Claire Crowther’s The Clockwork Gift

Praise to the grandmother high on a balcony.
Its wearied fencing shuts space into miles.
She scrubs a coconut shell.
Pours dirty water over a herb pot.
Dust from black deposits under her feet blow
towards a terracotta emperor astride
a vent rattling out hot air.
She varnishes her hundredth soap dish
while seven floors below, white van roofs
lie like water lilies and glittering gems
of cars are packed with crystalline couples.
I praise the turret she hangs on.
Gardenless, it humbles the low villas,
the opal-crusted scarab beetles on wheels.
Outside the Beauty School
Twilight Hour for Senior Customers.
The trees turn, in a May
that pulls their branches gently inside out,
and paints charcoal bark with green polish.
While trees think they’re not trunk-stopped
on one spot, it is as good a season as any
for wings to pulse, swollen reddish-pink;
for a heart to rise to it, float up and beat in the wind.
Published in The Clockwork Gift (Shearsman Books, 2009).
Read more about Claire and The Clockwork Gift here.
Order The Clockwork Gift.
Visit Claire’s website.
Read ‘Petra Genetrix’ on Carrie Etter’s blog.
Read Rob A. Mackenzie’s review at Surroundings.
Read Sophie Mayer’s review at Delirium’s Library.

6 thoughts on “Claire Crowther’s The Clockwork Gift

  1. Angela France

    I am glad to see these – this book is on my wishlist. I have her first one, ‘Stretch of Closures’ and love it.

  2. Michelle Post author

    Thank you for reading Claire’s poems and commenting, Sam, Angela and Keith. The abuelita high on a balcony is a vivid image in my mind. I highly recommend The Clockworth Gift. It’s accomplished, innovative and imaginative.

  3. Julie

    I love both poems, but Abuelita is amazing!! “Praise to the grandmother high on a balcony” is such an excellent way to begin the poem. Then each vivid image flows into the next. It’s a powerhouse. And Claire Crowther is a very talented poet.

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