Added a YouTube channel. Harmonica poems and instrumentals. Search YouTube for Cliff Bernier.


Poetry & harmonica at Davies Concert Series Annual Fundraising Concert



13-17 August 2019

Society for the Preservation and Advancement of the Harmonica

100 E 2nd St

Tulsa, OK  United States  74103

Poetry and harmonica




4 October 2019

Words Out Loud

7300 MacArthur Blvd.

Glen Echo, MD

Room 302, Third Floor, North Arcade (opposite Carousel)


Link to Sojourn with Words interview and performance with harmonica


Link to Color Me Poetry podcast and performance with harmonica


Link to All the Winds


Words Out Loud
4 October 2019
7300 MacArthur Blvd.
Glen Echo, MD
Room 302, Third Floor, North Arcade (opposite carousel)

Evil Grin
13 April 2019
26 Annapolis St.
Annapolis, MD

Building to Crescendo
24 January 2019
Martha Washington Library
Alexandria, VA

Building to Crescendo
16 October 2018
Martha Washington Library
Alexandria, VA

Reading with Cecilia Martinez-Gil, and musians
5 January 2012
Elliott Bay Book Company
1521 Tenth Avenue
Seattle, WA 98122

Word Works Cafe Muse Reading Series
12 January 2012
7 pm-8:30pm
Friendship Heights Village Center
4433 South Park Avenue
Chevy Chase, Maryland

Miriam’s Kitchen
Wednesday, 22 February 2012
2:30-3:15 pm
2401 Virginia Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20037
202 452 3926

Monday, 27 February 2012
7-9:30 pm
959 Sligo Ave.
Silver Spring, MD 2091202 726 6515

202 290 0107 or 202 726 6515
Admission $25; $20 with advance reservation

Cliff Bernier will perform a poem with:
Mike Gillispie (flutes)
Geoff Reecer (guitar)
James King (bass)
Nasar Abadey (drums)


IOTA Poetry Reading Series

Clifford Bernier & Poesis (Mike Gillispie, Flute; Shep Williams, keyboard; Curly Robinson, congas)
11 March 2012
IOTA Club & Cafe
2832 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201

Kensington Row Bookshop Poetry Reading Series
with Mike Gillispie (flute); Shep Williams (keyboard)
27 June 2012
3786 Howard Avenue
Kensington, MD 20895

HearArts Reading Series
with Mike Gillispie (flute) and Taimoor Saeedi (guitar)
2 August 2012
Visarts Gallery
155 Gibbs St, 2nd Floor
Buchanan Room
Rockville Town Center
Rockville, MD 20850

Immaculate Conception Church
Tea & Poetry
10 November 2012
5:45 – 7 pm
1431 N. Park Ave
Chicago, IL 60610
312 944 1230


The voice of the palm fronds
draws its breath from the surf,
the measured exhalations
of waves on Estero Beach,
the cathedral of coconuts
on its bank, cantatas
scored with serranos and limes.
Julio translates the voice
with the nib of a pen
from a chair in a cantina,
the loops of his l’s and t’s
the stems of olives and figs,
his lyric Tequila
in a shot glass.
Eucalyptus and jacaranda
whisper the rolled r’s
of the tide in his ears,
the generations,
the prayer of the surf
hymned by paisanos.
Julio pauses to listen to the voice,
and notes in the layered
rosary of leaves
that compose the pastorals
of the evening
the ascending breeze in the cantina,
the lines on his page,
the tortilla o’s of the moon.


Pitaya and cholla in the Sierra de Juárez
landscape the ridge of the Rio San Miguel.
The desert reversing the sea.
The communion of tamarind and cinnamon
on the tongues of arroyos,
naming the townships Bajamar, La Salina, Punta Morro
after the sign of the surf.

And voice the scroll of the tide in the blue fan palms
and the bleached shells of crabs on the black stone beach.

In the orchard of Santo Tomás
a laborer,
heart bruised like a peach,
gathers the fruit:
the grapes bunched like a rosary,
the pears wicked like candles,
the sacrament of orange and wheat
in the grove
by the ruins of the mission,
and reads in the leaves
of the valley
the book of his faith:
yucca mesquite cirio agave,
the salt vowels of the breeze
and text of his litany
on the flecked sea.

Under the plums of the moon
I am the laborer.
By the strokes of the waves
I harvest these lines:
the print of the gull and the piper,
the ribbon of fig on the mesa,
the ray of the brittle-star
brilliant as grace,
my hoe is the stalk of a pen,
my tablet the pages of corn,
my rows are the swells of the Bahía Descansos,
Bahía de Todos Santos,
the mass of the dry scrub of Baja,
the field of the provident sea.