C.X. Turner (Masters of Wabi)

Masters of Wabi



this December
even the lanterns
seem duller

C.X. Turner

 

frozen shapes resignation in the river

C.X. Turner

C.X. Turner writes poems about dandelions, frozen fingers and frogs. She lives and works in the UK, and enjoys experimenting with Japanese short-forms. Her poems and artwork have been widely published in journals and anthologies. Several of her short-form poems have been Touchstone-nominated in 2023 including haiku, senryu and haibun. She is Co-Editor of the Wales Haiku Journal and loves working collaboratively with other poets and on solo projects. She is the author of climbing frozen water (Origami Poems Project, 2023), anemones (Yavanika Press, 2023) and Building Sandcastles, co-authored with James Welsh (Literary Revelations, 2023).

 

Commentary

 

C.X. Turner resides in those western midlands of the United Kingdom, a short distance away from the Welsh border beyond which electronically and ideologically resides that distinguished journal she co-edits with inimitable Joe Woodhouse. She hails from a dominion saturated with passionate versification, rhapsodically fertile terrain host to an amalgamated lineage boasting some of the most venerated poets (romantic, lyric, metaphysical, William Blake, John Keats, Dylan Thomas!) and wordsmiths of the English language, exalting among other things many of the lushest paragons of wabi to be ascertained on a printed page. These pieces expertly locate that distinctive bareness and shortage internally by way of the external, humanizing a body of water and torches, stationing themselves on a calendar at the height of frigidity—paralleled in the waterway’s disposition—and petrification, and also encapsulating the aspect of sabi described by Meng-hu of the hermitary as ‘universal flux’, spanning ‘coming from’ through ‘returning too’, well captured by the river to ocean relation, and December’s midwifing of a new year. Interestingly, as therapists move in constructive directions toward addressing cognitive distortions and thought fallacies rather than throwing pharmaceuticals at reported symptoms, wabi-sabi has become a significant notion in analytic contexts of current times, with shrewd counselors like licensed clinical social worker (also C.X.’s profession) John Mathews—see his Mindfulness article “The Simple Beauty of Serene Melancholy”—in Virginia availing himself of the model to facilitate comprehension of actualities and correction of limiting, toxic thought patterns manifesting perfectionism, dichotomous thinking, should statements, belief in a just world. Charlotte Digregorio, with her brilliant poetry collection ripples of air and guidebook Haiku and Senryu, makes convincing arguments for poetry’s practical advantage as a means for healing, to process life’s curveballs and upsets. Turner, too, is an exemplar in this potent application of the art form, in fact, and her fabulous recent chapbook anemones from Yavanika exploring matters of grief and loss is one of the most affecting compilations one may encounter, further representing a resounding testament to the palliative benefits of writing, for the general public just as much as dedicated practitioners!


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