Clifford Hunt

Clifford Hunt is a husband, father, poet, writer, editor, and teacher in Half Moon Bay, California. He’s lived and worked in Bethel, San Francisco, Seattle, Arcata, San Diego, and Beirut, Lebanon.

He and Tim Badger are co-founders, editors, and publishers of Just Press; small press publishers of poems, poetics, art, and ideas.

Clifford’s publications include The ⊄omplications, Chapter Ø, Outside & Elsewhere, 36 Days in Bethel, The Weekly, Dispatches from the Field, and You Amuse Yourself You Amass Yourself (1983, with Tim Badger).

Poems on Belonging

TIME

Nights go by; the moon, planets, stars.
I walk on this bluff, look at this sky.
Sometimes I see the west and everything
that isn't tied to this coast. Sometimes
I see another shore, peopled with monkeys
and folks who have more of a clue than I do,
who dance to music few of us hear.

These waves make me think,
and I think. I dance with you
around a fire nobody sees,
under light from a moon this love
defines. No night goes by without
knowing tonight; tonight just
these stars, planets, the moon, 
and wave after wave
wanting you in my arms.

Copyright © by Clifford Hunt. This poem originally appeared in Chapter Ø. Used with permission of the author.

LOVE IS

Tonight Venus makes perfect sense -
this is February after all. Tonight
everything else in the sky draughts 
to the might of that planet. Love
makes certain the planet outshines
whatever is around it. Tonight Venus
lets us know we're only here
as long as we know love. And the 
light that planet throws across
our short attention span insists
we pay attention. Love makes sense.

Copyright © by Clifford Hunt. Used with permission of the author.

PUT IT ON THE CALENDAR

We all fill our days thinking of something
	- love, joy, God, pleasure, reflection,
	  the Devil, or regret.
We fill our days with what we imagine
we’ll get done today, or maybe tomorrow.
We think we have all the time in the world.

But the day slips by, like days before,
and the days before that, when we managed
to avoid whatever we needed to do.
Right now a nap seems right, between
August and September, when weather changes
and we’ll have different chores to do
before we wake up and remember what
we all forgot to do. For now, just rest.

Copyright © by Clifford Hunt. Used with permission of the author.

@ WINTER SOLSTICE

How spectacularly morning rises
out of night, and leaves us here
with each other. How today differs
from yesterday, and all the days
before. Maybe the pain we've suffered
will bear fruit, and we can just
fall in love, turn to one another
and notice what's really going on.
Maybe this morning means more 
than anything we've known, and 
brings hope out of the cold, long 
night’s moon; hope to cherish this 
morning, this day, more than
the sum of all the days before.

Copyright © by Clifford Hunt. Used with permission of the author.

OCTOBER SOMETHING

We were all on the side of the road
when the girl walks up half-clothed
and confused. Training tells us
be cautious and we are, all of us.

She asks for food, directions,
and something to cover her.

We're all looking for something,
we just might not know how it looks
or what it’s called.

Copyright © by Clifford Hunt. This poem originally appeared in Dispatches from the Field. Used with permission of the author.