“Gestation” by Clare L. Martin
(watercolor, color pencil, crayon, charcoal on paper, digitized, filtered).
“Creation” by Clare L. Martin.
charcoal and crayon on paper. digitized. edited. filtered. 2016.
“Marsh Song I*” Mixed media, Clare L. Martin ©2016
We drive westward along the Louisiana coast on a crumbling highway with my parents. The sky purples with becoming light. Our bellies are full of boudin and cracklins. Hot coffee is handed carefully from the front seat to my husband and I seated in the back.
We sing “J’ai Passe Devant Ta Porte” or “Bon Vieux Mari,” called by my mother and responded to by my father. Always my father embellishes his responses. My mother rolls down her window and points to the Roseate Spoonbills lifting from their roosts. My father stops singing and praises God.
A prayer is said for loved ones, wherever they are. More of the morning sky erupts over the marsh. I think of painters, how I wish to be one, how I have tried with my words. This day we are traveling to see Sandhill Cranes that have been spotted in Creole, a few miles from here. We always take the scenic route and happily travel from dawn to dusk.
How many times have we come to this slipping away land and been blessed by our forgetfulness of the world’s problems and our own? Countless. How much do I miss these two people who gave and saved my life? My longing cannot be measured.
To treasure the dead is our inheritance.
*I dedicate this artwork and these words to my beloved family, especially to my deceased loved ones, wherever they are.
Clare L. Martin
THE ROAD BEFORE US
Let us travel the road before us
and enter into the mystery of trees.
Let us find the sleeping doe
attentive and aware
of the ever-wolf. I will go
and find kindling. I will set
the fire that will engage us
and carry our heaviest thoughts
upward. Clouds dwindle.
Smoke trails us like a wraith.
I am caught in it. I rise
to the web of bleak branches,
to the very tops of trees.
Tonight leafless trees
are smothered with blackbirds.
becomes the blackbird
rising to its highest—
Drifting embers smite the moon.
©2011 Clare L. Martin
My prayers and thoughts for healing the suffering of your people go out to you…I have and will continue to give what I can.
My prayers, too, are for all who are suffering in mind and body.
Text HAITI to 90999 to donate $10 on behalf of the American Red Cross. — Text YELE to 501501 to donate $5 on behalf of The Yele Haiti Foundation.
OFFICIAL BLOG RENEWAL POST001-1014
Each success, no matter how small, in practice of what I love is a lightning strike against the dark. And I have been in dark, metaphorically dark and literally extinguished places. I’ve been around fires a blazin’ too and they can be happy places!
Ah ha, yes. Well.
I am a poet/mother/wife living with bipolar disease. I have been blessed with clarity and stability in my medical situation for a few years with the effort put in by my strong team of caregivers medically, in the healing arts, and through the support of loving family members who have stood by me. I had recurring traumas and “breakdowns” in my life which robbed me of many things. I was unhappy and clinically sick for most of the 1990s.
I’m gaining back my life, which could have been lost, had I succumbed to the disease and died. (And yes Bipolar kills. Look up the suicide rates of bipolar people, people!) I have been gaining back my sense of self and finding healing through writing. There’s a link between mental illness and creativity. My interest would be: poets who have bipolar disorder. This is a hot topic and I expect to weigh in on it from time to time.
I’ve always been a writer, writing up to this very sentence, poems, plots, plays and peddling pure phiction.
I am a lifelong resident of Louisiana, and a graduate of the University of Southwestern Louisiana, now called University of Louisiana at Lafayette. I majored in English and minored in Philosophy—the perfect match of disciplines for a budding poet. I published a few poems in college, got married, and only sporadically wrote for a few years.
When I feel the aura of a poem coming on to me so clearly, I am moved by words yet forming, as if words could ride air and pass through my skull, form the syllables in my mind and mouth, and I get up from whatever I was doing and write something. Writers write. Thinkers think. Thoughts fly away until you put the thought-words on a piece of paper or enter them into a computer—then you are a writer, for having written it. Congratulations!
Pre-Poems/Free-Writes— the mystique of this airwave/brainwave/of what was working in my subconscious/some feathery slip of a thing flits from its dark hiding place and dawns in the mind.
I was a lazy writer, in the sense that I did not demand it of my self. I wanted to learn how to do it my way. Not in a conventional class room. I wanted to be in my environs living and drawing my poems from the right here that I am living. The within: my domestic life, sex life, body life, mind’s life, and my natural life as a creature on this planet with other creatures, domesticated and not.
I am in the pursuit of the image. It is my starting point in all writing I do. What is the image? Observation is the key. I am also an amateur photographer, so for me it is usually a visual stimulus. A description must encompass, not describe too much but rather show in deft and artful language the essence, the charm of it.
Is it startling? Is it sustainable? What I mean is does it having lasting qualities to live on in the poem if we construct an environment for it to thrive? Will its meaning inspire other meanings which may or may not conflict with the intended meaning. Does this matter? If it is what it is and you want that image/those words, then you choose. Poetry is making choices. Words-connections-shaping-breaking-exploding and putting the poem back together, or not– are the choices of the artist. Read poetry, get inspired, and learn to make choices. Major choices are definitive; some choices allow a little wiggle.
That’s what it is about.
I am building around a central image, not always, but habitually. Images come from things and we get to know things through our senses, sight, smell, taste, hear and touch, so images come from the basic 5 senses—this is basic knowledge of what is concrete and what it abstract in the study of poetry but it is crucial because by utilizing these tools you can transform, imagine, ignite passionate responses, and through words you can bloodlessly crush people in a way they like to or would rather not like to be crushed.
So when I return I will speak of why I am in pursuit of the image as it is stated at the top of the blog.
I welcome comments for friendly and heartily espoused discussions. What I have written here is brief and leaves many questions to me but I wanted to holdback so questions could be put to me and any other readers for discussion.
…On a mission and will return soon.
Full report and visuals when I upload again.
Over and out and HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Last Christmas we took a little vacation (lakeside cabin, paths, fireplace, good food and drink, snuggly time) and we are set to do the same this year. Our nature getaway is 96 days away and I am already getting excited. The photos above were taken by me last year to document how I like to spend my time at our “place” RELAXING. READING. wRITING. (and sleeping)
Our winter retreat comes to mind because right now someone is burning sweet wood in our neighborhood. There will be lots of wood burning outdoors in the fire pit/ring and indoors in the cabin’s fireplace. With all of the limbs down from trees that have fallen during the hurricanes around here we should begin to put some pecan and oak up so that it will be well-seasoned for us to bring along.
We need this time away. I want it when it happens but I want it right this very moment too.