Wood Nymph

A wood nymph knocked on my door last night
          her hair was flaxen gold
the ivy trailing through my mind
          another story told:
of winding rivers, banks and willows
          together we had seen
and in her presence wild pheasants
          like the peacock seemed.
The iridescence that she scattered
          ran around the room
like child’s play and laughter
          till the wee hours vanished

          in a saffron dawn…

          but my mind was green
as a spring-fed dream,
          when come morning
she was gone.


The River

A river following forever

said to me one day,
“Why do you never see me?
When will you go away?”

To him I dipped my hat
and swallowed my offense,
“It’s because I run beside you,
where the thicket’s dense.”

But seeing how I’d caught my breath
as well as ‘suaged my thirst
he carried on with laughter,
his mischief deep as mirth.

And as I stood there tongue-tied
I glimpsed his tawny hide –
t’was gold and silver-chased like sun –

I watched the river glide.


Carolyn Clark (Ph.D. Classics), was born in Ithaca, NY and periodically lived in Italy, Switzerland and France. She studied poetry with Archie Ammons and earned a B.A. in Classical Civilization from Cornell; at  Brown University, Rhode Island, she completed a Master’s degree in Classics; her doctorate is from Johns Hopkins, Tibullus Illustrated:  Lares, Genius and Sacred Landscapes (C.C. Breen, Baltimore, UMI 1998).  In addition to individual poems published in various journals, there are collections:  a recent poetry chapbook, Mnemosyne: the Long Traverse (Finishing Line Press, 2013), a poetry book Amish Mimesis (2015) and ten new poems in a women’s anthology (Golden Hills Press, 2017). After more than fifteen years of instructing Latin and French either as an adjunct or as teacher in Montgomery County Public Schools, Maryland, Dr. Clark now resides in the Finger Lakes region while maintaining her affiliation with The Writer’s Center of Bethesda, leading Mythology for writers workshops (online) and as editor/writing coach.

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13 Responses

    • Carolyn Clark

      Thanks for such a compliment!
      Just last week another poem of mine – about breath –
      called Young Woman Jogger
      appeared in an Avocet newsletter. You might like it…

  1. Ruth Asch

    Lovely visual images, and a mood bubbling with life and beauty. (One odd line, syntactically – ‘when come morning’ – otherwise all reads smoothly, with natural poetic simplicity).

    • Carolyn Clark

      Thank you for your comment and astute observation.
      I had been bothered by that line too;
      perhaps if I added two commas to slow it down:
      “when, come morning, ”
      it would work better.
      That’s the way I read it aloud, too.

      • Ruth Asch

        Yes, Carolyn, those two commas make all the difference; definitely put them in!

    • Carolyn Clark

      Thanks, Judy,
      So nice to find your reply here this dreary January –
      such colorful pics with so many poems on this site,
      yet another advantage of going paperless!

  2. Tracey Cullen

    Beautiful, Carolyn, both of these. And yes, definitely yes to the two commas!

    • Carolyn Clark

      Hello Tracey,
      Thanks for reading my two poems
      and taking the time to confirm those commas.
      I really enjoyed sharing them and the fact that
      we are still circling around in cyberspace.

    • Carolyn Clark

      Thanks for your clapping!
      Classic poems really do
      inspire not just rhyme
      but rhythm too. 🙂


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