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Clem Hull - 1935


by Shelley Nash (nom de plume of Clement Hull) 1962

The pounding of my heart resounds around the void;
Arms grope in blackness less than black --
I burn to call Him back;
The God that I destroyed,
For when God died,
Inside He left a solitude so bleak
That I say well
"I am bereft;
I have no God!"
No god I seek --
--and I have faith in only hell.

Source: Treasures of Parnassus:The Best Poetry of 1962 - Vol II

Above is an inscription inside the cover of the Treasures of Parnassus, and below is Hunger Cry from that book - by "Shelley Nash"
From the private collection of Fred Wills


 The Ballad of the Crane

by Clement Hull '35

T'was off the coast of Labrador, in eighteen fifty-three
Jake Marble, on the whaler "Crane"
Then scoured the Northern Sea.

The crew that sailed the whaler "Crane"
In eighteen fifty-three
Was half New England fishermen
And Half Portugee.

One slow still morn, the sun was high;
The lookout's voice came clear;
"Thar she blows! Off the starboard bow!"
And then a cry of fear.

"It's Eric the whale of the Norther Star.
No sailor ever threw
At that cursed whale that lived to see
The sunrise once anew!"

"Lower the boats!" Jake Marble barked
And he grabbed him a harpoon
"I'll kill that stinkin' beast myself
Or I'll die mighty soon."

They neared the slumbering king of sea
And Jake climbed to his back
And sharp and deep the harpoon sank,
The rope no longer slack.

Then sounded Eric to the depths.
The sea swirled round the boat.
The rough men prayed in their salty hearts
With a smother in each throat.

Beneath the boat the whale came up
And snapped the craft in two.

Jake shouted as he seaward plunged
"It's I he wants, not you."

T'was off the coast of Labrador
In eighteen fifty-three
The crew of the "Crane" returned to shore.
Their Captain stayed at sea.

Source: San Miguel News - 1935


And Beauty Grew

Freestyle poem recited by Clem at the Van Briggle Pottery while throwing pots for tourists on the wheel.

by Clem Hull - ca. 1955

It might have happened
This way:

That some time at the end
Of the old stone age,

A man that we will call Ung
Sat in a cave by the Mediterranean Sea
And wondered about
Soft pliant clay.

He put the clay on a flat stone
And as he turned the stone

The wheels of his caveman creative mind turned
And the soft virgin earth responded to the hands of man for the first time
And beauty grew.

This marks the begining of the new stone age
Or neolithic period when man discovered

That with gentle hands
He could bring beauty
Out of the earth.

Source: Fred Wills - Correspondence with David Hull (December, 2004)


The Prospector of Rincon

by Clement Hull - 1935

On the side of a hill in the Rincon Range
There lies a vein of ore.
And the bones of a man who searched those hills
And will never search them more.

There are men who live for the search of sport
And some for wisdom old
But sad in the ranks of the hunters of life
Is the man in hunt of gold.

He used to say (so the ranchers tell)
"I'll find my haul some day
I've paid the West for fifty years
But soon the West will pay."

Then one fine day he found his gold
In a vein of purple stone
T'was three feet feet wide and easy to get
And he claimed it for his own.

A buzzing sound now struck his ears
He had often heard before
But his hand was slow for his mind was dulled
By the thought of the precious ore.

He turned and saw the scaly heap
But dreaming of his luck
Before he could withdraw his hand
The rattle snake had struck.

On the lonely hill in the Rincon Range
There lies on his bed of ore
The man who tried to rob the hills
But will never rob them more.

Source: San Miguel News - 1935



by Clement M. Hull - 1935

Far away, in Mexico,
In a Mountain Village where
A gentle brook sang softly
And her music filled the air,

Is the home I left three years ago;
But now the people mourn,
For they drove God out of Mexico
And the land is scourged and torn.

The little church in Yucatan
Where first I learned to pray
Is empty, and though God is gone
He will return some day.

When God comes back to Mexico
I'll pack my trunk I know,
and my little home in Yucatan
Is the place where I will go.

Until then, in this happy land
Of freedom I'll remain,
For they've driven God from Mexico
But He'll go back again.