Clark A. Pomerleau

Torrent Projections

(listen to the poem, read by the author)

The curtain of rain
pushed up the street leaving
drenched cars, pavement, people
Wishing itself a forest torrent
that moved through trees
as a wet wall
quaking the aspen
whipping the willows
dripping from each needle
to replenish the streams
instead of flowing into ditches
Yet, witnessed with awe
by the man in soaked socks

The pressure headache broke
when the sky opened
simultaneously so beautiful
verdant magnified
while deepening mud
I sink down
hoping when the rainfall lessens
sucking stuck will slacken

As the sunset claws at the horizon
scrabbles to keep his head above
the storm warning
the man asks, “Did the Sun forsake us?”
Left to crashing winds
projections of Nature flash across
ego’s screen
clinging fear fatigues
wooden from whittling
another embodied metaphor
outsized wood acorn
a smooth fidget pacifier

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Nature Managed

(listen to the poem, read by the author)

If I’m honest
I like nature managed
more than wild
Raw power elicits fearful respect
but taming builds trust and need

Pockets of uncut forest
cast long shadows too
from grim fairy tales
that warned: woods kill
with natural predators
and unknowns
myths made of the Fay
not Tinkerbell and fairy dust
but changlings and enslavement

Summers at parks
that cultivated managed nature
cemented my love of
Japanese gardens
the lanterns amid carefully staged flora
in the created pond basins
imagine feline delight as
fish rise to greet you

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(listen to the poem, read by the author)


You come back to me
wet dust scent on a breeze
my brain has labeled
since distant explorations of
closets and trunks.
Frequent wisps of you
intimate connection to
heat and humidity
and yearning
Time cannot blunt.


I see you in the cheeks and noses
of east Texas and north Louisiana.
Women far too young
your mediums
to the ghost of a child
in my head.
If their jowls speak in your grammar
I am fully possessed with
your presence.


You crossed back to me
through a vivid dream:
I mirrored your hairstyle
You had a last gift for me
polished rocks
spread glimmering on the coffee table
like precious metals
with your love.


In pilgrimages home
to extra R’s in Warshington
I hear you.
In flashes of emotional genius
I channel you.
You never speak through others in this world;
old Nashville accent
stamped out by time.
But your ephemera surrounds me.

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Bowl and Pitcher

(listen to the poem, read by the author)

Black basalt
was once molten
flowing fire
that scorched earth
before firming to bedrock
foundation the river carved
until people saw
a bowl and pitcher

Water pulls at the old soul part of me
rolling sweeping flowing
rivers call out
if I wade, I become another rock
or felled limb
the water goes around

Rock sings
beyond our frequency
we know because
ground stones
turned in blower’s hands
fuse glass that rings.

I am drawn to the ground
that nourishes plants
and lulled by rhythmic water
powerful persistence
beneath its slip sliding ways
First, though, was fire
then the cold air
cooling into life.

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(listen to the poem, read by the author)

Apple blossoms burst from
an ancient tree that
played dead just days ago.

Bluebonnets sprinkle the grass. Popped up from
the latest downpour.

Three friends pause at the wonder of spring blossoms
while the little dog strains for
the next scent.

“Torrent Projections,” “Nature Managed,” and “Grandmothers” first appeared in Better Living through Cats by Clark A. Pomerleau (Finishing Line Press, 2021).

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About the Author

Clark A. Pomerleau creates poetry as an invitation to record, reflect, and regenerate. His work features memory, place, nature, queer aesthetic, and transformative agency. A writer and teacher from Washington State, his first chapbook, Better Living through Cats (2021), is out with Finishing Line Press. Other poetry appears in Wordgathering: A Journal of Disability Poetry and Literature, Peculiar: a queer literary journal, Poached Hare, Coffin Bell Journal, and the poetry anthology, Welcome to the Resistance. Pomerleau’s scholarly essays and book (Califia Women, 2013) historicize feminist diversity education, feminist views on sexuality, and trans-inclusive praxis.

Read Clark A. Pomerleau’s review of torrin a. greathouse’s Wound from the Mouth of a Wound  and a review of Pomerleau’s poetry chapbook, Better Living through Cats, in this issue of Wordgathering.