Tombstone Soldiers



Mourning tombstone soldiers 
dressed in finest sundial hour hands
march across dewy emerald time

Under morning light of present day,
sleep wars in history’s cold tomb,
tears long dried on granite stone

Cannons guard chime tower door,
stained glass tribute to heaven’s gate,
while bones retreat in honored decay

Only visitors: a flock of geese,
a crow perched on carved marker,
on distant hill, a gravedigger stirs

The bloody battles long resolved
for these heroic souls of yore,
stories buried along with wounds

Volunteers, conscripts, nurses,
some far too young for their fate,
in death: silence of peace screams pain

Tick tock, ethereal boots walk,
history wise to be remembered,
alas, too easily repeated, forgotten

 

~ Emily C.

9.28.17

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All photography mine. Spent my morning walk at the cemetery today. I pass it frequently and have noticed how beautiful it is in the morning so I thought I’d change up my routine a bit. Peaceful, quiet, solitary (well, not quite).

I even stumbled upon the burial plot of the Denny family, the original founders of the city of Seattle. Big name around here…there are major streets and park named after them, but I didn’t know they were buried here, so that was a nice surprise.

Paid my respects to the veterans memorial cemetery. And probably have a decent supply of inspiration just from spending about an hour there today. You may get more cemetery-inspired poetry.

 

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Help Save Seattle’s Pearl Jam and Soundgarden Music History!

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During this week of mourning for Chris, more sad news has developed. Yesterday the news reported that the building that houses the basement where Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains all practiced as young bands in the ’90s is going to be put up for sale on the market.

It is under the Black Dog Forge ironworks company.  For decades fans have flocked from all over the world to visit the space.  It is still being used as a practice space for bands to this day. In a city that is on development steroids, it will no doubt be purchased and destroyed unless the Forge can come up with enough money to buy the building itself.

There is a Go Fund Me page where donations are being collected. Any amount is appreciated and even if they can’t reach the necessary target, the money will still go to a good cause in helping Black Dog Forge relocate.

I am going to try and find a way to share this link on some Pearl Jam fan pages in hopes that it will spread like wildfire.  I hope Eddie is aware, too, but not sure how to bring it to his attention.

If you feel you can donate anything, please do. And even just sharing the link would be a help because others may want to contribute.  You can share the Go Fund Me link, the news articles, and you can reblog this post here on WP to reach even more.

Thank you for your support with this, and for your understanding as I work through my time of sadness. I hope to be back to normal programming in the near future. Love, Em.

Save Seattle Music History!! ~ Go Fund Me fundraiser page

Help Save Grunge Landmark Black Dog Forge ~ a longstanding practice space for icons like Soundgarden and Pearl Jam  ~ The Stranger, Seattle

Black Dog Forge Building to be Sold ~ MyNorthwest.com

Long Live Rock ‘N Roll Campaign to Save Iconic Seattle Music Space ~ KIRO TV

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Pictureless Frame

A pictureless picture frame
on a windowless wall
cocked at an angle
where it used to tell all

Smileless faces 
of woebegone years
frozen in time
captured in
black and white past

and past inhabitants
in time 
discarded
with the morning’s trash

Forgotten by rememberers
who also have passed
replaced by color
new faces a-smile
temporary snapshots
in a rectangle of glass

Years yearn forward
leaving dusty trails
cobwebbed history
cloaking present 
with webs

In a house built on life
for life it was used
held in a frame
until people deceased

And out came the spiders
to claim their new space
on a pictureless picture frame

where ghosts
haunt in spades

~ EC

8.23.16

Happy Birthday, America.

“The first person who, having enclosed a plot of land, took it into his head to say this is mine and found people simple enough to believe him was the true founder of civil society. What crimes, wars, murders, what miseries and horrors would the human race have been spared, had some one pulled up the stakes or filled in the ditch and cried out to his fellow men: “Do not listen to this imposter. You are lost if you forget that the fruits of the earth belong to all and the earth to no one!”

~ Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Discourse on the Origin of Inequality

Countries are funny things. We delineate land by imaginary lines, or geographical boundaries, or cultural differences, or languages spoken. We fight over sovereignty, religion, ideology. The history of the world is a fascinating read. From Pangaea to modern day, we have evolved…on certain levels…debatably, but at least biologically speaking.

As a Political Science and History (primarily European) major in college,  I focused my interest on political theory, i.e. how societies are born, how they behave, how they evolve and function, and why they may fail, and the processes behind the structures of social contracts and types of governments. I could write papers to the end of time and argue my points with flare and passion. I intended to take that passion to law school (human rights law), even studying for the LSAT, but well…life. It is still a large part of who I am, and how I view the world. My idea of fun as a kid: watching the nightly news with my father when he came home from work and asking him a million questions about why humans treat each other the way we do. I am perpetually intrigued by humanity…the good, the bad, the ugly.

But, underneath all of that drive to understand, there is always a part of me that respects the idea of what the United States strives to stand for, albeit rife with its own hypocrisies and failures at home and abroad, not to mention the displacement of native peoples. It is the controversial truth about how countries are born. But born we were. And imperfect we are. We do, however, live in a country where we have freedoms that are not guaranteed in many parts of the world, and for that, I try to remind myself how grateful I am.

I have deep respect for those willing to fight to the death for what they believe in, granted it’s the good stuff like freedom.  And this country is nothing if not supported in its foundation by those who sacrifice their lives for the greater good.  World peace is a noble goal, and one worth striving for. As a realist, I know it is a lofty one.  It is unfortunate that we have conflicts and war, and if there are any viable options before a gun is drawn, they should be taken. We all have our opinions about US diplomacy. I’m not here to argue that. The amazing thing about this country is that we can speak our minds, we can disagree, we can write blogs and we have access to information and in many but not all cases, education (think about North Korea for one moment). But, I won’t fault those who take an oath to stand for something greater than themselves. They deserve the government’s full support, and the people’s respect.  Ask yourself if you could do what they do…

On my trip to NY in April, I was treated to many kinds of political science and history porn…for this girl anyway.  I will leave you with pictures of what blew my mind, regardless of your opinion about this country…its willpower and resilience cannot be underestimated.

Rousseau was right…the earth belongs to all, and while we rely on social contracts to keep order, it doesn’t always work, but it is how humans have organized what would be utter chaos, although, chaos exists either way…it is the only order of the universe, inherent entropy, the breakdown of all things over time. Here’s hoping we can at least agree someday that in order for us to maximize our existence, to survive and not destroy the planet and each other, we have to find ways to co-exist. It could take a long while. But, that’s history for you.

Happy Fourth of July, friends.

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This flag hangs in the 9/11 Memorial Museum and was on a facade across from the World Trade Center the day of the attacks. It was tattered badly. Recovered during clean-up, it was sent around the country and patched back together by parts of other decommissioned flags from all 50 states. This one hit my heart…

 

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THE eagle, people. I saw it with my own eyes. Read the description below:

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George Washington crossing the Delaware in the Metropolitan Museum of Art

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New York Stock Exchange…the motor of our world’s economy whether we like it or not.

 

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The Wall Street Bull

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Federal Hall on Wall Street where George Washington took the oath of office for President of the United States

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Destroyed fire truck in the 9/11 Memorial Museum…

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Brooklyn Bridge, a marvel of labor and engineering and lives lost in the creation of something bigger during the birth of a country.

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The Survivor Tree at the 9/11 Memorial.  This tree was buried under rubble but survived, a testament to the survivors and the resilience of this country to pick up and rebuild.

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Inside Federal Hall, Wall Street

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A bank vault inside Federal Hall, Wall Street

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THE stone that George Washington stood on when swearing in as President. Yeah, history orgasm for me to see this with my own eyes. I just stumbled upon it, and no one was there, so I could hardly believe my eyes.

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Ellis Island…a fascinating history lesson in immigration. The stories will tear at your heart.

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Registration rooms of Ellis Island…beautiful windows and views.

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View from Ellis Island to Statue of Liberty

 

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Registration atrium of Ellis Island. Impressive building all around.

Moors & Moats

In the moors of England, rolling gold in spring
marshes bearing birds, doing their singing thing
light hazy through the high clouds hanging above
dappling ground with dots of speckled sunshine love

A moat surrounds castle grounds, circling its guarded gates
only opening for expected guests, arriving for its feasts
this day like all others, grand preparations ensue
the flags are flying high, with the crests of old and new

In the castle kitchen, food is passionately prepared
the men had brought back pheasant, and quail to share
the lady and her maids spend time adorning hall and hair
with flowers they had plucked from hills afar and fair

The turrets rise above it all, the vast view befalls on land
eyes that watch like sentries, set in stone protecting stone
those boulders built to claim that land, by lords of history
bloodlines set in earthly rock, generations of generations

No invaders dare approach or risk their ultimate demise
for behind those turrets lie catapults, ready to launch the skies
with beastly surprise and hefty pounding of enemies below
to tempt or test this fortress would bring on a deathly blow

For today it is purely festive merriment, joy set free in feast
the table set with bountiful meat, fruit, bread and mead
laughter at the sight of it, at stories told the round
the dancing will be next, a sunset romp,
the lute and flute, the sound…

In spring, in the moors of England,

where the castle stands its ground.

~ Emily Clapper

6.15.16

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Poem request topic: “Castle”, requested by Sandra at WhatSandraThinks!  Thanks, Sandra! I was feeling nostalgic for something I’ve never experienced, except for visiting the beautiful castles of the Rhine River in Germany many years ago.  They are an ominous and beautiful presence! I hope you enjoy your poem. 🙂

Runestone Saga ~ Runsten Saga

Norse saga of ancient times                 Norse saga i forna tider
one of blood and grime                           ett av blod och smuts
the Viking tales of old                             Viking berättelser om gamla
eighth to eleventh centuries                 åttonde till elfte århundraden
left behind in stories told                      kvar i berättelser
by others they plundered                      av andra de plundrade
by souls and lands conquered             av själar och landar erövrade
in ages long ago, in places                   i åldrar länge sedan, på platser
of Scandinavian traces                          för nordiska spår
lineage left and boundaries                härstamning vänster och gränser
smashed from Norway                         krossade från Norge
all the way from Iceland                      hela vägen från Island
to North Africa, Russia                         Nordafrika, Ryssland
pillaging, raiding                                   plundring, räder
their pagan defense from                   deras hedniska försvar från
Charlemagne’s christening                Charlemagne dop
the savage converting                         vilden konvertera
they resisted with ferocity,                 de motstånd med grymhet,
dominated trade, mercenaries,        dominerat yrke, legosoldater,
a social hierarchy of Thralls,             en social hierarki Trälar,
Karls, and Jarls, bottom to top          Karls och Jarls, nedifrån och upp
feasted on meats, fish, whales          festade på kött, fisk, valar
berries, porridge, and mead              bär, gröt, och mjöd
drunken cheers resistant to pleas    berusade skål som är resistenta mot grunder
their savage ways feared                   deras vilda sätt fruktade
but a civilization nonetheless          men en civilisation ändå
with power akin to Thor’s                 med makt besläktad med Tors
crack of Mjölnir, unrestrained          spricka av Mjölner, ohämmad
determination to conquer                  beslutsamhet att erövra
to death of countless buried              till döds av otaliga begravda
in tumuli, burial mounds,                  i högar, gravhögar,
or ships, tossed at sea, burned          eller fartyg, kastade i havet, brände
runestones tell of their deaths          runstenar berättar om deras död
their lives, carved in stone                 deras liv, huggna i sten
in perpetuity, through time               i all framtid, genom tiden

but better to read about them          men bättre att läsa om dem

than to meet them                               än att möta dem

 

~ Emily Clapper

6.12.16

“Runestone Saga” ~AUDIO voice recording on SoundCloud

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Poem request topic: “Vikings” by EmotionsOfLife2016.  Phew! This one was a challenging one and had me researching, but I learned a few things! Thanks, M! I hope you like your Viking poem!  I decided to leave the Swedish translation as well. I know you like the Scandinavian languages. 🙂  Perhaps, I’ll try to read it in Swedish, too…

Epochs of Us ~ A Duet

Though epochs
Have passed by
And a very different hand
Touches a very different face
I remember the first face of yours I ever saw
Eyes painted blue like the sky
Lips of ruby pomegranate
Skin alive with dust from
The Valley of the Kings
Where the black around your eyes
Traced down your cheek
In grief for Pharaoh’s passing

In medieval days, I waited
watched through cracked castle gates
for your imminent arrival, on horse high
your strength visible in battered flesh
as I removed your chain mail, adhered,
tended to your wounds from combat
bathed your heated body with gentle hand
soothed your moans with kisses grand
fed you feasts of bounty of me
and longingly awaited your presence
in our bed chambers, my nocturnal nudity
preserved on velvet for your pleasure divine

and such soft skin
mixed with grit and dust
my six-guns barely cool
but never so hot
as your thighs of molten iron
clamped around my waist
the bag of money
that we “borrowed” from that stage coach
the only witness to our
hungry desire
by campfire light
and our voices mixing
with the Coyotes
as they serenade a full prairie moon

roaring twenties speakeasies
tasseled flapper dress slipped off – hot clubs’
private rooms, jazzman – your blare of trumpet
tickled my skin, talented tongue
traced spilled champagne down my spine
licked glitter from head to tail,
ringing in the new year, bearcat-style
Charleston foreplay, private swing dance finale
pass me that moonshine, run from coppers
until we collapsed in the field
with a roar under stars…
they giggled at our spifflicated glee

Saddle Oxfords
And poodle skirts
You were all fluffy blouses
And warm kisses
But you never looked so good
As when you draped my
Leather jacket around your shoulders
The grease in my hair
Almost as thick
As it was on my hands
working on that 57 Chevy
A palace in the backseat
Where you were my Queen
of Lover’s lane

You, wrapped around from behind, sunset view
of Manhattan, top of the Empire State Building
your body’s heat warming me
your breath in my ear whispering
the city glows, our hearts know
it’s now or never, but it’s already been forever
you bend to knee, asking me
that question…I knew, I always knew
it’s already been answered, dear…
we’ve never left each other’s sides
with a yes, I toss the diamond over
it falls into oblivion, we kiss into infinity
no band can make me more yours
than I am right now
and always have been

just look at our stars…

…from Egypt 

to New York

 

 

~ Emily Clapper (in italics) & Eric (My Sword & Shield)

6.11.16

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What a true joy to experience collaboration with Eric on this piece. His idea of a love that spans epochs is truly mesmerizing and I’m tickled to present the outcome of our combined brains. We each came up with the next era without consultation, and what a nice surprise.

If you haven’t visited his page…your life is incomplete, the man is a genius with words.

Thanks, Eric. Already looking forward to another round sometime.