In the Throes of Love...

If there is a ground,
it is a quantum of vibrating molecules.

Like walking on water during a storm at sea.

No guides in this emotional terrain,
it's new.

I don't know where I'm going or how to get there. Logic has failed; intuition, senseless.

Furies and lies and deceptions blow like crazed winds everywhere. Nothing can be trusted to be what it seems or purports to be. The stories you are told aren't the real ones. Secrets are everywhere. The underside is sleazy, riven with seething. And you wonder how you missed the way through, or if it ever was there. And when the revelations come, and they do, like light through the floods, you don't know how to survive them, and if you do, what direction you should be travelling in now.

Rudderless, without navigation.

How can you find ground when there is no ground?

What is continuous in the discontinuous?

What lasts in impermanence?

What is it in the wavering flame that doesn't go out? Even in the storm I travel though.

Perhaps on a scallop seashell, a Venus in lament.

She Who Came Forth

The Embrace. Their children couldn't emerge into the light. He was heaven and she was earth. Uranus and Gaia, his wife, who he loved and refused to separate from. Creation waited. The embrace was tight, intimate, sensual, blissful, deeply in each other, unending. Cronus, his son, time, cruel time, cut off his genitals and threw them into the sea. Heaven and Earth separated. Out of the foam, Aphrodite was born. Love.

Aphrodite, who she was to the Ancient Greeks, though she was older than that, and linked to Ishtar-Astarte, and probably brought to the Greek islands by Phoenician sailors, Aphrodite, who later became Venus to the Ancient Romans, is one of the world's oldest divinities.

She was born from an act that separated Heaven and Earth. An ancient divinity present at the beginning of time. She Who Came Forth at the birth of the world.

Or, this is Hesiod's version in his Theogony. Aphrodite represents pure and spiritual love. From her foamy birth the Three Graces received her and wrapped her in rich garments and decorated her with gold ornaments.

The Goddess of Love.

Aphrodite Urania, or Celestial Aphrodite.

The Venus Botticelli saw, painted, understood.

Oh, there was another one, Homer's in his Iliad. Venus Pandemos or Common Aphrodite. She was born from Zeus and the Titan Goddess, Dione. This Aphrodite was baser, lust-driven and associated with physical satisfaction...

Humanitas, the flowering

Venus - 'Humanitas,'
guiding force of the Renaissance
precious fantastic spirit
which transformed Western

Allegory of Spring

Spirit of the Renaissance

Out of the Dark Ages
with the rediscovery
of classical antiquity

Herald of the golden age
flowering of arts and sciences
under her tuteledge,
the great goddess
in her many

What if Venus bucked
her symbolism as
spiritual value and
swung her scallop
shell around and
dove into
deep seas,
an intensity
of dark


Eostre, Or Cross of Sheer Light

Click here for an MP3 Recording of Eostre, Or Cross of Sheer Light(2:25min)

Eostre, Or Cross of Sheer Light

I found myself ebbing
away, and so I fasted.
When my commitment to
life renewed itself, I broke
my fast.

If you've ever been dead and come back to life,
been hopeless and found a way to continue,
thrown yourself into nothingness to find meaning.

An elusive tune,
slender wash of light,
bare opening in the wall,
a sliver, crescent through which.

Or what's a moment but a casting through.
If you've been too tired to get up and then you get up.
Filled with silent despair and then the will to.

Nothing's even, that's the problem. Many impermanent states.
All taking turns or colliding. Interpenetrating or scattering.
Flowing or stuck. Constraining or freeing.

I like to have clean thoughts because then I can live in my mind.
Sometimes the dust, anger, grime.
Throw what's scathing out.

I feel your bright and beautiful presence
even if you feel like you've disappeared into nothing.

The edges of the sky hang like an aurora borealis of silk.

The trompe l'oeil of the moment. Discreet packets of time.
If you didn't tell me I was going to die, I wouldn't believe it.

And then the scaffolding crashed, blocks fell apart,
what resisted melted, and it was time to resurrect.
Passing beyond memory into. Or the rising.

┬ęBrenda Clews
Good Friday, 2006 ( A repost of a poem and image I wrote and created for Easter on Friday, April 14, 2006, but recorded today, two years later.)
photographic path: a photo I took of sheer fabric over light, cropped, layered on itself, rotated, made somewhat transparent; then I may have used a marque tool to crop the uppermost layer to better reveal the brocade ribbon below, or was that one of the trajectories I didn't use; various marque tools to crop the right & left edges of the uppermost layer on right angles; the stamp tool to fill in a line that was left over from who knows what process; the burn tool to darken the upper and bottom right corners for visual balance. A collage I composed after writing the poem...

This is a photopoem: I've digitally embedded the poem in the image along with copyright information.

Psychic Moon

I couldn't sleep and saw the full moon in the West when I rose but after I'd made coffee and let the dog out, it was gone. A full moon on the Equinox is auspicious, and I saw a light of mystery and psychic radiance that the clouds swirled over in the night sky.

It's been a Winter of great snow, more than in half a century. Toronto is usually warm and wet, it snows and turns to slush and melts. This year the snows fell, and fell, and fell. We haven't seen ground in months.

The parkette onto which I gaze is like trampled sugar icing with a coating of ice that makes it shiny.

It's been a Winter of shocking revelations for me.

A month ago I fell on the ice, straight like an ironing board, only I curved a little and protected my head while my hip took the impact.

A bruise the size of a snowball turned from brown to black to red to purple and is still present as a pale ochre shadow and I wonder if I will always carry it.

Slowly dawn melts into the sky.

The light is bluish-grey,
the colour he once said
of my eyes.

On the Mystical Theology of Spring

*the consequences of
what the composition is
centred around are of
great importance*
theologica mystica
the deep interior
Botticelli's Venus, innocent and flowering, beautiful
and fragile, a powerful goddess and
untouched maiden, a blossom of love
that is the garden itself...
Who is the


Hidden Masterpieces

Botticelli's Venus
like pure meditation.

Sky and sea and shell.

Fabric of wind blowing.

Is she a heliotropic metaphor, painted by a man whose preference wasn't women, who presented an idealized version of woman without her dark burning orchard?

No contrary opposing forces
dark intrigues, smoldering
like the fire rock
that buried Pompeii.

Nor is she a poetry of free association, drifting over the waves opening out towards non-meaning but fully signified: beauty, love, goddess.

She doesn't point us to the conflict of the unrepresentable, but to a representation of
beauty, a solar vision, of innocence, of love.

Botticelli's Venus carries no arrows, or armory.

A surface of

No lusty, passionate,
vengeful goddess.

Appearing fragiley
on the ocean's

Thin layers of translucent

The Birth of Venus and the Primavera kept from public view for almost five centuries, and then she rose like the morning star, radiating feminine beauty far and wide.

Pallas & the Centaur, Primavera, and The Birth of Venus commissioned by Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de'Medici in the late 1400s for his Villa di Castello in Florence.

Secret, hidden masterpieces. Not seen by the public until the 19th century.

Venus, the spiritual birth of Humanitas.

Lofty ideal. Hunger of hot desire

The messiness of reality
can't be faked.

"the soul establishes itself
through loving itself in the ideal"1

1 Julia Kristeva, Tales of Love (Columbia University Press, 1987), 110.

Poetry & Fruit

I'm sure I didn't look like that, and I don't know where all the people are. Strange. I travelled on a crowded subway and walked amid streaming crowds on the way to work this morning. A stranger snapped the photo. I said it was because my briefcase wasn't full of business papers but poetry and fruit. He hurried away. The subject of the photo is the briefcase, not moi, for surely that is what is important.


Days of Tears and Laughter

It passed, on the 7th, another year. By not telling, it was easier. My birthday and Christmas are the 2 days I miss my father most and so there is grieving. Only now I allow myself time to miss, to lament, to offer remembrance and praise, to understand perhaps a little more of the mysterious universe each time I enter sorrow, its spirals of loss and redemption, of endings and continuance, of knowing what is gone and what is to come. I offer myself time to remember, to feel instead of the denial I lived for years and which caused unexpressed despair on 'my day' and the day of festive giving. With recognition of the depth underlying these two days, allowing grieving, they are much happier, take on a glow of warmth and love, a radiance that they lacked when I was hiding sadness under a veneer of gloss. Oh, perhaps a half hour alone to weep, to be in the place of dissembling, of loss, of the irrationality of death, then the rest of the day is lighter - fun, joy, sparkle, and laughter.

Which it was, along with the chocolate truffle chocolate mousse chocolate cream cheese cake from Decadent Desserts and the company of my son and some fine white wine...
Comments (4)

The Green Wire Shelf

It's a rickety wire corner piece with soldered leaves trailing in green over which I hung a couple of strands of small white festive lights. It fits in the tiny corner of the tiny room. The bottom shelf has a few scattered printed poems that I read into his voicemail, not that he should be the only one to receive them, and you should know that, and manuals for the Tivoli stereo and radio and the Bang & Olufson headphones; the middle shelf holds a refurbished black plug-in Northern Telecom phone with good unfuzzy sound, real retro; the top shelf, a small stack of articles and art books on Botticelli.

When I meditate I unplug the lights, and after lie down and close my eyes and let the silence take me deeper, when I come up from the depths I roll over and place the jack of the lights into the plug on the middle shelf, the one with the retro phone.

Oh, the books have fallen a few times. I know I should have fixed the wobbly wire garden corner shelf to the wall but I didn't have a large picture hook and the store I went to didn't have that size.

Of course it happened. The books tumbled and rolled and fell onto my head in the dark while I was trying to attach the plugs for the small trellis of lights.

I was stabbed by the hardcover corner of my favourite one, the prints are so lush, and I stare at them in the evenings wondering how the Renaissance master painted them.

I have a bruise on my right cheek bone. It's pale grey, and slightly sore. I cover it in a little tinted moisturizer.

My Botticelli bruise.
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