Welcome, my dears, to Open Mic Friday! Before I introduce this week’s beautiful guest post, I have to say that last week I almost cancelled the Open Mics. It hasn’t been as easy to find guest artists as I’d hoped, and I wondered whether I should just stop after this one. But reading Clare’s poetry has reminded me why I started the series in the first place: to enable myself, my readers, and all you fellow artists and friends of artists to discover new work on a weekly basis; to connect with the artists who create this work; and to do it all without having to leave your home. To everyone who has participated in the Open Mics so far, thank you so much for making it work. And to all: please, please consider stepping up to the mic for your own future guest post. Email me, or leave a comment on this post, to contribute OR to leave suggestions on how to improve the format or find more artists.
And now, Clare Ramsaran! I met Clare at VONA in July. Her first chapbook, Aftershocks, has just been published. In today’s post, she shares two poems from the book. The first, “Searching for Eden,” was inspired by a road trip through Nevada.
Searching for Eden by Clare Ramsaran
We drove all day through the vast
and the shimmering road
moved with us
Was that a lone dog, watching us? No.
Just a black bin bag caught in the fence
Ahead, the shape of a cow standing low
and still became a burnt tree
trunk with jagged edges
Leaving our dream state, our interstitial
interstate, we navigate the borders of rocky
fields till we reach the village named Eden.
In the row of dusty cafes there are no lights,
or clinking white mugs or daily newspapers
spread on tabletops. Each café is closed. We
will not enter Eden, will not taste forbidden
fruit pies. Instead we stay in camper van limbo
watching the speedometer swing back to sixty.
The second poem, “Aftershocks,” can be found on the chapbook’s webpage.
Clare Ramsaran is learning to live on the soft edges between colours, between continents, between London’s eye and San Francisco’s hazy sun. She finds the act of writing generates its own energy and helps her to communicate with others, and with herself. Clare was privileged to attend a Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation (VONA) poetry workshop in 2010. Her poems have been published in The Suitcase Book of Love Poems, Bay Area Poets Seasonal Review and Quill and Parchment. Aftershocks, her first chapbook, was published in November 2010. You may contact Clare at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you, Clare, for sharing your work and for re-inspiring me to continue the Open Mics!
And now — it’s your turn. Offer your applause and other feedback in the comments, where you’re also welcome to share your own work. The comments are threaded, so you can reply directly to each reader by hitting the “reply” button within that comment box.
Read, share, and converse!