Friday, September 28, 2012

SHORT GLANCES FORWARD AND A LONG LOOK BACK



Early in spring 2012, I had an opportunity to help bring forth the poetry publication of
Clarence Newton’s first poetry collection, Short Glances Forward and a Long Look Back. This collection  sparkles with humor, yet it shows the life of a man who learned that some pain never goes away. Some wounds never heal.  In “Examination,” one of his strongest poems, he writes: “ My beautiful, intelligent child has become a lost man.”  Other favorites of mine are the image-rich poems: “Damsel Dancing Sideways” about his wife and “ October Sands”, which leaves me with the eternal image of men fishing. 

Newton’s keen observation after over forty years in an aviation career comes through in his poems, whether he observes the human nature of pilots on a bombing mission or when he watches a hawk circling its prey. His appreciation for poetry gives us his most humorous and delightful poems: “If I were an English Major”  and his love poem to Emily Dickinson, “Dream Number 4001.”  The reader will cry maybe, will laugh for sure, and will keep turning the pages.   --Nancy Simpson

FROM THE BACK COVER OF SHORT GLANCES FORWARD AND A LONG LOOK BACK:

“The observant eye of Clarence Newton, his original way of encountering the world, often humorously and always thoughtful, invites the reader to come along for an enriching journey. --Janice Townley Moore, autor of Teaching the Robins.”


“Trying to categorize the work of Clarence Newton is both futile and fun. He writes in several genres, including poetry, light verse, fiction, and non fiction. A pervasive quality in his work is humor. Particularly in verse, the author is quite clever (as in “Froggy”), but he has a serious side as well (see “Short Glances Forward and a Long Look Back.” Clarence’s writing is entertaining at the same time it tells us something important.” --Robert S. King, author of The Hunted River and The Gravedigger’s Roots.

It is always a delight to read poetry that is playful.  And Clarence Newton’s poems are not only playful, but often have a biting edge.  There are no wasted words, and plenty of sharp and witty observations that leave the reader pondering long after the poem has been read.  A good poem should stick with you, and these will, along with a grin or chuckle, too. --Rosemary Rhodes Royston, Poet


Short Glances Forward And A  Long Look Back 
I am not half the man I used to be 
and I never was. 
The lumberjack shirts and leather jacket 
were not the person I was, 
nor pointy-toed cowboy boots, tight jeans 
and belt buckles wide as Texas gates, 
and a big hat that covered my shoulders. 
So many parties and so much boozing. 
Now whiskey makes a fire in my stomach. 

The women I loved have become 
pleasant memories like 
the aftertaste of bittersweet chocolate. 

When driving my car for an hour 
I can barely crawl out. 
The smile on my face 
helps mask the pain 
of joints that creak and snap. 
Wants and needs become simple: 
comfortable shoes, loose clothing 
and a soft bed to lie in-- 
to reminisce, to dream-- 
short glances forward and a long look back. 


Solace 

On a warm autumn morning 
sitting alone on Table Rock 
down by Bull Sluice, 
my day is relegated to nothing to do 
except succumb to serene seduction 
by the river Chattooga. 

Thoughts of yesterday stir my mind, 
memories of a long-lost love. 
After drifting down this river 
we frolicked naked in splashing water 
under rusty old State-Line Bridge. 

Maybe there will be a new love for me. 
Like children we will play in whirling 
pools and fresh rushing rivulets, 
will search for treasure among rocky shoals 
and dance barefoot in summer!s warm sand; 

new beginnings, new lives together 
with teen-like zeal, 
savoring love like vintage wine 
on Table Rock below Bull Sluice 
by the river Chattooga. 
                                                                                        

A Walk And A Talk With Myself 

Take a contented stroll 
in this earthly garden. 
Free yourself from all thought 
of time, past or future.
Search for the path 
that leads to falling water 
wherein dwells 
the spirit of Taoism. 

Pause and submit 
to insignificance. 
Be quiet in this infinite 
and unfathomable universe. 
                                    
Sit upon a rock 
or lean against a tree. 
Meditate and reach 
for higher consciousness. 

Know that you are master 
of little or nothing. 
Flow with the unfolding 
and pulsating of all that exists eternally. 


Damsel Dancing Sideways 
                                    
I see her through my window 
stepping gingerly upon green grass, 
arms in the air like an evangelist, 
presenting her dainty flags to the wind.
Tonight she will sleep 
in a sun dried fragrance that 
cuddles her soft, sensuous skin. 
She will join me in my dreams. 


Morning Glory 

Coffee on the back porch. 
Early birds sing wake-up songs. 
Squirrels trapeze between trees. 



She appears, speaking softly 
of beautiful periwinkles 
and cosmos swaying in the breeze. 


A hummingbird, within my reach, 
hovers above a buddleia bush 
patiently gathering nature’s nectar. 

Coffee warm-up? 
Yes, dear 


Nancy Simpson recommends this book. 
To buy a copy, or to contact the author, 
write to Clarence Newton
1951 Rolling Meadows
Young Harris, Georgia 30582

$12.00 included postage

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Nancy, I have not been on your blog for a while, and I see I've missed out on a lot. How helpful to have the literary submissions on it. I also enjoyed so much the poems of Clarence Newton's, and I see congratulations are in order for his new book. Also, you are the only person I know that can take beautiful photos year round. I enjoy each and every one of them so much. Hope you are doing better each day Nancy. All the best, Glenda Barrett