Monthly Archives: November 2010

Selected Poems for November

Snow Day

I listen to the soft crush of snow under my boots.

The snow muffled quiet brings a much-needed peace to the frantic city pace.

Enforced rest by steep, frozen roads is a hidden reprieve to many.

Why does it take an act of nature to teach us to be still?

Why do we shun silence and rest?

Are we afraid if we stop, our world will fall apart?

Are we afraid if we stop, our long ignored feelings and thoughts will rise in rebellion once we have slackened control of them?

It is like long ago we stepped onto a merry-go-round in the park.

At first it slowly turned, but with each revolution it gained speed until now it is moving so fast we can’t get off.

What is this hidden hand, pushing us at this frantic, out of control, speed?

The snow day reminds us:

We can get off the merry-go-round,

And our world won’t fall apart.

Rest will help our minds and bodies work better.

Letting go of control is good for us.   We really can’t control everything anyways.

Maybe our suppressed emotions have something to say to us, need our attention.

Maybe we won’t die if we listen to them and deal with them.

There is a good chance we will find healing.

© 2010 Julie Clark

The Great Exchange


You want this?

In your light I see

what I thought was good

To be full of holes

Like a worn out cloth

Hanging from the line.

You want this?

And what is this you offer in exchange?

A radiant purity that I cannot achieve.

A gift you say?

But I cannot release my filthy rags

Unless I move from my smug self-centeredness

To the center of that red-hot core

Called love.

How is this possible?

I will die at that core.

Yes, and live again,

Twice born.

Clothed in that radiant purity

You attained for me.

© 2007 Julie Clark


Fear has stocked me from childhood.

Like a restless tiger, it waits to pounce on its tired prey.

I’m done with it.

Realizing any fear leads back to the fear of death.

What’s so bad about dying?

It’s the only way out of here at present.

Out of here and into there.

Not that I want to rush things.

But in my time I to will follow my ancestors and every other man, woman and child before me.

I am facing that tiger and saying, my life is in stronger hands than yours.

I believe

I am beloved

And that Love that loves me is stronger than death.

© 2010 Julie Clark

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Out with the old snow memories

It’s snowing this morning.

Need to get my boots on and inspect and experience this.

Have my emotions changed?

It’s beautiful looking out the window.

Will I feel trapped?  Afraid?

Those are old feelings from deep winters in another land.

Where getting around was on foot or sharing the icy roads with aggressive drivers who might have bought their licenses instead of passing any kind of driving test.

Those feelings could be from the winters where the wood ran out or the city gas ran low.

Or from the winter the young SUV driver driving too fast slid into my old, trusty RAV4.

It could be from even farther back in China when the central heat came on after it had snowed, and was turned off before winter was quite finished.  Or from waiting for buses on icy cold nights only to find when the bus came it was so packed that we couldn’t get on and had to wait for another.

There was that one winter here in Seattle where we left town just as the storm was moving in.  It chased us all the way down to southern Oregon where we were over taken by a blanket of whiteness.  We were able pull off the freeway and find a motel for the night.  Next morning we drove slowly to the pass, chained up and got over the mountain.

Then there was that other time driving up to the mountains for a ski weekend.  On an icy patch on the pass the car in front of us had stopped in the left lane on a blind curve!  We slid nicely into their open passenger door, crumpling it like a paper fan.  On the way down, two days later our van slipped down the road and did a nice 180 degree turn.  That convinced Bill that we really did need to put those chains on after all.

Silly feelings, really.

The kids always loved the snow.   Adventure and play options increased tenfold.

I only crashed the car once, only slipped and fell once a year.

Nobody died, no broken bones, just a few bruises is all.

Surely, not enough to cause this deep dread inside.

Funny, how emotions attach themselves to memories.

The feelings at the time come up again when the present reminds us of the past.

Truth is not always a component to this.

It’s time to open up those inner windows and let the light and peace of Christ rule and reign.

I love his words. They go something like this:  “Don’t be afraid.  You can have peace. Yes, you will have troubles and trials in this world, but I have overcome this world.  Stick with me.”

Time to brave the winter and make some new memories.

Categories: Poetry | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Los Angeles


I am reacquainting with the land of my birth.

At first the brightness is a bit much for me.

I squint like a subterranean mammal.

My sunglasses aren’t even enough.

Later, up on the trails of Griffith Park

I am astounded by the view.

I can see the ocean.


Growing up in the suburbs I never really knew this city.

It was just the city to drive through, catch a plane or to make short, infrequent forays into.

I once was intimidated by its size.

Now, I want to explore its streets and neighborhoods.

I want to find where my parents grew up.

Where is that hill my grandmother described to me where she lived?  The one the heavy doctor couldn’t make it up to deliver her first child?

Where did my mother catch the streetcar to take her to work everyday during World War II?

Where did my father first learn to drive? The office he worked in where he fell in love with my mother?

The biggest change I notice since I grew up and went away is how clear the air is.

I remember smog alert days at school with achy lungs, stingy eyes and staying inside to play.

The destruction of man subsides and the earth renews itself.


Coming and going over the years, change is the constant.

There is always movement in some direction.

I think of the earth again, spinning on its journey around a sun that is on a journey of its own.

I miss, I mourn what I have lost, what I have missed.

The children growing, they don’t always remember who I am.

The years the dear ones aged and died.

I was never enough by their side.

Accepting my limitation is the challenge.

I will never do and be all that I hope.

I must learn to be content with the confines of one human life.

© 2010 Julie Clark

Categories: borderlands, Life, Poetry | 1 Comment

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