YouTube Tuesday: Death in the Summer

Well, I’ve been away for a couple of days, super busy with the 50th Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies at the University of Birmingham. The Symposium was fantastic, I got to see some great papers and meet some inspiring academics.

12 hour days of volunteering now over, it’s time for another YouTube Tuesday. Here’s Death in the Summer.

Death in the Summer

Icicles hanging in rows from the ceiling
Dripping freezing water onto the tiles
Until a pool that chills me forms below

It’s summer outside; inside winter reigns
Where heat cannot penetrate, and water drips
Though the icicles refuse to melt away

Children play merry games of chase in the playground
Parents bask in the midday sun with lazy abandon
And there is frost around me in this frozen wasteland

Smiles should ease the harshness of this storm
Should, a word on which to focus all attention
But still those icicles drip water onto the tiles

The kitchen is abandoned to another dimension
Where this bleak wilderness has not taken control
Nor the universe agreed upon my icy tomb

The tiles were the final place you laid your head

YouTube Tuesday: Brought Together

It’s Tuesday (again), which means another poem from YouTube. Here’s one from my book, “City of the World”.

Brought Together

Brought together
By a common bond
Though we were born
Thousands of miles apart;
Here we are
Seated together,
A circle of faces
Of various races
Working and living
Side by side,
Pulled into one another’s lives
By the thrill
Of promise;
A desire to learn,
To know
Something more
Than everything
We have ever been taught.
We collide
In this spinning city,
Vibrant and chaotic,
Forming friendships
And relationships
Out of nothing
But a dream;
In and out of love,
In and out of sight;
We have all shared
This wish,
Looked up at the stars
And begged with our hearts
And our eyes
In our most intimate moments.
There is no rule
On who you are
Or who you have to be
Out here:
The hermit greeted by a lion,
Roaring with pride,
Standing strong,
His confidence encouraging
It to break out of its shell;
He rules the night
Without a pause for thought,
Defiant and fearless
Unlike the hermit,
Who comes with reservations
And a lack
Of the lion’s authority.
What they do not share in mind,
In spirit
Are the same;
Drawn into the same sphere
Of want
And belief,
Wanting to seek out
The unknown;
My family of strangers
With ambitions of
Pure delight,
United by our quest
To pursue something
Far greater than ourselves:
There for every celebration
There for every fall.

© Laura Marie Clark

If you enjoyed this, please visit my author page to purchase a copy of the book: http://www.ctupublishinggroup.com/laura-marie-clark.html — or find it on Amazon

YouTube Tuesday: “Work on It,” They Said

It’s Tuesday again – so here’s another poem from my YouTube channel. I’ve always loved this one, so I hope you enjoy hearing it out loud!

“Work on It,” They Said

A pit of lust and sleaze:
Our love is a disease;
A burning, itchy feeling
In every fibre of my being

It began when we declared
That our future would be shared
In solitude and health;
My sickness and your wealth

It grew into something bleaker
As my life signs became weaker
Now what sparks the tender flame
Is nothing more than shame

When we got deeper into life
Our marriage bonds untied:
The sound of your very name
Only increases my pain

Both of us have suffered
(And found pleasure in another);
This illness has consumed me:
Without love, we’d both be free

I’ve started to get quite a collection of poetry on my YouTube channel now. It’s still a work in progress, but please feel free to check out some of the other videos and let me know what you think: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkm8NH1OLCcoI3UkIHvVM6A

YouTube Tuesday: The First Lesson

Welcome back to YouTube Tuesday! Today’s poem reaches back in time to November 2013, and the first time I ever taught English – to a class of primary school kids, who still somehow managed to terrify me. Please check it out below, and let me know what you think either below or on YouTube.

The First Lesson

What great fear paralyses you?
There are those who fear spiders,
Innocent as the majority are;
Others who feel faint up high
When they look at the ground below;
Some whose concerns are amplified
By the close proximity of a crowd;
Mine strikes me down when I need strength:
A presentation leaves me with chills.

So why then did I gravitate towards them?
Teaching, whatever age the students,
Is all about presenting information:
Public speaking I have always despised,
But I try never to flee from a challenge
And, aware that my uneasiness had
Total control over the person who I was,
I chose to force myself into a position
Uncomfortable to me, so I could master fear.

I would be a liar if I claimed
That it had been easy or enjoyable
To teach that first lesson, when not only
Did it frighten me, but I also had
No skills, no practical training to speak of.
But if life is not for diving in head first,
Then what is it that we’re living for?
I worried, I stumbled, I quaked from head
To toe: my hopes of victory seemed pathetic.

In a moment gripped by our fear
We can be quick to condemn ourselves
To fates most unfitting, early deaths, or
Embarrassment that we imagine to linger.
And so in that first lesson, I believed
That my time was already up.
But afterwards, observed what errors
I could look to correct – and had proven
To myself that fear can be defeated.

© Laura Marie Clark

If you enjoyed this, please visit my author page to purchase a copy of the book: http://www.ctupublishinggroup.com/laura-marie-clark.html — or find it on Amazon

YouTube Tuesday: A Siren Sang to Me

It’s Tuesday again, and that means another poem uploaded onto my YouTube account. This one is “A Siren Sang to Me”.

A Siren Sang to Me

Her voice was fire burning through my veins:
As I listened to her sing, I cared not for lyrics,
Meanings or interpretations, for she was enough
Without another to rewrite her words.
She scorched her way around my body
Burning memories of pain and heartbreak caused
By past lovers; her purging flames sought out my heart
And encased it in the heat of ecstasy.
I fell in love with the way she sounded:
The spark of her laughter, her blistering songs.
I was reduced to ashes by a stranger’s voice,
Like a sailor shipwrecked on some rocky isle.

If you enjoyed this, please take a moment to like the video on YouTube by clicking on the title of the video and following the link.

YouTube Tuesday: Moving In

Welcome back to YouTube Tuesday! I’m really enjoying posting my poetry to YouTube, it’s a new challenge that lets me revisit old poems and look at them in a different way. This week, I present “Moving In”, from my book of poems “City of the World”.

Moving In

The thunder of busy roads becomes a constant reality,
Litter on the streets attracts a plague of misery;
Unwelcome guests can crawl inside underneath your door
A padlock is the only thing that keeps your home secure

There’s a three-lane motorway at the end of the street,
A shopping centre down the road with great places to eat
From western favourites to untried eastern delicacies;
All desires catered for with exquisite recipes

This narrow street feels separate from everything around
Lonely motorbikes and busy chatter are the only sounds;
Drive up the ramp into your house, park it in the front room,
Four or five bikes stood together in the gloom

The building is four stories high, a balcony at the top
The spiral staircase in the centre seems to never stop;
Ceilings high, spacious rooms, simple decoration,
Designs that do not fail to suggest a temporary location

This is not a place where you would have expected to live
But the more time you spend here, the more it seems to give;
Empty walls provide no more than a room to rest your head:
Your time is spent out in the city, occupied instead

A hotel home shared with others, also there to see
Everything that is on offer in this vast city;
Possessions few, a suitcase full of clothes and favourite things
But within this community you will feel like a king

Money aplenty to spend on food, on fun, on booze;
You’ll be surrounded every day by a world to amuse
And once you’re comfortable in this intriguing place,
You’ll find it hard to picture anywhere else as your base

If you enjoyed this, please visit my author page to purchase a copy of the book: http://www.ctupublishinggroup.com/laura-marie-clark.html — or find it on Amazon

YouTube Tuesday: The Raven’s Way

It’s Tuesday again, and time for some more spoken word poetry from my YouTube channel. This week I present a poem from May 2016, “The Raven’s Way”.

The Raven’s Way

In an empty-headed daydream,
I sat and listened to the rain
And wondered without really caring
Who had ordained this harsh deluge

Enclosed in walls, I thought I spied
A raven bathing in a puddle
Washing himself, delighting in
The downpour from this almighty judge

How often my eyes wander awry
From my binding daily tasks,
But not so from his shiny plumage,
Questioning why he loved the storm

For me, it locked me in a fortress,
Home of mine, yet never home,
But he adored it, soaked in water,
Sea creature in a raven-mask

His fishy body hidden beneath, given
New lease of life in raven form;
With what I wished, but never had,
Greater than me in raven form

YouTube Tuesday: Arrival in Ho Chi Minh

Back to the real world after my birthday – and it’s YouTube Tuesday again! Here’s “Arrival in Ho Chi Minh”, an excerpt from my book “City of the World”.

Arrival in Ho Chi Minh

It rises like a crescendo
Steady and quite sure
Then falls like a cliff edge
And I know of no cure

The turbulence meant nothing
But another leap to me
On my insane, lonesome voyage
To Ho Chi Minh City

I forgot my education
(Wait – what’s my name?)
If everything were to go wrong,
Then I would be to blame

It rose like a crescendo,
Fastened onto my heart,
Then fell like a cliff edge,
And pierced me like a dart

I had done it! Reached a place
That I knew nothing of;
Despite the fear inside me,
One that I would come to love.

If you enjoyed this, please visit my author page to purchase a copy of the book: http://www.ctupublishinggroup.com/laura-marie-clark.html

YouTube Tuesday: Confessions of an Addict

Another YouTube Tuesday video, this poem was written back in 2015 but it’s still one of the ones I remember the most.

Confessions of an Addict

I have gone away
That is not because of you, and I hesitate to sound cliché
But I drifted off the course that you had set
For some quiet life together

I have lost touch
With those I knew in my youth, the good friends and the enemies alike
Though I promised I would always be there
When we had made our fortunes

I have come undone
My losses build up higher, all that I was or ever could have been
For when the world reads my obituary
There will be nothing to my name

I have deserted you
My defence has no backing, I shift the blame so I can justify
It was my addled mind that told me what to do
And I thought I was living too

I have regrets
Countless burdens on me, the things I chose over the world outside
Putting pleasures before true happiness
I’m alone with them forever now

I have apologised
It seemed so easy at first, whatever words you wanted me to say
But I gave in and sought the release again
My only love until I die