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John Clarke Altman

The Harmony of Revolution

O songbirds cry! O crickets sing! It is but my delight. When I should die, I do believe Your song plays through the night. The sweetest sound my ears perceive, The earth’s great symphony. My spirit sours, my soul does leap Upon this epiphany: The world needs not a quiet man So many it receives.…

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My Version of La La Land

Beginning with what seems always the preface: Man and woman. Each viewing the other in his and her own light. Longing each a world plunged in augmented perfection. His of poetry. Hers of herbs.   To truly believe that one’s art can save. No nobler an effort. She the inspiration of his craft, Bringing passion…

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A beautiful night for a grocery run

“It’s a beautiful night for a grocery run,” I say to the sleeping form of my silhouette As I slip quietly past the ill-stocked refrigerator Light. Encompassing my footsteps, The now-revealed, rightly-named, Beautiful night welcomes me. The car, it seems, Had achieved the unrousable sleep And now wines at its beckoned stirring. Yet together we…

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Temperamental Attention Disorder

Today a woman passed me on the way to work. She had been watching me. Waiting for her opportune striking moment. She saw my blinker. She knew that I needed that lane, Which she held, Yet her car remained Closer than it appeared. I saw the vile grin sweep across her face. Her hands danced…

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Lona Misa

Raindrops rising And hairless chick-birds falling; Comparisons more beautiful And honoring To the light Which falls equationally straight On the veins of your hands As mine tingle. Desiring you. Our bodies, symmetrical And separately desired. My hands to yours, My eyes catching the waves escaping your eyes Legs to legs and embrace needing embrace. We…

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A Gardener’s Love Affair

The Winter conjunction of two lovers’ hands, The quiet movement of priority, And a folding of importance, Dreaming of losing but finding instead, unity. In an unknowingly familiar structure, She holds it. What it is I cannot imagine. A formless and struggling thing. The something I thought would come When I called for it with…

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What if I’m not wrong

What if I’m not wrong about this grass, and it is the softest toes can feel? Wouldn’t that be something?   What if I’m not wrong and your eyes are the deepest and most compelling. Then I could fall unrelenting into truthful adoration.   What if we aren’t mistaken And the song that lifts our…

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John Clarke Altman: What if I’m not wrong

What if I’m not wrong about this grass, and it is the softest toes can feel? Wouldn’t that be something?   What if I’m not wrong and your eyes are the deepest and most compelling? Then I could fall unrelenting into truthful adoration.   What if we aren’t mistaken And the song that lifts our…

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Birthday

The music sounds a little different today, And I smile. The smears on the windshield remind me of little graves. One for each year that I have been alive. I stare at my toes and wonder if it’s time for another one. But I’ll save it for a rainy day.   I guess I’m older,…

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A Nonsensical Spring Poem

A vision so deeply and truly green, As a painter who forgot the rest of his palette. The richness of color that one can point to As the definition of that shade. The example of green Resides in the Mississippi Spring.   Even the roadside weeds look beautiful. I hesitate to pull weeds sometimes. When…

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