Francis, Here My Hand

Francis, here my hand
for there, in the laurel grove
just beyond the thorn bush
a wild marsh rose.

Our Lord lives this morning
in small, helpless things:
the child scaling
the womb’s walls, body

lustrous as the stars’
luminous pauses, the foal
licking its mother, tottering
in forest duff,

the field mouse scurrying
for cover, yet only the thud
of fallen apples in the orchard,
hushed as a Welsh hill chapel,

the barn owl leaning
in its nest, chittering
a song
of creation.

Oh, my dear Poverello,
you understand, the natal-
wet, first blush
of morning,

the solemn cry
of earthly things
stirring to Be:
stigmata anointing

your aspen
hands, the very caul
and cast
of creation.

4 thoughts on “Vince Clemente

  1. I enjoyed seeing this beautiful poem by Vince Clemente. I took a writing class with him many years ago. I often think of him. He was a true teacher in every sense of the word. His enthusiasm, knowledge and skill were true gifts to anyone who was lucky enough to end up in his class. I often think of his words of encouragement and love looking through my journal with comment and notes from him written in the margins. I wonder how he is doing and would like to write him a note of thanks.

  2. In a dream I had a few days ago, Vince Clemente was getting ready to instruct a class on poetry. I too have been blessed with many opportunities to be in the presence of Vince Clemente. Whether reciting his own wonderful poetry, or other poets’ works, he has and will always be an inspirational voice to me. His kind words written as introduction to my own book of poetry, “Broken Doll” are truly a gift I treasure. The Measure of the Man – Vince Clemente – thank you and best wishes always.

  3. Vince, I took all your classes at SCCC in the 70s. You inspired me to write, and though I never pursued it professionally you imparted to me a love of language that will be with me always. Good health, my friend.

  4. I just came across your autographed book “Snow Owl Above Stoney Brook Harbor” and want to thank you for being my English teacher at Farmingdale High School in the mid to late 60’s. Those were your blue days and we saw the emotional struggle you were going through. God bless you for the special sensitivity that God blessed you with to write so beautifully. These blessings, which feel like struggles, from our creator often weigh heavy on us from time to time but produce such great joy to those who read your work.
    God bless you Vince.

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