Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Creatures of Clay

I am trying very hard not to yell and scream and jump up and down while I tell you that I received my copy of Sometimes A Wild God by Tom Hirons yesterday. The tight little package with a giant Queen Elizabeth stamp and the Hedgespoken Press logo made me squeal. I zipped the tab, a red scratch, and pulled out a perfect poem book.



Tom Hirons I do not know. His wife and the illustrator, Rima Staines, I don't know either. Yet both of these people live in a quiet, sweet-smelling room in the back of my imagination, and in that room we laugh and sing together. Rima has a blog, here, that inspires me every time I visit. She smiles and chats and paints and illuminates a better world. Tom has a blog, here, and his words will often move me to tears.

If you are given to loving things beyond 9-5 or 3-11 or any of the daily grind, I would recommend that you walk, skip, or fly to buy this illustrated poem.

Having exhausted myself with holding my voice to a murmur of appreciation, I will now let out today's poem, which is darker than most of those I've shared. I often live in extremes, sunlight and shadow, so it's no wonder that my writing does the same.

Creatures of Clay

Babies
oh babies are small
soft creatures of clay
where you leave
your dirty fingerprints
the flake of cocaine
the fear sweat from the fight
the lurch of your heart
when he left you that night
Love love love and lies
do not go together
babies
oh babies learn to avoid
our behaviors with twists
and turns a maze
of lies in the mirror
that lead back to the entrance
because lies are curves and
whistles and murderers of 
hopes and plans
Your voice becomes
deep and powerful
carrying the flotsam
of years of deprivation
and smoke and you are once
and at the same time
a small soft creature
and a woman
you have lived
but you have held still
your voice like the ocean
and sometimes the ocean
gets whipped around
by all the pressure surrounding
it knows how to roll over
it knows how to lie down
but it also storms into our cities
and levels our towns
it stands up and says, Look at me
Remember me Remember
that I am strong enough
I am strong enough if you try to hold me down.
I will rise and rise
and sparkle and shine
and your slaps will simply make noise
as I recede from the hollow of your shifting shore.

© all rights reserved Julie Reeser


Edvard Munch Two Women on the Shore woodcut



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