Dr. Constantina Clark is an international award winning poet. She is the 2017 and 2019 winner of Artists Embassy International Grand Award at San Francisco, California’s Annual Dancing Poetry Festival, in addition to receiving multiple global awards from United Poets Laureate International, the William Faulkner Literary Society, and Pirates Alley Faulkner Society, in addition to many others. She holds a PhD in philosophy and is the Dean of Undergraduate Studies at Ubiquity University. She has an extensive background in education and has served as an English, Communications and Business professor throughout the United States, Europe and Asia, including Nepal and Tibet. She is the birth mother of nine extraordinary human beings, a pioneer in the Home Education movement, and a mentor to many.
It is not just here and now, it is everything and all the things,
It has ever been; it is times around ancient campfires
It is war and peace and everything in between.
It is fear in the face of strength, it is coming and leaving
And waiting, it is our longing and belonging to one another,
Throughout this time and that time, and the next time.
We have known each other from old, embracing our essence,
What we feel comes from times, unknown to us at present,
But deeply coded in our cells of times long ago and far away
That we carry still within us, in the secret place that only our
Eyes can unlock, and our hearts can occupy, in the moments,
That we penetrate our existence, through time and time again.
Both now and forever and every time we meet again, both
In this life and next, having no remembrance but yet
Remembering all, as if it was yesterday, and taking place here and now;
As for this life, let us enjoy it and give thanks, let us bless the
Seconds we gift to one another, with understanding, for we are
Indeed the lucky ones, who found each other once again and
Who had that moment of recognition, of remembering, and acted.
I thank you for whatever we might have, this time, with no expectation
Of anything other than the recognition of one true heart rejoicing
In the moments we have to unlock the clandestine places known only
To us and miracle of what it means, to inhabit the beauty of
Another’s soul, to see eternity in the wonder of another’s being, to claim
All the familiarity that has entwined us within the shelter of one
Another’s humanity, holding on, throughout the ages of ages, amen.
The half-filled wine bottle, is all that’s left,
I see it sitting outside on the tiny balcony,
Next to the small ashtray, with the cigarettes
Smoked down to the crushed filter stubs.
The metal box that serves as a table
Is a combination of rusted reds and greens,
And the two black wrought iron chairs,
With the sharp spindles that always hurt my back,
Now stand empty, vacant and still, like me.
Each night I sat down and watched you smoke,
Always positioning myself to avoid the smoke trails
That still enveloped me regardless.
The hanging pot of bright green spearmint
Gently curled about my head when I sat down,
The midnight breeze making a fragrant laurel wreath,
Crowning the queen of the hot Parisian night.
I marveled at how quiet it could be in Paris,
At midnight, in the midst of the city center,
On a busy street, and I delighted in
The full moon’s luminescence, shinning down
On smoked smudged buildings.
A dried out palm tree, precariously placed
On the roof’s weathered ledge,
Waved its withered yellow fronds, sadly.
It had been a sweltering hot week in Paris,
The week I watered the thirsty as best I could.
The morning sun came up too soon over the balcony,
I was never very good at saying goodbye,
But I did not think I would cry this time,
Yet I know some things cannot be helped.
You hurriedly packed up your things with ease,
So very anxious to get on the road,
And as you made your preparations to go,
I realized …
Love is never what we believe it to be
For love is a liar, that sweetly woes the gentle,
That holds her in the embrace of intimacy,
Momentarily making passionate overtures,
Seducing one into believing,
That fairy tales can come true.
Herr Rilke, you hovered over my shoulder
Whispering, laughing, embracing me in spirit,
As the purity of your potent passion held the key
To escaping the impenetrable veil of the afterlife,
Releasing you from the muscular bonds of death,
Whose grip could not hold your words captive,
In the same way your mind’s eye ensnared me.
Herr Rilke, you taught me to possess myself,
In patience; to dwell within my unique presence,
not getting lost in the grasping jaws of countless
oblivious psyches, and the grief of unfulfilled
latent well-worn desires, which fueled a million
flammable, unquenchable fires.
Herr Rilke, instead you intrigued me, guiding me
To shrewdly observe it all, to glide deftly, stealthily,
fluidly, on the surface of the strange,
unexplainable vicissitudes of life, held within the daily strife
of being inexplicably human; to bear the odd contradictions
the maudlin betrayals of love and warring factions,
within my soul’s astonishment and my battling senses.
Herr Rilke, your words of insight artfully seduced me,
Mentoring me in the erotic bedchambers of my mind,
Restraining my writhing being from swiftly passing
An incessant judgment on a struggling humanity,
That has no basis in the realities, of a life well lived,
Or in the fact that people still need forgiveness,
For there can be no doubt, they know not what they do,
Especially me . . .
and you, Herr Rilke, and you.
Which is precisely why, my dear, dear Herr Rilke,
you can mentor me so well
. . . from afar.
The royal energies
of Eros dance seductively
among Middle Eastern
drums and cymbals,
with the night fires burning,
and the belly dancers
undulating in a mesmerizing
display of feminine power
upon the sand dunes.
Eros saunters over to me,
with his turban and white robes.
Deftly, caressing my soul,
he wraps his regal hands
around my flowing hair,
running his fingers
through each strand
as he lifts my face
to meet his lusty kiss,
while the sparks from the fires
move to the rhythm
of the shimmying belly dancers,
inflaming my soul.
And Eros, with the passion
of a thousand Arabian nights,
calls to me, to come with him,
as my hair rises up
in the dark of the wind,
captivating me in
his virile pleasure,
while wild raven locks
whip around my neck and his,
to his Highness
in sweet surrender,
and I find myself,
in a Middle Eastern moonlight,
no longer . . .
a bastion of virtue.
He said he wanted
To pour himself
Into her very being.
Every woman’s dream.
To feel his life’s essence
Flowing through her veins,
To be energized with his glory
Illuminating her spirit,
Raining grace upon her
Quenching the desert drought
That had overtaken
The center of her earth.
He told her
That to say he loved her
Was of such magnitude for him
That it was like the shifting
Of huge tectonic plates
Trembling before an earthquake
Deep within his essence,
A natural disaster
Of masculine power
Acquiescing to desire,
The center of her earth.
And in reality,
The time soon came
When he said to her,
I don’t know how
to be good,
And she said to him,
I didn’t know I knew how
To be bad.
And they both sat silently
Lamenting the sad fact
That despite their best intentions
It was difficult
To be human,
As the center of their earth
Collapsed in aftershocks.
Sometimes you just need to let go
Be the water flowing over the rock
With a graceful bubbling rhythm
That shape-shifts its way
Over all the obstacles
That call for fluidity of spirit
Sometimes you just need to not resist
the moment that slyly beguiles you
And dance on the head of a pin
While the world holds sway
Over you and you twirl within
Creating your own separate peace
Sometimes you just need to be vulnerable
To open yourself up to the ebb and flow
Of your humanity as spirit embodied in flesh
Embracing the lively movement
Of what it means to be human
Subject to the energies of life
Sometimes you just need to surrender
To find your secret melody
That calls you to peace and tranquility
When faced with the moment’s strife and
Let the dance of surrender shore you up
When the waves come crashing over you
Sometimes you just need to forgive yourself
For missing the mark and not getting it right
And the wanna-bees and wishes and hopes
That never quite materialized into reality
But still coyly wait to suddenly surprise you
As they sashay their way back in different forms
Sometimes you just need to love yourself
Exactly as you are, a brilliant dancer, whirling,
Engaging in a life movement uniquely yours
Swaying subtly to your own special music
That kisses your soul in its own glorious way
Rejoicing in your one true being and then
And only then you’ll finally love you neighbor