Saturday, February 13, 2010

Remembering Lucile Clifton and wishing her safe passage as she "sail(s) through this to that"

blessing the boats

           (at St. Mary's)

may the tide
that is entering even now
the lip of our understanding
carry you out
beyond the face of fear
may you kiss
the wind then turn from it
certain that it will
love you back    may you
open your eyes to water
water waving forever
and may you in your innocence
sail through this to that

When Ms. Lucille Clifton read in Seattle a year ago she wowed her audience with her poetry and her grace. In my copy of her book, Blessing the Boats: New and Selected Poems 1988-2000, she wrote "for Susan ~ Joy!" as I'm sure she wrote in hundreds of copies over the years. For you, Ms. Clifton, thank you for the "Joy" you brought to so many through your words and your deeds.


  1. I am missing Lucille this morning, sad that I will never see her walk on stage and give us her big, warm smile. Praise to the woman who was not afraid to talk/write about big hips, periods, and slavery.

  2. Hi Martha,
    Would you believe it was actually two years ago she was here? I am reaching for her Book of Light this morning.Thanks again for blogging about yesterday's workshop.

  3. I read her poem "Fury" in Lincoln on Tuesday. RIP, fierce spirit...