Claudine Nash – Four Poems

Blue Moon
For John O’Donohue

While we await tonight’s
blue moon,

let’s toss out
these old maps and
help each other search
that space within,

close our eyes and
reach down deep

to claim the self
that breathes beneath
our uncertainty.

When the evening sun
pours through a spiral
of settling dust,

let’s let it hit us
at such an angle

that all the rocks and
stones and soil in us shift

to reveal
a glowing landscape
that spills inside.

And as our true voices rise
with this rare moon,

let’s look deliberately
at each other
and see a seamlessness
roll between,

and feel the infinite

Now and Here

Watch this –

we approach this oak,
red and dripping
with beauty.

First we forget
the wind
that will come to
undress these branches
when the cold drains
this landscape
of color,

the worries
that saturate our sleep
will dissolve
into this angle
of autumn light.

we lose sight
of all things that hint
at earlier or
and slip ourselves
into this season.

See, that
is how these hills
recall us.

Why I Received a Needs Improvement on
My Last Employee Evaluation

Because the morning’s first
streaks of orange produce
a rhythm within me

that I hear only when
my mind roams.

So I wake the dog,
and our six feet take to the

and I offer my ideas
a region,

a span for them to swell
and float before the
neighborhood rises.

Because I stretch that space
between dark and day
so thin that the sky rips
and light pours in.

And there into that gap
I wander,

bathrobe under
winter coat,

forgetting that time
is not a midriff
and minutes can’t expand
like a waistband at the
Panda City Buffet,

and there are only so many
simultaneous notions
I can travel

before I inch
towards rush hour.

Sometimes Before It Storms

I pack a satchel
of peaches and
call myself Beloved.

I say such things as
“Beloved, you need
water” or “My beloved,
let’s go to the sea.”

I do not fret the mist,

it is a beach after all
and moisture is inherent
in the process. Besides,

a good peach always
pleases me.

I am content to let
the waves have their way
with my breath
until my lungs fall

and rise with their

I become
my own term of
endearment then
breathe myself
to life.

Dear, you
give me such grief
for disappearing
into the ocean,

but tell me,

without this,
how else
could I ever
offer you any fruit?


Author’s Statement on Beauty

Like many working mothers or busy professionals, I often move on autopilot, rushing from task to chore with eyes that are open but that do not truly see. As best and often as I can, I try slow my breath and pause my mind and immerse myself in the beauty that sits in the small moments so otherwise easily missed.

Beauty need not be as expansive as the mountains that envelop the ever-changing landscape of my favorite weekend retreat in upstate New York. There is something equally as breathtaking in the pattern of peeling bark on the sycamore outside my office window or the sound the wind makes when it pushes through its dry leaves in late October. It sits in the dark and the silence of the streets when I awaken to walk the dog before dawn.

I try to make time move in slow motion so that my eye can catch sight of the morning sun that bounces off the spider’s silk on the garden arbor or that angle of late afternoon light that paints the sky pink. I take a moment to look down and note the weeds that claim a space for the natural world by pushing through the cracks in the pavement. I allow my ear to feel the beauty of my daughter’s breath as she curls up next to me when she awakens frightened from a dream midway through the night.

There are countless others that I will inevitably overlook. But when possible, I give these moments to myself as a gift so that I can live a life that is truly alive.

Claudine Nash’s collections include her full-length poetry book Parts per Trillion (Aldrich Press, 2016) and her chapbook The Problem with Loving Ghosts (Finishing Line Press, 2014). She also recently edited the collection In So Many Words: Interviews and Poetry from Today’s Poets (Madness Muse Press, 2016) with Adam Levon Brown. Her poems have won prizes from Avalon Literary Review, Eye on Life Magazine, Lady Chaos Press, and The Song Is… and have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies including Asimov’s Science Fiction, Cloudbank, Haight Ashbury Literary Journal and Yellow Chair Review amongst others. She also has a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and is a practicing psychologist. More at: