John Carley, RIP

Dear Friend

I am very sorry to have to tell you that John died yesterday [January 1]. As you probably know he had been very very ill for four years. He dealt with his pain with tremendous courage and dignity. He survived through grim determination and the desire to make sure that his family would be able to support one another after he had gone.

He was able to attend the wedding of our son Alex to his beautiful wife, Catherine, on 21 December and to celebrate Christmas Day at home with Edith, our daughter, Alex and Catherine.

He faced death with the same courage and dignity that he dealt with his illness. He died with Alex and Catherine, Edith and her partner Connell, his brother Michael and myself, present to comfort and reassure him.

We miss him terribly but are proud to have shared our lives with him.

Best wishes


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8 Responses to John Carley, RIP

  1. sandra says:

    It has been my pleasure and privilege to have written with John here at Issa’s Snail. I count myself very fortunate in having been privy to his wisdom and skill. He was a great teacher, as well as a great poet and I only wish I could have known him longer. Blessings to John’s spirit and his family.

  2. batsword says:

    Oh, how sad to receive this news. My deepest sympathy and condolences to his family. John was such a courageous gentleman. John was a brilliant man, kind and generous, and has over many years always given me and lots of others, great inspiration and encouragement in pursuit of furthering one’s renku knowledge and skills. He will be sorely missed by all, and I feel privileged to have had the chances to work under his Sabaki expertise. He certainly will be remembered.
    Thank you dear John.

    Peace and Love

  3. Lorin says:

    John has been my hero for some time and I’m grateful to have known him, even though via the internet. I’ve learned so much from him and it’s been a joy to do so. He’s an inspiration to us all. I was very pleased to be able to publish some of his essays and Willie’s feature about his writing in A Hundred Gourds. It was great that this year we won the HSA renku comp, one last feather in John’s cap and in time to include it in his renku book, which is part of his legacy to the world. He has my complete admiration in every way.

    Cynthia has posted this from me on HaikuOz:

    In Memoriam John E. Carley

    John E. Carley, translator, creator of the zip form of haiku, renku master, author of ‘the Little Book of Yotsomunos’ and ‘The Book of Renku’, died on New Year’s Eve after a four year battle with mesothelioma. As a renku sabaki, John was a teacher and an inspiration to many of us. His warmth, his wit, his loving-kindness and dedication will always be remembered by those who had contact with him over the years.

    new year, new moon—
    his footprints in the grasses
    green in summer rain

    – Lorin

    Yes, John will be missed. Very grateful to Ash for writing to him, some years ago now, and asking if he’d lead a renku here at the Snail. That gave us all the opportunity to find out what a real sabaki and a real renku is. 🙂

    (Willie will be continuing the tradition. What a challenge! )

    Lorin Ford – Haiku Editor, Managing Editor

  4. Bill Dennis says:

    It must be a measure of the man, that someone such as me, who knew him so briefly, could sense such loss at John’s passing. Of course, his intellectual qualities stood out, but it was his kindness…, his essential humanity which really marked him as an admirable soul. I wish I had been able to share more of John’s time.

  5. cynthiarowe says:

    An extraordinary man with an impressive intellect who influenced so many people around the world with his wit and humanity. I feel privileged to have known and learnt from him.

    sinking sun
    a contrail curls away
    from the hills


  6. ashleycapes says:

    I am deeply saddened by the news about John – easily one of the most generous and giving people I’ve ever been blessed to work with. His work is lodestone.

    My, and the thoughts of the snailers here, are with his family.

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