A Selection from the Poetry of Lukman Clark

About the Author

Lukman Clark was born in Buffalo, NY and moved to California at the age of 11. He served in the U.S. Navy in Vietnam and Morocco, and has traveled to other countries in Asia, Australia, the Middle East and Europe. Lukman holds a B.A. in Communication Arts from UCSD and an MBA in International Management from UCLA. He has been writing poetry for over forty years. His career spans banking and investments, petroleum services, community development, education and fundraising; currently, he makes his way as a mobile notary. He and his wife, Evelyn, live in Long Beach, California with their two children; his five adult children all live in California. Lukman has been a practicing member of Subud for 38 years.


The Life of Adam
& Other Poems

by Lukman Clark

(copyright 2004, 70 pages)

In this important reconsideration of Western Civilization's primary "control story," the poet reveals an Adam whose development from a very biological birth sees him grow as orphan, artisan, horticulturalist, city founder, statesman and, finally, mystic. At the same time, Adam's mythic side is enlarged through amazing encounters with characters such as The Man With The Tail and The Green Man. Adam's story, as presented by Lukman Clark, challenges how we view ourselves, both historically and today, and demands that we reassess our place in the world order.

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             This aging Ninth Moon!

                         Farmers read their almanacs;
                                   Withered stalks in hands.


Always we hear of love's flower,
Sweet smelling; or by contrast, the
Sharp lacerations of its thorns.
But if we let things take their course,
Cultivate to the concluding
Notes beyond reproduction's score,
A harvest of hardy pods holds
Soothing tones for our evening tea.


Ticketed and assigned
To non-adjacent seats
We stood in each other's
Way in the aisle before
Finding unfilled spaces
Together for talking
Beneath the carry-ons
In the overhead holds
Just some necessities
For starry night crossings.


Classic white
Takes black rhythms
In a blue round
Even Chinese
Clap both hands


           The red wheelbarrow
               Void of all

                But carrying
               For white feathered


Do we give back our names when we die?
Does the angel call the loan—and when?
When we first rise up dazed, befuddled?

Or do our names fade slowly, losing
Color and their old familiar shapes
As our warm-hearted homes deliquesce?

Setting aside names given by folks
Star-struck, tradition-bound or just tired,
Suppose we ancient names recollect

Which, as crying babes we had disdained
To use in our strange, newly found land,
Or, here's one for you to think about—

Making our way through the processing
At the Ellis Island of the soul,
New names we take to better blend in.

From: The Life of Adam
& Other Poems

Chapter 2: The Seven Days

i. In principio, Deus. Et Deus perficiet.

When the heavens and the earth first were made...
These words are meant to convey the laying
Of the material foundations of
A magnificent cosmic pedestal:
Atomic fires and molecular brews;
Galactic oceans filled with solar fleets;
Light and darkness in eternal embrace.

ii. Such was the first day, if such a time may be so assigned.

And let earth bring forth grass, serving its seed
For yield of future generations in
A perpetual round of greening life.
In perfect physics, matter is conserved,
Exchanging one face for visage newer;
Should vegetative forces be granted
Station less than material servants?

iii. Such was day two, to further the conceit.

Next, let the waters writhe and squirm, the air
Whip and dart, and the continents teem with
Beasts that burrow, climb, run and go a-wild,
Excelling in the slaughter of plants, as
Well the devouring of each the other.
In rampant carnality, flesh and blood
Shall be served while also giving service.

iv. So was the third mystery said and done.

And God said, "Let us begin man's making" --
Balancing them on two legs and weaker
By weight than most every animal;
Yet, with hearts tuned wiser and minds greater,
So that they too might have their place in life.
No clock was given their reproduction,
As a sign of God's Mercy and Wisdom.

v. The human life force thus crowned those lower.

Four days signifying four folios:
Each a distinct opus in its own right;
With characteristic space-times, life spans
In each having appropriate meter
Marking the cadence of sundry creatures
Alive to their own worlds, and seemingly
Senseless, like empty words, to those above.

vi. Nevertheless, each world intersects all;

So, it must be noted there that human
Hearts and minds are open doors to entry
And domination by many creatures,
Because all aspire to return to God.
The unsuspecting humanoid therefore
May have not only lice or rank fungus,
But be host to myriad veiled beings

vii. Who find in their human home a heaven.

Following the fourth issue came three more
Vibrations, each finer than those prior:
The first alike water, but not water;
Succeeded by two worlds of air and light,
But not of air or light as we know them.
That fifth band however, mystic hamza,
Is my home of True Human consciousness.

viii. All praise belongs to the Lord of the Worlds!

Chapter 3: The Birth of Adam

i.       From a drop of sperm
         In a place of rest
         Held fast to her wall,

ii.      I knew of my own
         Conception. They called,
         Invoking the One,

iii.     With the thirst upon
         My father, the way
         Opened wide for my

iv.     Commanded descent.

v.      Within her dark womb
         This body gathered
         The strength of the world:

vi.     From a clot of blood
         To a fetus lump;
         Then to bones, clothed in flesh --

vii.    My form perfected
         In harmony with
         the gravid season.

viii.   Blessed be Allah!

ix.     But I grew fearful
         As my time approached,
         Aware of troubles

x.      To befall me yet
         In the world of flesh;
         My spirit cried out:

xi.     Adonai! Forsake
         Me not! Restore me
         To my rightful realm!

xii.    The birth pains began.

xiii.   My good madam sang
         Loudly in labor,
         Sighing in between;

xiv.   I fought to tarry
         Until an envoy
         Dressed in brilliant light

xv.    Appeared to calm me
         And bid me recall
         The promise I'd made

xvi.   To Messenger be.

xvii.  My mother he took
         When the birth was done,
         Her mission complete;

xviii. I howled at my loss
         Missing already
         Her body's carnal heat;

xix.   And when they entered
         The birthing hut -- Lo!
         I spoke my name to

xx.    All there: Adama!

From: The Life of Adam & Other Poems
by Lukman Clark © 2004

Copyright© 2007, Undiscovered Worlds Press