Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My Body Is A Word (2:23min)

direct link to SoundCloud: My Body Is A Word by Brenda Clews

Brenda Clews, poetry, voice, mix.
Music, Lena Selyanina's piano solo, 'Summer Morning,' from "Snowstorm Romance": http://www.jamendo.com/en/album/73627 .

direct link to SoundClick: My Body Is A Word

The album of poetry recordings that I am working on seems to be on a theme of love. I don't have a whole lot of love poems, in the 'I and Thou' form. 'My Body Is A Word' is an older poem that I had up at my original and now defunct art website. It seems to work in context of the album, and also, hopefully, on its own.

A tiny chorus of voices, yes, positioned behind the main voice.



My body is a delta
awash with scripture
rivers of language flow over my tongue,
raw with salt.

My body is a delta
of waterways, signs,
inscribed, and gendered,
my body is tattooed
with the blue veins of roses.


I am rain falling on the edges of leaves;
I am earth, wet, a glistening emerald;
I am a breath of fire on the horizon at dawn;
I am a white orchid unlacing.

I am the succulence of the peeling of fresh fruit,
juice of mango, orange, kiwi, bloodred pomegranate;
the thorns of the pineapple rind fall into the sink.

Remember when
our bodies flowing
into the flowing warmth of each other,
paradise on the horizon of being.

Our bodies flowing, washing the world.

Our scripts intertwining the way
we endlessly write our lives.

I am the crimson space
in your heart.

You are the calyx of flowers reaching for the rain;
You are the sun ripening the fruit;
You are the awakening of the world;
You are the origin of the alphabet of love.

I read your body every day,
finding a script
like traces vanishing in the night
of light everywhere.

© 2003 by Brenda Clews
Recording, 2010

(Note: Trying out different players - Sitemeter is my storage site for recordings, especially as how SC allows edited versions to be uploaded into the same url. Once the 'album' is finished, I'll upload it to Jamendo, where it will be available for free download. Any feedback now can aid help me in the creation of this collection of recordings - and I thank those of you who have offered responses and suggestions. It all really helps.)

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

What Is Underground Is What Holds Us


You rise out of flat stone
the shield
of your heart.
The moon crosses the sun.
Do we
become light
when we dream?

The folds of your corduroy
like ridges and hollows
furrows where the Spring runoff
sculpts a geology
in a landscape of tundra.
"passageways and connections that
happen deep within us when in relation
to another..." Nancy Otto
In our Klondike, cross and beams
hold the tunnels we dig through
to find the gold in each other,
rich veins tracing through the rock
like sunlight.


Spring is a tendril
of green;
the leaves a papery mass of veins unfolding.

Cliffs of grass by the old mine ripple
in the wind.

We are like those two trees
ancient, weathered, yet
our roots thoroughly

What is
is what holds us.

The deeper passageways
and connections.


I wear the crescent moon in my hair,
the cold northern air;
you are the sun buried in the land,
illumined from within.

The sharp edges
in each moment
bind us.

My Adoni, my Aholi,

even in this harsh typography
you are a landscape of love,
a cartography of desire.

©Brenda Clews 2006


Photographs were taken by me.

Poem and commentary written in April, 2006:

The title that I had thought of is a line from a poem by Hafiz, the 14th c Sufi master:
Our Destiny Is To Turn Into Light.

Here's the poem:

Faithful Lover

The moon came to me last night
With a sweet question.

She said,

"The sun has been my faithful lover
For millions of years.

Whenever I offer my body to him
Brilliant light pours from his heart.

Thousands then notice my happiness
And delight in pointing
Towards my beauty.

Is it true that our destiny
Is to turn into Light

Hafiz, The Gift, trans. Daniel Ladinsky (Toronto: Penguin, 1999), p.159.

While my poem is about light, it's really about roots, and works off Nancy Otto's lines (she's an artist who creates small, stunning glass sculptures where she explores our inner consciousnesses, our inner lives, the deep channels and underground ways that we connect).

Adoni and Aholi are both gods of nature: one ancient Phoenician; the other, ruler of the Pikya clan of Native Americans. Nature is usually imaged as a woman, but sometimes as a man - the dying & resurrected god.

Also I'm currently not just crazy about Hafiz, but also Pablo Neruda, his love poems, and Juan O'Neill's translation of Macchu Picchu.

An Antonio Servillo painting

I am moved deeply by this image. Antonio Servillo seems to paint my life as it often feels. Meaning his art speaks to me on deep levels of experience. Life is anything but a giddy, happy run-through. Though there is laughter, without which it would be impossible. The woman in Servillo's painting struggles. Such deep and abiding passion I see in her amidst many constraints.

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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Salt of the Sea

direct link: Salt of the Sea.
Livio Amato's, 'Dream Opening,' from his album, "Sensitivity"

Salt of the Sea

             She said seawards-
            "Salt in the seas
            like the blood in tears, 
         a forced forment of waves: 
         our cries, rushed into 
         life, and death,
         a barge that carries
         souls to the other side
               of nowhere."

The moon slides
into a shell
conch, cone, harp, volva
      that hears
      our whisperings-
            breeze, seafoam.

This season of weathered wood, amniotic

Inner forces drive the ocean.

Mystery emerges and recedes like waves
opening dreams.

Osprey and clouds sail high over surf.

      Print the soul in the flag to fray. 
Rocks rubbing in water become sand.
Wet sand under the pincers of crabs who burrow.
The warp and weave of the ocean slapping
            at our consciousnesses.

You came, on a minion of steel, the noise
of condensed crowds. Like an engine 
of grief. Imprinted with caustic 
wax winds. Ripe as a
salt flower.

With blue love on your lips
the colour of seaspray.


The sea drops its showers
of diamonds on our skin.

We waited for each other
in the violins
of wind.

The water
thick with history.

I placed my heart
in your stone

A wave gives to another wave
its white wedding foam.

Here in the depths of understanding
among the seahorses and anemones,
graves, lovers, sunken dreams,
buried treasures.

       "Love, love until the night 
        falls swiftly."
                Pablo Neruda

(I took this photo in North Vancouver, 2003)

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Archeology of Water

This began with an image of memory scrawled in a notebook in April 2019 that I knew I would work with, either in a poem, or perhaps video. ...