In the Woods
I lie in a bed of leaves. A salamander slips. Ants enter my ear. Dusk-mosquitoes feast. Sleep is coming. I am in the quiet. Still. A doe crosses the setting sun. Her shadow falls on me. She gazes, then flicks her ear. Scents of autumn: smoke from a far camp, freshwater lake, fallen trees, mud.
I am part of a landscape now. My bones will uphold nature. No one knows. No one will find my words, as I speak with the softest breath. I speak so that only God can find me amongst his creatures. There is no path—I broke no branches to get here. It is almost as though I flew! I left no trace of humanness in my wake. Identity gone and no inheritor. A great paintbrush in my hand spread white across the sky, erasing a storm.
I will die as the moon rises. This is good news! My chest tightens. A great palm clutches my heart and releases it. A snake slithers near my ribcage. He comes to my mouth to share breath. I exhale all that is in my lungs. When will my last breath be? I tempt a kiss—the soft flick of viper-tongue. What does it matter now? More breath. In my nakedness, there is an unpleasant cold. My heart is rampant and pained. Gasp. Choke. Spasm. God, come, quickly! I shake apart my earth-coffin and involuntarily rise to my feet.
©2016 Clare L. Martin
Blue and rain-days long.
The leaking roof. Rats in the attic.
We are sodden, shuttered;
motionless in our apathy.
How do we become more than we are?
There is no palpable answer.
Only wind will tell us, in finality.
Now, we smoke cigarettes,
eat crumbs gathered
in the bottom of plastic bags,
scrape our palms for coins.
I have fallen in the trap of my eyes again.
It is winter and we fail in all our doings.
Dark mornings, we turn cold,
stepping onto the floor.
Naked into the bath.
Hot water to bring us from death.
Always evoked of our tears—mad
laughter as we rail at our leaders,
who only speak a barrage of sick
glory-obsessions. Bombs drop by ten o’clock.
We live radiated, aglow with grief.
We are on a war footing.
Every moment escalates.
I have taken your face out of memory.
I have replaced you
with a mushroom cloud, for solace.
©2016 Clare L. Martin
“Flight” for Phyllis McLaughlin Nauman by Clare L. Martin
Charcoal, crayon, color pencil on paper. Digitized, filtered. 2016.
“I Question the Trees” by Clare L. Martin
Digital photograph, filtered. 2016.
“Transcendent Whisperings 1,2, &3” by Clare L. Martin
Crayon and charcoal on paper. digitized, filtered. 2016.
“South of Town” by Clare L. Martin
Digital photo, filtered. 2016.
“Sugar Cane, late October” by Clare L. Martin
Youngsville, Louisiana, October 27th, 2016.
Digital photo, filtered