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April 2023

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Dr. Constantina Ann Clark

Dr. Constantina Ann Clark is a professor and poet, having had the honor of receiving multiple literary awards, including two-time winner of the Grand Award at the San Francisco Dancing Poetry Festival and a multiple winner of the William Faulkner Society Competition. She holds a PhD in philosophy with her dissertation focus being on the creation of the phenomenology of the 20th century Irish poet\philosopher, John O’Donohue. She is the creator of the “Mentoring as Mooring System,” where mentees are encouraged to embrace life’s challenges through the writings of such literary greats as Marcus Aurelius, among others. With an extensive experience in university administration and global education, she has engaged in leading students to the basecamp of Mount Everest and Mt. Kailash in Tibet, as well as the monasteries of Nepal. However, her greatest achievement is being the birth mother of nine extraordinary human beings, all of whom she homeschooled, while being a pioneer in the home education movement.  She makes her home in St. Augustine, Florida and divides her time between the St. Johns River and the Atlantic Ocean, where she receives inspiration from both.

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Hear me.
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.

Hear me.
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 moments 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.

Hear me.
Both now and forever and every time we meet again, both
in this life and the 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.

Hear me.
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 the 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.

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I want to know
that you
are underneath that sod.
I don’t care
that you are dead and rotting.
All I want
is to know that when I lay
upon your grave
my heart beats fervently
upon what’s left of you.

I want the vibrations
of every grieving beat
to echo down,
far, far down,
deep into the other world,
a world I’ve yet to enter,
but I can still lay upon.
I want to know
that you,
yes, the bodily you,
and all the memories
enfolded in your cold
decaying flesh rise up
to meet me,
as I lie outstretched
upon your grave,
just like I used to lay
upon your warm body,
in the dark of the night.

I don’t want your ashes
in a gilded vase,
cramped and bound.
I want to know
that your dissolving form
still fills the forest
with the energies
of a beyond,
that we once reached.
I want to know
that when it storms
the freshness permeates
deeply through
what remains of you,
and what remains of you
absorbs and passion
of the cloud’s abundance
and the power of Eros,
which we once knew so well,
as the thunder and lightning
dance around us,
me —
still abiding
in this world,
you —
sequestered away,
beyond reach,
in another.

And as I lay
upon your body,
I want to know
that you know,
I’m still here,
still wishing,
as I always did,
for your face,
to be the first face
I see,
at the Resurrection.

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Being human is a recipe
for the creation
of a virtual conundrum
of chaos,
leaving us wide open
to the ramifications
of love and loss.
For being human
comes with
the guarantee
that you will be thrust
into the full catastrophe
of living,
and often when you
least expect it,
which is why
you have
so much grief
inside yourself,
hiding within
the seclusion
of your happiness
that shines brightly
amidst the darkness
of hidden loss
of reputation and
putting on a good face
to the world
that goes on
despite the shockwaves
to your psyche
shoring yourself up
against the tremors
of your creviced pain,
generated by tempting the
earthquake gods
that captivated you
rocking your world,
burying you
in the ruble
of the inevitable
devastation of loss,
when you
opened your heart
to those who once
said they loved you.
So remind yourself
there is no shame
in being human,
as you watch an
ancient finger
bend low to the ground
writing something secret
upon the sands of time,
freeing you from all

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