aunt and uncle alone in the house
after the last guests have left on their travels
we sit sipping coffee as it warms our lips
waiting for a new year.

editors note:

Use this day for repose and recall. In the New Year, we’ll clean up all (maybe… maybe not). – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum August 22, 2018  :: 0 comments

the sky looks down through
a wounded eye

clouds like broken hands
scattering the dust

I listen to recognize the voice
of rain

moon in early morning
an empty fire that feeds us

the day discovered to be
where we left it.

editors note:

Eye to eye; we strive to stay in place when being is the thing. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum June 22, 2018  :: 0 comments

we pinch with our eyes
the sight of the long horizon
spilling out this glow
to all sides of us
and the clouds move in tantrums
like snakes
like the tails of cats
thrashing in slow motion
and our motion slows
into this desert of ourselves
we find only mirages where
we should have been
we do not drink even when
all we know is thirst.

editors note:

Mirage or mirror, this sip of existence is hard to swallow. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum May 22, 2017  :: 0 comments

he might just be that man
sinking into the sidewalk
as you walk by he
smiles at you but
continues downward
to that place we call
and he is glad to
be seen in his going
to be recognized in
this moment as
a form of finality
a book closed on
a shelf no one will need
to dust again.

editors note:

He might be we are him and all vanish in time, so… It’s nice to be noticed. (We welcome Mark to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum March 23, 2017  :: 0 comments

the silence that is missing will
come back to us
the womb we were unaware of
with its embracing cave of stillness
only the drum of heartbeat off
through the distance
through a moving galaxy of blood
river upon river
before the lungs invented air
we knew this silence so different
from the lack of sound
we knew nothing of sound
only this silence surrounded
by the hearing of ears not yet
connected to thought
the first born birth of silence
felt through the skin this silence
that is missing will come back
when it chooses
to quiet what remains of us.

editors note:

It’s all womb; from silence to silence. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum July 5, 2015  :: 3 comments

young boy with pellet gun
aiming at anything moving

a tree swallow fluttering near its
nest hole far up the birch tree

an innocent pulling of trigger
a dead-on kill
and then the swallow’s mate
out the nest hole and
shrieking her mourning
across the thinned air

flustered and uncertain
the boy carefully aims and
shoots again putting down
the mate

trudging home feeling life moving
backwards like lost footsteps
hoarding the shame of his
accumulated future all
at once.

editors note:

Let regrets over triggers pulled influence future pointing of the gun. Peace, first! – mh clay