Captured / Be Still and Know



turning to face me
in the mirror of time
this younger self
how the camera captured
my daughter, my breath

We have driven through sunlight and rain, from valley to valley, at the mercy of Lakeland’s spectacularly changing moods. From Borrowdale to Buttermere, this land has walled our journey. Our daughter, here for the first time, gazed in wonder at turret and steeple forged by lava that spewed from the volcanic mouths above the Skiddaw Slates 400 million years ago. Now she stands as breathless as the waterfall that spills from a distant crag to chime in the lush green foothills on its path to the pebbled tarn. How small and insignificant we are amidst these moraines sculpted and polished by ice floes in the workshop of time.

My husband speaks in terms of composition and exposure, depth of field and saturation. There are photographs I treasure, but the older I get, the less I want to see life through a view-finder, passing me by.

it has come to this –
from mountains hewed by glaciers
a valley of sound
in the lull of clear water
runes of slate in my palm

“I’ve taken so many photo’s, it’s saying the memory is full. I’ll have to delete some to make space for this!”

Her exclamation slices through my daydream. Good memory permitting, there is no limit to the number of snapshots I can take. My thoughts wade deeper into the stream. I inhale pure air, close my eyes and enter the dark room.

this long exposure…
we cross the bridge in darkness
painting with light1
and afterwards, it seems
we were never here at all


1. Light painting is a photographic technique in which exposures are made usually at night, or in a darkened room, by moving a hand-held light source or by moving the camera. In most cases the light source itself does not appear in the image


Contemporary Haibun Online, January 1st, 2012



Ted Van Zutphen has published online a book of poetry by the late Svetlana Marisova and himself. You will find it here: Be Still and Know. This represents the realisation of a dream shared by two poets, who at times, seem to sing with one voice. To read more about the project, plans for a hard copy of the book and the publisher Karakia Press, visit  t’heart of haiku. Readers might like to know, also, that Svetlana’s blog (see the link in the sidebar opposite) is being updated regularly, keeping the flame alive.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kay
    Jan 18, 2012 @ 22:35:32

    I’ve just been reviewing a kit for learning the art of Chinese brush painting. I pulled out a Buddha board for practice. This lovely board lets you paint with water, and then it dries (rather quickly). There’s no need to waste paper to practice, and it helps one explore the idea quoted on the water well: “Allow yourself to ‘let go’ and not be concerned with each outcome… Live for the moment and enjoy.”

    I think that your post shows us exactly how to do that.

    May you continue to have many new images to explore and share in your poetry.
    🙂 Kay


    • Claire
      Jan 19, 2012 @ 09:21:54

      Kay, such a graceful image…there’s a poem there. Thank you for ‘hearing’ me here,

      Your friend,


  2. kirigirisu/Brian
    Jan 19, 2012 @ 14:17:27

    You are truly a daughter of the earth. I share your joy over the limitless experience and ephemeral aspect of those images of our brief sojourn here. “Look! Look! Make way! Make way!” Sings the Great Mother.

    We are inevitable:

    it has come to this –
    …runes of slate in my palm

    And so is our departure:

    …painting with light1
    and afterwards, it seems
    we were never here at all

    “Look! Look! Make way! Make way!” It then becomes for us to feed and form the future with the slate, salt, and corn.

    You have sung it eloquently and unflinchingly Claire. A great comfort.


    • Claire
      Jan 19, 2012 @ 15:06:25

      and you are a son of the earth, Brian. You ‘hear’ me like no other and for that I feel truly blessed.


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