Autumn, and 'Shortest Route Between Two Dots Is A Circle'

riot of tendrils, vine-like, green waves, spiking, lingering in green valleys of the mind where watering

irrigates, irradiates, irrideems

veins in our bodies    green blood beating    chlorophyl    sunlight living dust    our hearts of death

Julia Butterfly Hill leafy boughs swaying in skyward wind

red fire bursts fiercely
         burning    wood    and    oxygen


'Shortest Route Between Two Dots Is A Circle,' 8" x 9", coloured india inks
Brenda Clews, 2009

(A year later I finished this piece - you can take a look if you you like: Lip of the Volcano.)

Some Favourite Websites and Blogs

Just for fun, created a little mosaic on my 'Links' page at my website - the websites displayed here are just like being on the real pages, you can browse, read, even leave comments! Click on the names above each site, which I've hyperlinked, if you're tantalized and would like to go to their websites.

Stephen Hatfield

Stephen Hatfield

John F Walter
John F Walter

Dance Our Way Home - Erica Ross
Dance Our Way Home - Erica Ross

Paintings in the Sand, Blowing in the Wind

Here's a fun widget... drag your mouse over the white space in the box below;
each time you click, the colour changes... viola! your own drip painting.

No way to save your masterpieces, however. Paintings in the sand, blowing in the wind.

Except by a Print Screen on a PC or Grab on a Mac, perhaps.

Jackson Pollock Art Widget

Honouring Erica Ross Honouring Us

Erica Ross is composing an 'About Us' page at her website: Dance Our Way Home. She asked me to contribute. I share only to encourage you to go, browse and pour over her site, its beauty.

“I've known Erica for many years and witnessed her blossoming into the teacher she is today. Her dance sessions incorporate the power of mythology to give us direction in our transformations through the mystery and magic of our own rhythms, the creativity we call on in our lives. Erica's DOWH sessions are always well researched, and carefully planned with open dance, partner exercises, a flow between movement and resting while Erica guides our visions towards integrating a greater whole within ourselves, in the relationships in our lives, our harmony with the forces of the universe. It is her loving care for the gentle and deep nurturing of women, our often fraught and splintered self-images and connections in an ever-changing world, in a safe and welcoming space that drew me to her Dan…

Dancing on Poetry - a video calling card


The 140 character Twitter tweet, and now the 4 second video calling card. Or the madness of repetitive movement. It's all fun!

'Behind the Veil: An intimate journey into the lives of Kandahar's women.'

A Globe & Mail series, forthcoming through the next week. I found the first two disturbing, painful. Life is not just worse than ever for women in Kandahar, but life-threateningly dangerous. How, after the short period of optimism and hope, some shedding of the burka for the veil, bravely venturing out to schools, to work, did things turn back into a life that the women say is worse than that under the Taliban? Then there was 'a reason' for the attacks & torture, now there isn't - just a whole city become psychopath. Scary. Sad. Tragic.

Grünemusik's 'Nyx' - experimental music for inner journeys...

Direct link to Grünemusik's 'Nyx' on Jamendo - 6 tracks, about 30 minutes.

You can download this album for free if you wish. It carries a Creative Commons License.

Profound experimental music for inner journeys...

A large vision. I listened to 30 sec of the first track last night and downloaded without reading the notes. This morning, out with the dog in the morning air, I listened.

And I thought how far some of our musicians have moved from 'traditional' music, though I was not thinking of the Orient but of the European concert. Melody and rhythm don't exist in this album in the traditional sense.

There is a beat, but it is organic. As if we are moving through a deep underground cave. Echoes. Stalagtites. Distant water where diving is so deep as to be depthless. Strange sea creatures in those black waters of the lakes in the underground caves. Ecstatic diving, bubbles, cool pure water.

As we move through the dark cool chambers of the cave, its damp limestone wall…

The self is contained in its demeanor

I didn't like what I wrote, so didn't post daily as I thought I'd do, and didn't write more... But that's how it is. Writing emerges in the way it emerges. While we can shape it a bit, mostly we have to accept what is manifesting. Trust it. The artist stands aside to let the work emerge in its fullness. Are we guardians of the creative impulse? Gatekeepers. Filters. Beacons. That which flows through us, from our fingers, in our words, or the strings of our instruments, or the brushes we hold full with paint, through our heartminds. We struggle to give form to our visions, yes. It's work, yes. But we still have to stand aside to allow the shining.

What I wrote, which didn't please me:

Less is more. I forget this on the short ride in the elevator.

The self is contained in its demeanor.

The demeanor in the business suit in the high security corporate world in the role. It is professional, underplayed. Wealth glitters everywhere in diamond rings, Rolex watches, t…

The poetries of living...

Even if I am working full-time, have kids, a dog, a cat, too busy, too tired, etc etc, I'm considering beginning a "found poem" of my days. Crazy, packed writing. Allowing impressions to form words that form thoughts and images. Keeping a tiny notebook, smacking keys at lunch on my netbook, buying a new Nano iPod with a voice recorder to record impressions; however I can do it, doing it. Letting it grow in its own unpruned ways. Snippets. Definitely snippets. Trusting the heartmind. Trusting the instinct to poetry. Snippets of what the intellect is grappling with. What the senses are detecting. The poetries of living. Awkward sometimes. Knowing other times. Ambiguities. Allowing the heartmind its impressions, the way we feelthink. Not superseding the raw data of living with a determination to present a nice face with nice smiling theories (though some days are like that), and certainly with no "lesson" to teach (never, it's make your own), no agenda. Not tr…

First Draft

I want to save how we have developed while I revert back, delete the versions, the revisions, to the origins. To come to first appearance, where the hesitant beginnings are, to re-discover the faint sketch of what is to come. To undo backward to the untouched data as it would display itself now to my worldly eye. To find the first uncut, un-enhanced, unedited draft. Where it is unfocussed and unformulated. Before the narratives tidy it up. Where we dangle freely, a cluster of possibilities.

Brookfield Place: Architecture is Sculpture

I sit in a sculpture that is architecture. White-painted iron arches and ribs repeat over the walkway like a riot of infinite regressions in a mirror. Distorting glass windows over the archways bounce light and reflect the architectural columns in permutated ways. Looking at the rounded arch of white ribs through the glass which is divided into sections by frames it feels as if we’re in the skeleton of an old boat, itself a rendition of a ribcage lit from within the belly of a whale, a huge beast basking in the sun pouring through the glass sky as it rolls through the waves.

The sound of French café music, slightly jazz, sensual, romantic, and a fountain spraying, pouring add to the surreal experience.

Rich forkful by forkful I eat a Napoleon, vanilla cream custard, flake pastry, fresh strawberries, with a smooth yet bitter coffee. My dessert swims in its vanilla cream on a large platter on an outdoor iron table and I am seated in a wicker chair that rests on a floor of polished field s…

Café Sketch

Two Chinese women, one eating French fries and the other a spinach omelette. One with a white hairband holding straight black hair back, navy blue trousers, a white top, 'business casual'; the other, older, in a flat-brimmed straw hat with a ribbon coloured in blacks and whites, large white pearl earings, a white cotton blouse edged with fine lace, soft black slacks. They are eating inside a café where the ceiling-mounted speakers play romantic French songs. I imagine they are mother and daughter. The younger woman perhaps working in the downtown corporate complex has been taken out to lunch by her older widowed mother. The older woman is dressed for the occasion; it is clear this is an outing. She sips white wine. Her daughter drinks water. The older woman eats slowly with an elegance that recalls times past; the younger appears stressed and looks at her watch from time to time. Simple complaints about living are aired, the cost of rice, or hydro, or plane fare to China, worr…

My "Disappeared" Blog Posts

Perhaps I begin to understand why I am having difficulty writing in my blog, which has been a writerly home to me for some years now.

A man I had an involvement with a few years back, and wrote about in the poetical way I do, has 'blocked' some of my blog posts.

If I do a search on some of my posts, the page appears blank.

Yet I can get to these pages through direct links elsewhere and by pasting the url into the browser.

For instance, he has attacked my 'Bliss Queen' poem in this way. That he has chosen this poem to target particularly perturbs me. It is hidden but still accessible.

You can find it here: The Great Bliss Queen's Mansion of Flaming Bliss.

Yet if you copy & paste these words- The Great Bliss Queen's Mansion of Flaming Bliss -into the Blogger search bar on the upper left, all posts with aspects of the title appear, but not the post with the full poem itself. He's hacked into my Blogger blog somehow, or paid someone to do it, and suppressed my po…
Everyday I think about posting, I miss being at my blog. It's an important part of my life. But I have no access at work, and my day starts at 6am and I'm home by 6pm and evenings are busy with both of my children living with me, a dog and a cat, and volunteer tutoring my 18 yo student who can't read (which was tonight so I am particularly tired with getting home late) that I can't seem to get to writing. It's like it's on the other side of an ocean and I can't seem to reach ecriture with the girth of water increasing daily...

Health issues have quietened down, and other that being more tired than I can remember ever being, everything is fine.

Beautiful readers, I miss posting and being with you in the ways we are! I am considering how to squeeze stolen time out of my schedule to write secretly, something, anything, because I will go insane if I cannot write.

Well. Not quite. You understand how difficult it is to be somewhere where you may not compose anything…

An hour of bliss...

It's 9pm, and wilting in a heat wave - though I am in air conditioning all day at work. And then I remind myself that I love the sultry Summer heat and we've had so little of it this year. And so bask in it...

When I came home, my son had taken our dog downstairs, and for the first time in 10 years I came home to a quiet apartment. No happy, crazy doggy to greet me. It felt strange. My daughter's not back from her camping/bed & breakfast trip yet.

I came home. Where is everybody? An empty place? Oh wow.

I rested but also put JazzFM on and listened with ear buds... and had an hour of bliss! Every instrument, piano, trombone, snare drums, the sexy gravely voices of the men singing blues and jazz, emerged from the centre of my consciousness like magnificent flowers blooming... creativity blossoming in the world... fabulous hour of reverie.

Moments like these are enabling - encouraging, inspiring, uplifting, affirmative... an inner blossom of bliss runs everywhere in the…
I haven't forgotten about you, dear blog readers. No! I'd never forget about you. I've started a new job that's taking me away from computer access each day, and dealing with some health issues. On the latter, tests & an ultrasound but no results back yet. On the former, the project (in an IT dept at a bank) looks like it's going to be a huge amount of work, and I'm glad to be involved in the process. Hopefully this weekend I can post something. *Big hugs* xo

Caught at a Starlight Burlesque Show at The Painted Lady!

Haha... Claire and I, caught at a Starlight Burlesque show at The Painted Lady last Friday night by Nonni! :) lol

Claire says she looks like her great aunt. Not sure who I look like. Nor why we look zonked - Claire only drank water, and I sipped one tiny glass of red wine the whole evening. Musta been the venue! Had to share - you'd appreciate (& it just came in).

Claire, who I love hanging out with, is a fabulous artist - huge canvases of jungle mythological motifs, Shamanic, archetypal, rich, colourful.

White Fire on a radio show...

(which be forwarned is almost 22 minutes long).

Backtrack to go forward.

In 2000 I began what I hoped would be an epic prose poem exploring the concept of love in our culture through the mythology of soul mates. While I had done much of the research (an unfinished interdisciplinary thesis on light being the core of it), I had a course list of books to read on the changing conceptions of love in Western culture but sadly lacked the funds not only for time to research and write the epic poem but even to buy the two dozen books I thought would be most helpful. So nothing more was written beyond this fragment.

And perhaps that’s all it was ever meant to be. A fragment. The fragment almost became a performance of about 8 dancers, singers and musicians in 2001, but that show collapsed at the last moment.

I was invited by Nik Beat at the suggestion of our mutual friend Mikala to read it on his Sunday afternoon radio show on Toronto’s CIUT FM in November 2000.

An old friend, Christopher Reib…

A Poetic of Light/Une poétique de la lumière

This meditative video poem is dedicated to all of you. With thanks...

Poetic of Light/ Poétique de la lumière uploaded by Brenda Clews to YouTube.

The poetry is addressed to the lover, the soul mate, you, the viewer.

My videopoem is finished. After a week of nearly nonstop work, most nights till 3 or 4 am and up again at 7 or 8am and working right through, I am happy with it. For your enjoyment, I have uploaded both the final version with poetry, and the silent version too.

I searched through my writing for nearly a whole day to find what might work. I decided on 'White Fire,' a meditation on soul matessince I had been vaguely dancing with that poem in mind on the day that I taped this, and had printed it on fine paper and threw the pages in the air and danced on them during the videoing of my dance session last June.

White Fire now has a web page at my Art & Writings website, where you may read the prosepoem in its entirety. In the video I have only used a few quotes on the…

Poetic of Light/Poétique de la lumière - In-progress

This clip isn't finished yet. I hope to add poetry -I'm thinking of not just voice, or maybe no voice at all (that piano so beautiful), but having the words float down the screen, especially during intervals when I 'disappear' from the 'room'- I'm sharing this earlier version because it has charm... when I finish this video I'll upload to YouTube... but I thought you might enjoy this stage in the creation, a little clip, this simplicity.

If you'd like to see a screenshot of the Final Cut Express window with the filters I used, you can see it at TwitPic (press the + sign to see full size). This video, taken in June 2009, was shot with an older DV camera, a Canon GL2.

The celestial and ecstatic piano is from "Spring" in 'Piano Paintings' by Lena Selyanina. It holds a Creative Commons license and may be listened to, and downloaded freely, at Jamendo (it's also available on the Internet Archives, and as a torrent on Mininova).


Video: 'Venus Enroute' from "The Botticelli Venus Suite of Poems"

Venus Enroute uploaded by Brenda Clews to YouTube.

The poetry is an excerpt from my "Botticelli Suite of Venus Poems":

She stopped to rest. Momentarily, in the field of pure possibility, her position unfixed, indeterminate.

Without hovering, or insecurity.

It was an image of being in the vast field of life.

Without knowing. In a position of unknowing, positionless, I suppose. Existing without location or momentum. Vibrating with possibility. It wasn't exciting or fearful, just what is.

Nothing is fixed or certain, though there are always solutions to problems.

Then she continued on.

She didn't doubt her certainties.

The music clip is from Lena Selyanina's 'Sarah's Dance,' from her album, "Piano Poetry," which carries a Creative Commons license and may be found here:

The chair sequence and the poem added to it had no original connection. I cut the clip from two hours of footage as perhaps 'workable.' Then …
What is most significant about us is not our brilliance, inventiveness, creativity or our rich civilization, but our capacity to love.

Dancing an Unwinding after a Solstice Celebration

Dancing an Unwinding after a Solstice Celebration from Brenda Clews on Vimeo.
This is my first videotaping of dance, something I've wished to do for a long time. After the Solstice DOWH (Dance Our Way Home) session finished, and most of the women left, a few kindly stayed to dance so we could get some stills for an article, but I liked the footage and created this little video dance poem. You can read the prose poem here:

Dancing Women: Erica Ross, Laura Nashman, Angela Greco, Jade Niemczyk, Linda Robinson & Brenda Clews

Event: Dance Our Way Home (DOWH), June 20th, 2009, at Dovercourt House in Toronto:

Background music from *Collection Hapa* by Keli'i Kaneali'i & Barry Flanagan:

Videotaped, edited & prose poetry by Brenda Clews:

Meridians of Culture

Direct URL: Meridians of Culture

(I have added experimental avanteguard music in the background: 'Lambkins Black,' by Alphacore, which carries a Creative Commons License. It may be found at Jamendo.)

It's my daughter's favourite of all my recordings, and I think it is mine too. More like a Joycean inner dramatic monologue. I am hoping it moves in the direction of a deeper, richer writing that hints at vast underlying energies the way stream-of-consciousness, surrealist and dream-time writing does...

Hope you enjoy this recording! I am hoping, somehow, to add video to it, though the thought is daunting, just daunting. Any ideas or suggestions for video would be muchly appreciated.


Wrote this poem in the intensity of the afternoon on that day and I wouldn’t describe it only as stream-of-consciousness or surreal or dream-time but as an inter-splicing, like synapses crossing the brain to create strange formations and patterns, of different meridians from the world in …