“Welcoming Clyde” and my poems

Welcoming Clyde is a film by choreographer, filmmaker and dancer Pam Kuntz. Pam graciously granted me permission to post a link to her beautiful film. Thanks, Pam – I’m grateful!

Read about Pam and her Dance Company, here: Kuntz and Company

Pam filmed a dancer Kate during the entire progression of Kate’s pregnancy. The result is “Welcoming Clyde” and it includes strings and a voice over by Kate’s husband Trent. It’s quite a gift.

I am honored in having been asked to write a poem in response to “Welcoming Clyde” for Phrasings in Word and Dance held here in Bellingham, Washington in late April 2012.

I was one of six poets who viewed the film and wrote poems in response. Our poems were posted in the lobby of The Firehouse Performing Arts Center for audience members to read. What a great opportunity!

Read about The Firehouse Performing Arts Center here. Read about the Bellingham Repertory Dance Company and Phrasings in Word and Dance – founded by Carla Shafer – here.

My “official poem” is “Welcome, Clyde!”

Welcome, Clyde!

Your life is a blessing.
May your life be filled with blessings.

May love enfold you and allow
you to love yourself and others all your life.

May this embrace allow you to embrace
all people and all that you’ll value.

May this dance allow you to move
and dance with joy all your life.

May you have the grace
and athleticism of your mother,
may you have the strength
and kindness of your father,
and may you have their passion and hope.

May your voice sing with love and truth
and come from a place of gentle strength.

May your days be filled with
beauty and grace, heart and heartstrings.

The greatest gift to the world
is that of yourself – the gift of you,
your love, your embrace, and your dance.

Welcome, Clyde!

Your life is a blessing.
May your life be filled with blessings.

Welcome, Clyde!

Andrew Shattuck McBride


I started watching the film in silence, since I haven’t hooked
speakers up to my computer. I immediately found “Welcoming
Clyde” to be beautiful; after I watched it with sound, I found the
film to be moving and profound, also.

My thinking about the film led me to write an initial poem, one titled
“Life’s longing for itself.” I wrote this as one of my National Poetry
Writing Month poems (Day 21).

Life’s longing for itself

with a phrase from Kahlil Gibran

This morning a robin near my path
doesn’t stir from the ground, doesn’t
look up at me even as I resist the urge
to nudge it with shoe into life. It’s
an adult, not a fledgling; perhaps
dazed after a glancing blow off a car.

I recall seeing a person I admire on
oxygen. Later, I walk home – looking
for the robin – hoping – but can’t find
it. The air is accelerant-laced wood
smoke from a barbecue. Let’s begin
with this: despite all that’s broken,

all that’s breaking, despite the threat
of cinder and char – fruit trees are
heavy with blossoms. I’m given a gift:
a woman – belly swollen – dances a
welcoming song, then dances with an
infant. Life continues longing for itself.

Andrew Shattuck McBride
April 21, 2012

Blessings to Clyde, Kate and Trent. Blessings to all, Andy

About Andrew Shattuck McBride

I am a writer, editor, writing coach, and consultant. I work in a variety of genres, including poetry, short stories, and creative non-fiction. I also have a couple of novels simmering on back burners. THANK YOU to Nan Macy of Village Books for taking this photo (June 2011).
This entry was posted in Andrew Shattuck McBride Writer, Art in Our Bellingham, NaPoWriMo ~ 2012, Notes on the Literary Life, Samples. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to “Welcoming Clyde” and my poems

  1. Oh, fantastic! The film “Welcoming Clyde” was a MAJOR highlight of _Phrasings_ for me this year. Watching it is, as you say, to be “given a gift,” for all the reasons you point out. Your poem is a perfect tribute to Kate’s dance and to her beautiful family.

    And, if I may say so, your poem is far more “profound” than Trent’s commentary. : – )

  2. Lisa Stillman says:

    What a lovely poem of blessings you’ve written for Clyde!

  3. Hi Lisa, thank you very much! Blessings to you and yours, Andy

  4. Pingback: The NaPoWriMo Interviews ~ Andrew Shattuck McBride | Andrew Shattuck McBride, Writer's Blog

  5. Pingback: Kuntz and Company interview! | Andrew Shattuck McBride, Writer's Blog

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