Anselm leadership team member Clay Clarkson shares:

I will be the first to admit that I am not a poet, but I enjoy poetry. I am drawn first to the mystery and magic of words, but I also love the rhythm and rhyme of structured verse. Perhaps it’s the folk song lyricist in me, but meter, beat, assonance, alliteration, rhyme, and all the other aspects of classic poetry resonate in my spirit. So when I write poetry, that’s how it comes out. The poem below is like that, and yet it also has a freedom, flow, and tension to it, to express the very nature of the anxiety of writing even that poem.

by Clay Clarkson

I think
makes permanent
the fleeting thought
the not yet sure
the awkward word
still insecure
the raw emotion
captured, still
naked, held
against its will

I think
is resolute
unyielding, firm
but I am not
I dodge and squirm
and hide from thoughts
I ought to face
smudge the lines
line out, erase
and pencil in
with tepid lead
the limpid grays
that can’t be read
so words can run
if given leave
and thoughts demur
if they please

I think
does not forgive
so I resist
I feint, recant
and only then
with trembling hand
take up the pen
to flay my soul
to make the marks
so sure, so cold
so fixed and fast
so resolute
so permanent
no substitute
imprisoned in
pigmented lines
of shiny black
forever mine
no rued regrets
no half a heart
no looking back
no second starts
the line is drawn
the die is cast
the deed is done
the moment passed
no changes now
the deal is sealed
no mincing words
what is revealed
is cast upon
the writing wind
the ink is dry
it is the end
resigned to fate
with bated sigh
the mighty pen
I cast aside
but then
a thought
a word
a grin
and hastily
I pencil in
and once
I think