In the Woods

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

War Footing




War Footing

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

Poetry News

I have two poems coming out soon in the new Nixes Mate Review. My poem, “Eating the Heart First” is included in Eclectica’s “Best of” anthology which will be out soon.My poems “Seek the Holy Dark,” “Litany,” and “Woman in Prayer” will be translated into Italian by Alessandra Bava to appear in the magazine Patria Letteratura in the winter 2017 issue. My second full-length poetry collection, Seek the Holy Dark, will be released by Yellow Flag Press at the Association of Writers & Writing Programs in Washington DC on February 8th. I hope to see and meet many friends there to swap/buy books, hug, and talk in real life!


I woke with a polished heel
at my eye,
grinding, grinding—

Rage brings me to my feet.
I blast the great nothingness
and rant to thin air.

These invisible webs
have kept me from seeing
a rock as rock, a tree as tree.
Sky as beautiful sky:
unwritten, free—

If I could borrow a star’s force
I would whip it
against the enemy
who tears us apart.

This is what they want:
For the poets to die off.
For imagination
to sour on the vine.

The raving wasps set their
tongues into rotting fruit.

How can I divine
with all this in my heart?

How can I will the oceans to roil
and the mountains shiver, too,
in communal song?

I want a collapse
of this petrified reality.

Give me two words, only two,
and watch
as I make a conflagration of this world.



©2016 Clare L. Martin

Love is not naive. Love is knowing at the deepest level.

I went to my bed yesterday feeling completely lost and worn and had a sorrowful cry for all that I believed would be stolen from our hearts and minds and bodies. Then I recalled all the beautiful souls I know and who I know are in the world. I took a lavender warm bath, comforting myself and listened to Patti Smith’s “People have the Power.” I tried to believe that we do indeed. I don’t know what shape our resistance will take but we will resist.


Today I feel stronger and more positive. My friend, Luis Alberto Urrea, says we choose to give up our peace. I choose to hold my peace of mind today. I just posted a status: “Love is not naive. Love is knowing at the deepest level.” I am a militant in a Love Revolution today. Those with all worldly power and goods are powerless without true power that is Love. I truly believe this. We have to hold ourselves to this belief moment by moment. I have to believe that something secret/behind the scenes (for our own good) is taking place that may alleviate some of the wrongdoing. And if not, I will fight for Truth with all of myself. But for now, I love in this moment and my love extends throughout the Universe.


Love in the subatomic fields. Love radiates from me to you.


Herself as Landscape 1


Dusk. A line of tall pines.
Blue mist horizon.
Impression of a stark hill.
The feel of wanting
to merge two into one:
the viewer into the viewed.

She is soul-gatherer.
Where does she take him?
Or is he taking her? To the lake.
To the dark, wooded lake.
He presses his thumb
in the most sacred space.
Encircles her pleasure;
brings her to his merciful lips.
She cries out and loves him more.
Loves him to the brink of all desire.
She is shadow. She is glory all at once.
She is light embodied and then,
diminishes into glowing dusk again.
She controls the image.
She controls her body.

She places the image
at the font of the world
where holy is only seen
by unveiled eyes.

Bless them.
Bless them. Bless them.

©2016 Clare L. Martin


I give nearly 200% of myself during the eight weeks I work with mentees. I have numerous strategies to get creative juices flowing. If you find you need creative coaching, consulting on a creative writing project, editing insights, want to work one on one on your craft, or all of the above, consider engaging my services.Mentorships will be conducted through email, phone, and weekly consultations in person, if local, or via Skype link up to meet anyone across the miles.

The writing mentorships are structured courses that provide energetic and substantive relative-to-now literary conversations between the mentor and mentees. Great emphasis will be placed on craft and form.  The mentee should have expectations of fast-paced, rigorous writing and reflective, nurturing and honest feedback from a skilled and admired contemporary poet and publisher.

My second collection of poetry, Seek the Holy Dark, is forthcoming from Yellow Flag Press in 2017. My widely-acclaimed debut collection of poetry, Eating the Heart First, was published in 2012 by Press 53. My poetry has appeared in Avatar Review, Blue Fifth Review, Thrush Poetry Journal, Melusine, Poets and Artists, and Louisiana Literature, among others. I have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Dzanc Books’ Best of the Web, for Best New Poets and Sundress Publication’s Best of the Net. I am a lifelong resident of Louisiana and edit MockingHeart Review.

I am also a visual artist and offer mentorships for creatives of other disciplines that address breakthroughs in creativity, the creative process, creative problem solving and honoring the self as an artist in a hectic, sometimes dystopic world.

Other unique approaches to customized courses may be considered. Inquire with Clare at the email below or by phone. The number is listed below as well. I will always be honest with you if I feel your need would not match well with my expertise. But I will try my best to brainstorm on how it could.

Specific goals of the eight-week course will be decided upon in conversation prior to agreements being made to engage with me. It is encouraged that the course is structured as goal-oriented to produce visible and viable results.

The fee for the eight-week course is $250 US currency, (non-refundable due to course limits, serious inquiries only), payable through PayPal or by check. The spots are limited due to the very intimate work and close personal attention offered.  For more information, please email: or call (337) 962-5886

Source: Mentorships