Hearing Your Words … in memory of Welsh poet, Anne Cluysenaar

For Ruth Bidgood, reading in Aberystwyth

I used, as a child, to imagine my death, or rather
beyond it. A ship setting out, in flames, at dusk,
counteracting the planet’s roll, on the sunrise path
to a waveless far horizon lit from beneath.

This came to mind, just now, clicking on close-up
through the café window – sea meeting that sky,
distantly smooth, arching high, up above
a jumble of chimneys and roofs backlit at sundown.

I found myself catching my breath, gravity’s curve
seen through such a small frame, from here where we sit
with our cups of tea. Vastness out there, our past.
But on planets elsewhere, other seas, other lives beginning.

Later, among the books, hearing your words,
it was waves I thought of – from land we may never see
reaching across the bulge of this little earth
to break, not one the same, on familiar shores.

– Anne Cluysenaar, © 2013, All rights reserved

taken from the poem diary From Seen to Unseen and Back by Anne Cluysenaar, Cinnamon Press, 2014; originally published on this site in February 2013 with Anne’s permission and that of Second Light Live, the publisher of ARTEMISpoetry, the magazine from which it was excerpted 

Anne Cluysenaar, Welsch poet

Anne Cluysenaar, Welsh poet and painter

British poet, Myra Schneider, wrote this morning saying that the esteemed Welsh poet, Anne Cluysenaar (b. 1935) died yesterday. Anne was born in Belgium and migrated  to Britain before the start of World War II. She was graduated from Trinity College at Dublin and became an Irish citizen in 1961, living there on a small property she owned and managed with her husband, Walt Jackson. She is the daughter John Edmond Cluysenaar (1899-1986), Belgian artist.

Anne had worked as a visiting teacher of creative writing at the University of Wales at Cardif and taught literature, linguistics and stylistics at a number of other universities. She was a Fellow of the Welsh Academy.

Anne’s poetry was included numerous anthologies and literary magazines and among her many poetry collections is  this year’s: From Seen to Unseen and Back, Cinnamon Press.

Anne was editor for many years of Scintilla, a journal of literary criticism, prose and poetry in the metaphysical tradition. She was active in and well-regarded by Second Light Network of Women Poets (UK). Her poetry was shared in their magazine and poetry collections and she was a tutor, mentor and often a judge in their poetry competitions. Anne Cluysenaar has left behind a stream of uplifting poetry and a legion of appreciative readers.

Anne’s portrait courtesy of Second Light Live.

– Jamie Dedes

Wabi Sabi

Japanese tea house: reflects the wabi sabi aesthetic, Kenroku-n Garden

Japanese tea house: reflects the wabi sabi aesthetic, Kenroku-en Garden

if only i knew
what the artist knows

about the great perfection
in imperfection

i would sip grace slowly
at the ragged edges of the creek

kiss the pitted
face of the moon

befriend the sea
though it can be a danger

embrace the thunder of a waterfall
as if its strains were a symphony

prostrate myself atop the rank dregs on the forest floor,
worshiping them as compost for fertile seeds
and the breeding ground for a million small lives

if i knew what the artist knows,
then i wouldn’t be afraid to die,
to leave everyone

i would be sure that some part of me
would remain present
and that one day you would join me
as the wind howling on its journey
or the bright moment of a flowering desert

if i knew what the artist knows,
i would surely respond soul and body
to the echo of the Ineffable in rough earthy things

i would not fear decay or work left undone
i would travel like the river through its rugged, irregular channels
comfortable with this life; imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete

© 2013, poem, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved; Photo credit ~ from Pictures section of OpenHistory under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.o Unported license

FRIDAY PHOTO FINISH: ‘Twas All Hallows Eve

‘Twas All Hallows Eve and all through the house
Every creature was stirring, even our pet mouse
The pumpkins were carved with very great care
In the hope that trick-or-treaters soon would be there
Oh the children were agitated, not one in her bed
As visions of bonbons danced in their heads
And Dad in his costume and me with my cap
Had settled by the door listening for the first rap
When out on the lawn there arose so much chatter
We sprang to our feet to check on the matter
We threw open our door to offer sweet stash
While witches flew by, all glitter and flash
And the moon on the rise and the dark ground below
Gave lustre and bluster to ghosts on the go
Then what to our startled eyes should appear,
But a miniature ballerina among goblins, one bear
Now, Alice! Now Ernie! Now Jimmy! Now Chris!
Come little Tony, big Brandy and Trish
To the top of the stairs, don’t any one fall …
Now dash away, dash away, dash away all

After Clement Clark Moore’s ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas


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And that’s it for my contribution to Halloween this year! Wishing you many treats and no cavities.

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©2010 (poem) and 2014 (photographs), Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved

history with the sky

over mountain edging sea
sun contemplates the trees
the trees eat up the sun
they blossom, the rivers run
and wise old rock by time inscribed
shares history with the sky

Bgi Sur, California

Big Sur, California

© 2013, poem, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved; photo credit ~ Caliliver and released into the public domain