Embryonic Self

The result of one determined to heal at the Healing Art Retreat based on my book, “Cutting the Clouds.”

Clare L. Martin

“Embryonic Self*,” mixed media, by Clare L. Martin

A tree held in its branches
a womb that carried me.
My strong heart
beat brilliant red
through fluid translucence.
A thick cord
connected me to roots
of the tree
into the blood
of the earth.

Who knew I would experience
such sorrow, such joy,
once born into the world?

*Dedicated to Bessie Senette.

Clare L. Martin ©2016

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Photo by T Senette

Louisiana Pines


Gentle rolling highways through

Northwest corner, from the toes of the Ozark foothills

To the marshy toes of the boot-shaped state,

Host to cultures with unexpected wonders.


Acres of standing pines

Singing a river song in soft breeze,

The pounding of mechanical pumps on gulf waters

Pulling oil from primordial depths,

Singing a different song than those

Who fish the salty waters and

Chank-a-chank in a different language.


Pining for the old days

Before those sounds were known.

When pelicans filled the sky and

Seagulls shouted joyful finds of

Fish schools too vast to measure,


When Grand Isle’s shoreline was

Not yet dotted with platforms,

Christmas tree lights, and natural gas torches

Reaching thirty feet above the horizon,


When marshland covered itself in

Vibrant colors of migrating flocks,

Wings slapping salty humid air,

When my father and his father before

Had only one care — that day’s catch.


Catching now the scent of pine,

I remember his face as he retold

From childhood memory how

Plentiful our cadie once was

Before Louisianians pined.

© 2016 Bessie Adams Senette