Literature » Poetry

“There With Anita Baker” — a poem by Russell MacClaren





Watch her closely; loosen your clothes.

Her quiet storm makes love to listeners

in the heat of each performance,

cuts through crap, produces mystic music…


She’ll seduce you with contralto soul

until you lose your mind,

break you and remake you once again

with highs and lows and soft tones.


Swaying—till she becomes her song,

she lifts with shrill, drags you there

with down beat, blows through you

like a gale that’s found a harbor…


Soon she becomes her song,

puts her arms around you,

holds you until the two of you are one

and both must sing—together.







Russell MacClaren grew up in New Orleans where he participated in every activity healthy young men can pursue. He majored in English literature at SLC in Hammond, Louisiana where his education was interrupted in his senior year by a tour of duty in Vietnam, where he served honorably in the 173rd Airborne Brigade.

After his tour, Russell returned to school, served as a Scoutmaster, baseball and soccer coach, then went on the road for years as a journeyman electrician, teaching in the electrical apprenticeship program at Wake Tech in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. Now retired, he has become a dedicated writer and poet, overseeing poetry workshops, reading on public television in North Carolina and working with several writer’s groups after his return to New Orleans.

His poetry has been published in numerous small presses and anthologies. His third personal volume of poetry, Hand in Hand—a book of love poetry, is now available through Amazon and Authorhouse books in black and white, color and e-book versions.