Two Poems by Claudine Nash

You Might Have Saved a Life



You might have saved a life tonight.


On impulse,

you might have looked

a faintly-known stranger

straight in the eyes

and caught sight of a life

waiting to ignite.


You might have reached in

and kindled it,


breathed wind

into this heat that burns

without flame,


flicked a spark

into a field of dry grass

and yelled “Live!”

or “Fire!” or “There is a gift

in these ashes that needs

to be scattered.”


Tomorrow your stranger might

awaken alert and recalled,


they might set their Wild

Fire free and watch it spread

from sleeper to sleeper

until the world


shakes itself alive

and the murky sky starts



You might have saved a life tonight.

You might have saved us all.



Previously published in Sick Lit Magazine




Certain Words



There are certain words you

would wait a lifetime to hear.

Like, “you didn’t ruin a

thing,” or “the ground between

us never turned to dust.”


Better still, “look, here’s a

stack of old envelopes

made out to you” and upon

inspecting their odd postmarks

and stamps, feel love leak

from their folds or read


scribbled between the lines

of the onionskin sheets within,

the explanation you’ve always

wanted interwoven with

the phrase “You were only

briefly forgotten.”


But mostly, you would

forfeit the scent of oncoming

rain or abandon the sight of

the swollen red moon just

to be told  “Please listen now,

there’s something I’m ready

to say.”



Previously published in The Problem with Loving Ghosts (Finishing Line Press, 2014)




Claudine Nash is an award-winning poet whose collections include her full length books The Wild Essential (Aldrich Press, forthcoming) and Parts per Trillion (Aldrich Press, 2016) as well as the chapbook The Problem with Loving Ghosts (Finishing Line Press, 2014). She also co-edited the book In So Many Words: A Collection of Interviews and Poetry from Today’s Poets (Madness Muse Press, 2016). Internationally published, her poetry has received Pushcart Prize nominations and has appeared in a wide range of publications including Asimov’s Science Fiction, BlazeVOX, Cloudbank, Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, Foliate Oak and Dime Show Review amongst others. She is also a practicing psychologist.


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