Any Shelter in this Storm

featured in the poetry forum September 23, 2023  :: 0 comments

Little did you know
that we would all turn
into cave dwellers

and that the word shelter
would be followed by
in place.

Home is
where you stay,
never mind the heart.

As the world is caving in,
we are holed up
in our separate burrows

and stretch out
electronic tentacles
to connect.

I hope,
in your mind
you are painting

in vibrant greens
as the thorn hedges
grow tall around us.

editors note:

Keepin’ it green beneath a grey sheen. – mh clay

Packing List

featured in the poetry forum February 22, 2023  :: 1 comment

The blue dress that has pockets for pebbles and shows off my legs.
The sandals with the Velcro straps for the beach.
The linen jacket for chilly evenings.
A pair of scissors to trim lose ends.
A map to know where the boundaries are.
A mask to hide my true feelings.

An adapter to understand your language.
An icon of the patron saint of disagreements.
A gift to appease the needy gods you worship.

A calculator to determine how many apologies to exchange for my faults.
A purse full of coins to purchase absolution.
A spare heart in case mine gets broken.
How to make it all fit.

editors note:

And the question; can you check it or carry it on? – mh clay

First Christmas in Missouri

featured in the poetry forum December 21, 2022  :: 0 comments

I miss the carols. The boys’ choir
singing Bach’s Christmas oratorio.

Mom’s collection of wooden nutcrackers.
The fat little angels with their green wings.

Christmas pyramids and Herrnhut paper stars.
Mulled wine at the Christkindl market.

I find Lebkuchen at Aldi,
imported from Germany.

I do not like Lebkuchen.
But they smell of cinnamon, anise,

and home. That winter, we are eating
Lebkuchen well into March.

editors note:

Life bread to remember the Bread of Life – “well into March.” – mh clay

Out of Place

featured in the poetry forum March 26, 2022  :: 0 comments

If you feel out of place,
let me tell you about the tomato
plant I found growing
on a gravel bar by the river.

A seed from someone’s picnic fell,
germinated, and took root
in the sparse dirt the flood
had swept between the pebbles.

The plant is thriving, bears
four ripe tomatoes. I left
them for the critters and for other
wanderers to marvel.

editors note:

Where ever you fall, bear fruit. – mh clay

Anticipatory Grief

featured in the poetry forum June 4, 2021  :: 0 comments

You have learned
there is a word
for this

mourning someone
who is not yet

liminal space
between hope
and letting go

at the threshold
of loss

no-man’s land
you must cross
on your own

to reach
the other side

editors note:

To see it coming stings no less. (We welcome Agnes to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of her madness on her new page – check it out.) – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum January 27, 2021  :: 0 comments

The catalyst emerges
from the cauldron

miracle agent
that caused the reaction
to erupt and burn

restored after fleeting

required for the miracle,
but not consumed
by the flames

that forged something

editors note:

Make change, yet keep the change. What a transaction! – mh clay

Suffering is not a competition

featured in the poetry forum September 18, 2019  :: 0 comments

There are no judges
who weigh one person’s grief
against another’s,
no trophies
for the heaviest burden,
no ribbons
for the most deserving despair.

Do not compare.
That others have survived
worse will only add guilt
but not lessen
your depression.

You must still pull
yourself out of the swamp
by your own hair,
yourself healed.

There will be no spectators
applauding at the finish line,
no paparazzi snapping,
no journalists waiting for an interview.

Only you
will know
that you have made it,
with nothing to show
but your heart still beating.

editors note:

Selah! – mh clay