Clinton Van Inman                   



                        All the trees are brown

                        And the sky is gray

                        I’ve been out for a walk

                        On a greenhouse day.


                        I should be safe and sound now

                        If I was miles from L.A.

                        California steaming

                        On such a sweltering day.


                        Stopped into a church

                        I stumbled along the way

                        Got down on my knees

                        And prayed for a rainy day.


                        You know the preacher likes it cold

                        Now that all his candles have melted away,

                        California steaming

                        Please don’t take my fan away.




                        WHEREVER THE WIND BLOWS


                   You don’t have to ride in boxcars     

                        To be a complete unknown

                        For someone sits beside you                               

                        Wherever the wind has blown.


                        You once promised love forever                                     

                        Before you left me in the dark.

                        You don’t have to be lost or homeless                                  

                        To sleep alone in a public park.


                        You don’t have to walk in battlefields                             

                        There among the dead,

                        Bound low, long and weary                           

                        Soon you’ll hang your head.


                        Don’t look down that lost highway                           

                        For one last thought of me,

                        Soon wild dogs will find me

                        And forensics will set me free.


                        Now that you are just a number                                 

                        To reap what you have sown 

                        Ninety nine years I will sit beside you                                   

                        Wherever the wind has blown.


                        Ninety nine years I will sit beside you                                 

                        Ninety nine years and a day

                        Just to sit here beside you                               

                        And watch you rot away.



                        WAR WITHIN


                        They buried them in our little Southern town

                        Nothing much here for miles around

                        Why, I guess, they figured they’d never be found

                        Those toxic drums they buried in the ground.


                        Our little Southern town was much like all those around

                        Where towers and church steeples stood tall,

                        Where most folks never heard of a shopping mall,

                        Yet here kids grow up quick

                        And here kids grow up strong

                        Yet we knew something was wrong

                        When kids were dying or getting sick.


                        It was those drums rusting and rotting with time

                        As their poisons seeped out into the water line.

                        We always thought war was something

                        Over there and given a foreign name

                        Not something within buried in our backyard,

                        And something most of us would never understand

                        Those drums of Agent Orange came from Viet-Nam

                        And were buried on our rich mayor’s land.


                        Seems our mayor had made a deal with strategic command,

                        As the drums were buried on his promised land.

                        The mayor refused to comment and moved away,

                        While we with our dead children were here to stay.







Did you when you were California

Dreaming when the answer was a

Blowing in the wind when times were a

Changing before the dust in the wind

Had covered all your peace signs

When all the leaves the brown

And the sky was grey

Along the watchtowers where

You found yourself quite alone

And now that all the flowers have gone

Did you really give peace a chance?






Clinton is a high school teacher in Hillsborough CountyFlorida.  He graduated from San DiegoState University and was born in Walton on ThamesEngland.  Recent publications include: Warwick Unbound, Tower Journal, The Poetry Magazine, Down in the Dirt, May, The Inquisition, The Journal, The Beatnik, The Hudson Review, Forge, Houston Literary Review, BlackCatPoems, and Out of Four.