Muddy Dragon on the Road to Heaven

By Grant Clauser

Subjects: Poetry
Imprint: Distribution Partners
Paperback : 9781949933079, 92 pages, August 2020

Table of contents

Part I

San Francisco Begins Construction of a Suicide Net Under the Golden Gate Bridge
Walt Whitman at the Armory Hospital
Muddy Dragon on the Road to Heaven
Elegy for a Turkey Vulture
Onion Snow
Letter to an Arsonist Betrayed by His Heart
Men Weeping in Cars
"Long is the way and hard, that out of Hell leads up to light. "
Spotted Lanternfly Anti Ode
God Particle
The Problem
"What am I pondering, you ask? So help me God, immortality. "
What if We Could
A Map of Valley Forge

Part II

Trouble Light
Blue Willow
Bamboo Fly Rod
"Only I have left to say. .."
Skeet Shooting at Bear Lake
Gathering Night Crawlers
Rock'em Sock'em Robots
He Knows What Makes Old Men Grumpy
What If We Could
Minsi Lake

Part III

Small Gestures
Promised Land
Empathy Creek
"The stars, that nature hung in heaven,"
Swimming the Lake Alone
In Elk Country
Any Man on a Bridge

Part IV

Tying Flies After Midnight
Last Cast at Valley Forge
To the Girl Who Called the Satanic Hotline to Ask for a Miscarriage
What If We Could
Fishing After Losing a Job
Learning to Play Guitar
Adopting a Manatee
When Our Tattoos were Young
The Tattooist's Lament
Ode to the Light at the End of the Tunnel
Some Good News
Bear Cubs in the Swimming Pool

Poems that explore social and ecological struggles, personal and public nostalgia, family and solitude and seek to balance it all with hope.


Winner of the Codhill Press Pauline Uchmanowicz Poetry Award, this collection of poetry explores social and ecological struggles, personal and public nostalgia, family and solitude and seek to balance it all with hope.

Grant Clauser is the author of Reckless Constellations, The Magician's Handbook, Necessary Myths, and The Trouble with Rivers and the winner of the Cider Press Book Award and the Dogfish Head Poetry Prize. He lives in Pennsylvania where he works as an editor and writer and also teaches poetry at Rosemont College.


"These finely crafted, deeply evocative poems written with a tenderest heart, questioning mind, and an acutely observant eye, invite us to join the speaker on a trek across history, across intimate landscapes of relationships, human and animal courage, love and grief, global brokenness, and unexpected grace. " — Doris Ferleger, author of Leavened and As the Moon Has Breath

"Whatever the topic of his luminous poems—family, nature, childhood or fly fishing—to name a few, Grant Clauser knows that are all related. It is this understanding and wonder that undergirds these poems. Whether the characters in this book 'smash atoms/ into each other/ trying to find god' or tie flies because 'water is music/ I want to stand in,' these poems reach for the place where the known world meets the realm we sense but cannot know. Grant Clauser is a poet who knows the importance of vision, both in the sense of observing what is around us and in being attuned to the worlds to come. 'Trust me, this is the world we deserve,' Clauser says. We will be more deserving of this world if we heed these wise and luminous poems. " — Al Maginnes, author of The Next Place and Music from Small Towns