The Clerestory Podcast S1 E25

The Oklahoma Tenant Farmer and Me
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ISSUE No. 8 Embodiment

In the eighth issue of Clerestory Magazine, contributors confront the joys and pains of being a body.

Editor’s Letter
essay Slow

When your dad drops you off at school this morning and reminds you that he has signed you up for the cross-country team, you wonder how you got roped into this one.

essay A Time for Everything

One of my earliest memories of coming to terms with mortality was when I was a child, just shy of seven years old.

poem Hymn for the Front Porch Rocking Chair

A rocking chair can serenade anyone, not just the very young and old

essay “Gardened from the Wilderness of Space”

Some time ago, I went to a reading by an excellent Midwestern poet. 

essay Les Vagues

It was summer; and there was a patchiness to the weather.

essay Distance Learning

On our walk through town, my husband and I passed by an assisted living facility. There were a couple dump trucks in front. 

poem Where Is The Pain?

A gruff man groans, his pain

poem answering why my toes look the way they look 

because: i wanted cool shoes  

essay Somewhere in a Hotel Gym

Somewhere in a hotel gym, a mother is running on a treadmill. Her sneakers haven’t touched pavement in months, and her taupe leggings make her thighs look like seals.

essay About Solitude

Spring in our county brings wind. Early in the morning, a light breeze lifts leaves on the trees, in and around the back patio.

poem Finding the Y at the End of Anxiety in a Studio Apartment

At night, the walkway by my window was lit by orange lights.

photo story Body of Work: The Chernikov Family Archive

A chance discovery of an artistic Soviet Ukrainian family’s portfolio prompts curator Myroslava Hartmond to reappraise the importance of life’s small kindnesses.

essay Inversely Proportional

When I see the three positive pregnancy tests lined up on my bathroom counter, my first thought is that I wanted another baby, but I did not want another baby like this.

essay This Tricksy Body

The mind plays tricks on us. This we know. The heart is deceitful above all things. This we accept. But the body is the consummate con artist.

poem In this poem, the body asks to be tangible.

... in In this poem, the body asks to be over-feeling. 

poem My Body, Myself

Hated body, hated self. Therefore, body equals self.

ISSUE No. 7 Sanctuary

In the seventh issue of Clerestory Magazine, contributors locate places of rest and refuge.

Editor’s Letter
essay The Sanctuary You Create for Yourself

What does it mean to make your body a home when all it has ever known is the loud incessant chatter of rooms too full of thoughts so mean, you’d only dare say them to yourself?

essay Sympathy for the Devil

In 1330, five days after he killed his wife, Geoffrey of Knuston of Abingdon sought sanctuary in a church in Northamptonshire.

poem A Gusty Pier on a Winter’s Day

A flock of gulls rises from a choppy sea, hangs aloft in abeyance – a distraction

photo story Beyond the Self

To be alive means to be in relation...

poem A Neglected Patch of Ground Near the Railroad

Dew clings to leaves and calms the dust, soothing wild asters tangled in goldenrod.

interview Grieving Well with Amanda Held Opelt

Amanda Held Opelt is a songwriter, speaker, and writer based in Boone, North Carolina. Her work stands at the intersection of faith, grief, healing, creativity, and belonging.

essay Public Transport as a Civic Re-Education

I used to think that my hometown would always feel welcoming, that I would always be able to slide back into place. I plotted my return for many years.

poem Perimeter

It takes 650 steps to walk the perimeter. 

poem Looking out from Stella Maris Chapel

The stars were dancing on the waters as I looked out from Stella Maris chapel.

essay How Many Calories Are in the Body of Christ?

It is common to intellectualize the sacrament of Communion, and to view the practice as a sacred ritual of reverence. 

poem Luck Quarry Dump #2

Some things never change. I love that.

essay Mint

I am one of two hundred teenage girls walking through the Ozark green on a muggy July evening.

essay Water Becomes the Sacred

What is “sanctuary”? To me, sanctuary is a refuge, a retreat from the noise and myriad voices competing for our attention.

poem The creases on your palms draw road maps to your body.

I learnt of loss and how it attaches itself to your body

essay The Marshall House

On a sweltering August afternoon when only a man deranged would return to Savannah, I wheel up.

essay Reading Makes Us Free

How can I explain the joy that I get from reading? Words can't fully express it.

poem Reading Room

The shack’s one room is wallpapered with pages of the Denver Post, a decorative soul.

poem An Ordinary Sanctuary

on the page we grew like dusk falling, something breathtaking, impossibly ravishing

essay Coming Home: Women Circle as Sanctuary

Last weekend felt like coming home. 

essay Fire and Water

Fire, 20 miles south, 30% contained.

essay Finding My Flock

“Who else is on the reservation?” asks the assistant naturalist, who appears to be around the same age as me, as she finds my name on the registration list for a bird talk.

poem  My Majorca

Low-water years, our pond is Walden-size, just right...

photo story Protecting Ranomafana National Park with Théo Farafidson

Théo has lived and worked in this forest, Madagascar’s Parc National Ranomafana, his entire  life.

poem Great Pond

I was swimming alone late one September afternoon at Great Pond in Wellfleet when...

essay Too Many to Count

I go there again and again, never tiring of the place. When I’m away, I imagine that it waits for me, no matter how long my return might take.

essay Coming Home from the Georgia Coast, Late Summer

Sunday, a day early, but those murderous temperatures, and we’d had our gators if not our dolphins, our tidal marsh kayak if not our sunset river cruise, decent meals if never a feast...

essay Holy Ground

I don’t want to worry. But I do. I want to lay my burdens down and find rest. But I don’t. My mind interferes.

photo story  Labyrinth

Came on my bike, hot in the August sun and beaten down by what life had been dolloping out to me.

poem there's always more

laid out in the tiny details...

essay Summer at Nrityagram Village

I arrived at Nrityagram dance village in Karnataka, India in July of 2014 with the monsoon rain.

poem In the Memorial Garden

Gardenias droop in August heat at the Episcopal plot

essay My Covid in the Third Person

Earlier this morning, he called his parents with the bad news. He had just learned he has Covid-19.