November 3, 2016

Three Poems by Claudine Nash: "Bark Callus," "Warm Your One Sure Purpose," and "All Doors Day"

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 numerous literary prizes and have appeared in such publications as Asimov’s Science Fiction, Cloudbank, Haight Ashbury Literary Journal and Yellow Chair Review. She has a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and is a practicing psychologist. Website:

Bark Callus

We walk to the stone
where I learned to mourn
like poplars,

where in a cold spell,
I sealed off that wound
with bark callus,

laid layers of dried
stems and roots
over this grief.

Here, seasons later,
with this simple strand of
words, you peel back my

wooden skin, you touch
the delicate tissue that
survived beneath

so mercifully,
I feel.

(Previously appeared in Parts per Trillion (Aldrich Press, 2016)

Warm Your One Sure Purpose

May this angle
of winter sun
warm your one
sure purpose,
may it toss
light upon your
certainty. May
the clarity of
this moment
pierce your
split the doubts
that taunt you
into a trillion
specks of dust.
May the last
bits of this
be dispersed
over an icy
cast with a
fistful of snow
back upwards
towards the sky.

All Doors Day

This might be the time
to claim a season
for doors,
a weeklong holiday to
celebrate frames and

decorate our homes
with strands of
copper hinges that fold
then open three
thousand times over,

pay tribute to those
four-sided phenomena
that swing wide to
reveal once unseen
paths to choice.

Let us not exchange
wrapped boxes,
but doorknobs; crystal,
alloy, bronze.
On the top of our wish list
year in and year out,
print “freedom,”

and instead of fleece
slippers and faux leather

amass options,
dole out assortments of
prospects and possibilities.

Then on the eve of these
festivities, strut the streets
without indecision,
bound through each one
that blows open
before us.

Claudine Nash

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